Steps to take when one AirPod is not working – SOLVED

Not long ago I faced an issue with another Apple product. This time one AirPod failed completely. Why that happened, what I did to fix it and what steps YOU can take to troubleshoot when one AirPod is not working – all this you can find below in this post.

If you always thought Apple gadgets never fail… you’re quite mistaken. Sure, Apple’s technologies can impress, but it’s still created by humans in China, not by aliens from another planet… So? Like everything in this world, it may fail!

Long story short, my wife asked me to check her AirPods which suddenly stopped working. Later it was confirmed that the problem was only with the right one.

Why the hell one AirPod is not working?

Before we go into details, I want you to go through the following list and check each item:

  • Check if AirPods batteries are charged
  • Clean problematic AirPod from lint, dirt and wax
  • Restart your iPhone
  • Switch Off/On Bluetooth on your iPhone

Very possible there is no real problem and it’s only one of the above.

Software issue of AirPods

I was pretty sure the problem was related to the software side… So I tried to reset AirPods to factory settings.

Frankly saying, it’s probably the only thing you can do, and in most cases, it solves various problems. So, that’s the first thing you should also try.

How to Factory Reset Apple AirPods?

  • 1 Put both AirPods back to the charging case and close the lid
  • 2 After 30 seconds open the lid of the case
  • 3 Press and hold Setup button for at least 15 seconds
  • 4 Wait for the status light to flash amber, then white
  • 5 Release the Setup button and try to pair AirPods to your device

To pair AirPods, bring it closer to your iPhone and open the lid of the charging case.

There is a possibility that something goes wrong in this step. While holding the Setup button for 15 sec, keep an eye on flashing Status Light. It’s very important to see it changes the color from amber to white. If the Status Light flashed only with amber color (not white), it’s an indication there is a hardware issue with your AirPods. This is exactly how my AirPods were flashing.

If your AirPod is not working after Reset, read the next chapter.

Hardware issue of AirPods

When I realized there is nothing wrong with AirPods software side, I started digging deeper.

By listening to one of earphones at a time, I spot that the failed AirPod doesn’t make any sounds at all, when a good one was making a slightly hissing sound when sitting in my ear. Thanks to transparency mode, which “re-plays” some outside noise.

Obviously, I double-checked if the Right earbud was fully charged. And triple-checked by charging it again and again. Nothing helped. Looked like the right AirPod Pro just died.

I remember my son dropped one Airpod on the floor, but it was still perfectly fine.

So the decision was to buy a replacement AirPods and pair it with remaining original setup. Here you have few options… which I described in more details below.

How I got a replacement AirPod Pro for only 40$?

As I’ve just mentioned, you have few options as where to get a replacement AirPod from.

OPTION 1: Officially from Apple

If your AirPods are still covered by Apple One Year Limited Warranty or AppleCare+, it’s better and cheaper (free) to ask Apple for a replacement. You can get your earbuds serviced either in one of the Apple stores or by posting it directly to Apple (you have to comply with certain conditions – see this link).

If the warranty already expired, the following fees will be applied:

  • AirPods Pro replacement – 89$ each
  • Wireless Charging Case for AirPods Pro – 99$
  • 1st gen AirPods replacement – 69$ each
  • Wireless Charging Case – 79$

As for me, it’s rather expensive… So, I picked the alternative route of OPTION 2 – to buy a used (but not abused) Apple earphone. Sure, there are many people who had their AirPods stopped working, so they just decided to sell whatever is left and buy a brand new pair.

OPTION 2: Buy from E-Bay or any other “buy & sell” websites

Most probably, eBay will be your solution. I’ve just searched for “AirPods Pro right” on eBay and got a ton of offers.

I was not in rush to repair my AirPods, so looked for a good deal. Those, who search – usually find. The guy was selling exactly what I needed for as much as 40$. I asked him the story behind this AirPod, and he replied that he found it on the street. To believe, or not to believe? … But I went for it. The only thing we agreed about, is that I will pay money at the post office after checking the goods (money return service).

Here is short checklist before you buy used AirPods:

  • Make sure you buy ORIGINAL AirPod… not a Chinese copy (double-check with a seller)
  • Check if it’s the same model as your AirPods (the model number can be found on each earbud, super tiny grey writing)
  • Try to check it at the post office before paying money

So I received a replacement right earbud at the post office… and had to check if it works. During the function test, I was surprised that each AirPod would be able to play music individually, but not together… They just didn’t synchronize with each other, even when I quickly completed the factory reset.

I was trying to understand whether this AirPod is not working as well, or there is something else… First I didn’t want to accept it, but then actually decided to risk 40$ and make some experiments at home.

Later, I managed to sync AirPods together… and here is how!

How to pair a replacement AirPod with an existing one?

Hopefully, by now you have a new and shiny replacement earbud… How to pair it with an existing setup now? Good question! Which I also had to figure out.

AirPods firmware difference

As mentioned above, my “new” and “old” AirPods didn’t work simultaneously. Each of them separately would play the music, but never together.

By checking the info page, I figured out that the Firmware Version of “replaced” Right Side earphone (ver.3A283) is not the same as the Left Side (ver.3E751). So obviously, I had to update the firmware to match on both earphones.

In one of the previous articles I already described how to update AirPods firmware… But only for you, there is a short guide below.

Why my AirPod is not working

How to update AirPods firmware?

  • 1 Put both earbuds in charging case
  • 2 Connect AirPods case to a charger using a lightning cable
  • 3 Leave the charging case close to your iPhone for few hours

Just give it some extra time for Apple Magic to happen. The firmware update is a fully automated process.

I left my AirPods inside of the case for a whole night. In the morning I checked the firmware and was surprised, that everything worked as planned. Both earbuds now had the same firmware and successfully paired to each other.

Hey! I hope all your electronic stuff just works. If you have any other issue, send me a question from Contact page. Also read My Story, then spread the word in social networks (buttons are one the left).

That’s all for now!

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