Why Do Headphones Keep Pausing? (Bluetooth or Wired)

Why Do Headphones Keep Pausing? Here's the fix

You are trying to enjoy your favorite music, TV show, podcast, or other media but your headphones keep pausing. Why?

If your Bluetooth headphones keep pausing, it’s usually because of a poor connection. This could be a weak internet or Bluetooth connection. When you are streaming a song or video with poor internet or network connection, the device will keep pausing to reload.

Also, a weak Bluetooth connection can cause the device to pause randomly. This often happens when your smart device and headphones aren’t nearby. Your wired headphones may also pause if the audio jack or port is faulty or dirty.

Why Do Headphones Keep Pausing?

Here are the main reasons why this happens and their fixes:

1. Weak Internet

If you are streaming a song or video, a weak internet or network connection can cause the headphones to pause randomly. This is because your smart device (TV, Smartphone, or PC) needs a strong internet connection to stream what you are watching or listening to.

When there is a weak internet network, your device will pause randomly to reload and sometimes may not play anymore.

To know if a weak internet is a problem, check your smart device screen. If you see a buffering or loading icon on the screen, it means the device has lost internet connection or the network is too slow to play what you are listening to.

You can also try the Speed test by Ookla to see how fast your internet speed is. The speed must be between 15-25 Mbps for streaming HD videos.

How To Fix:

The best way to fix this is to reconnect to a stronger internet or Wi-Fi network. You can also check your internet data to see if you still have enough data. You can also try to move closer to the internet router.

2. Weak Bluetooth

If you own a Bluetooth device, a weak connection can cause your device to pause. Most Bluetooth headphones have a connection range of 10 yards (or 30 feet).

If the smart device (TV, PC, or Smartphone) isn’t within the 10-yard range, the headphones won’t pick up strong signals causing it to pause. The best bet is to ensure both your devices are within 10 yards of each other.

Also, if the headphones are already connected to another Bluetooth device, it can pause to switch between devices. Always ensure your headset is paired to just one device.

To know if a weak Bluetooth connection is a problem, check the devices’ Bluetooth settings and see if both devices are still paired (connected). Also, move both devices within 10 yards of each other.

How To Fix:

If weak Bluetooth is the issue, you need to reconnect your devices or move them closer. Here is a detailed guide on how to do this:

  1. On your smart device, go to “Settings” and locate “Bluetooth Settings”.
  2. On some devices, “Bluetooth Settings” is located under “Wireless Connections
  3. Go to the list of ‘Paired Devices” and find the “headset name“, for instance: “JBL Tune 760NC“.
  4. Click on the headphones model name and select “Forget Device”. You might have to click the “ⓘ” to open the settings. This will automatically remove it from the list of devices.
  5. Turn off/on Bluetooth on your device.
  6. Put the headphones in pairing mode and pair them to the smart device. Ensure both devices are only connected and nothing else.
  7. Play your audio file and enjoy uninterrupted sound.

3. Dirty Audio Jack/AUX Port

If you own wired headphones, a dirty port can cause them to pause. When the device’s port is clogged with debris or dirty, the AUX cord or audio cable wouldn’t connect well. When this happens, you’ll experience paused sounds frequently as the cable shifts in the port.

To know if this is the problem, remove your AUX cord or audio cable from the port and check inside the port. You can use a flashlight for this. If the port looks filthy or clogged, that’s the problem and you need to clean it.

How To Fix:

To clean a dirty audio jack or AUX port, use cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol. Damp a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and use it to clean the AUX port. If the port is too small, you can try to remove some of the cottons to make it smaller.

Tip: Don’t use metal or sharp objects to clean the AUX port.

4. Damaged Audio Cable or AUX Cord

A faulty audio jack or cord can cause your headphones to fluctuate. If you own a wired headphone, ensure the cord is in good condition to ensure uninterrupted sound. When your cord is bent, split, or broken, you’ll struggle to enjoy the clear sound without interruptions.

How To Fix:

The only way to fix a damaged cable is to replace it. Wrapping or taping the cable is only a temporary fix so get a quality replacement.

5. Hardware Damage

Did your headphones get wet recently or did you drop them? If any of the hardware parts of your device is faulty in any way, you may experience paused sounds especially if crucial parts, such as the driver, are affected.

How To Fix:

You should contact a technician to fix the damaged hardware parts of your headphones. If the damaged part can’t be fixed, you’ll have to replace it.

6. Your Device App is Malfunctioning

Headphones often have dedicated apps that control the features and sound quality of the device. If you have such headphones, check the app settings to ensure everything is okay.

Also, most Bluetooth headphones or earbuds have an in-built sensor that detects when you are wearing them or not. Whenever the sensor detects you aren’t using the headphones, it pauses what you are playing to conserve battery.

A software glitch (bug) or water damage can cause a malfunction of the in-built sensor causing it to turn off sound when you are using the headphones.

How To Fix:

If you suspect that the in-built sensor is the problem, you should restart or reboot the headphones. This is very simple as most of them have a “Reboot” button. Rebooting the device will shut off all systems and relaunch them. This will remove bugs causing the sensor to malfunction.

If a reboot doesn’t work, try updating the headphones application to the latest version. Check the manufacturer’s website to see the latest version, or check “Google Play” or “AppStore” on your phone to see if there’s an update available.

7. Low Battery

Bluetooth headphones will pause music if they have a low battery. The pausing indicates that the device has a low battery and you need to change it. You will usually hear a sound just right before the sound pauses.

How To Fix:

To fix this, charge your headphones for at least 2 hours.

8. Back Tape

iPhones have a feature that allows you to tap the back of the phone to complete a process. You can customize (choose) the process that it completes. This feature is only for iPhone 8 and newer versions.

If you choose the “back tape” to open an app or do something that can pause the music, then that could be it. This usually happens once your hand touches the back of the phone.

How to fix it:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tape
  2. Go to the end of the page and press “Back Tape
  3. Choose “None” for “Double and Triple Tap

Popular Apps That Keep Pausing Headphones

There are a few apps on your smartphone that can cause headphones to pause. These apps often have an audio or recording feature in their system that interferes with your device’s audio output. Here are some of these apps and how to fix them:

1. Siri

Siri is Apple’s virtual assistant program installed on iOS devices. The program has a voice recording and recognition feature that allows you to say what you want Siri to do.

If you accidentally activate Siri while your headphones are connected to your iPhone via Bluetooth, Siri will pause whatever you are listening to and activate voice recording to hear what command you want it to carry out.

How To Fix:

You can stop Siri from pausing your audio by staying off certain buttons. Holding your iPhone’s side button or Home button if you use older models can activate Siri’s voice recording feature. So, don’t press them.

Also, pressing the Call button on your headphones can activate Siri. So, stay off these buttons while your device is connected.

Another way to stop Siri from pausing your audio is to disable it. Here is how to do this:

  1. Go to “Settings” on your iPhone, swipe down with your finger and the search bar will appear (at the top of the page).
  2. Type “Siri” in the search bar and click it when its name appears on the search results.
  3. Turn off “Always Listen for Hey Siri” and “Press Side Button for Siri
  4. Then tap on “Turn Off Siri

Siri is now deactivated and won’t interfere with your sound.

2. YouTube

If YouTube is causing your headphones to pause, there are a few reasons for the problem. The usual culprit is a poor network connection. YouTube is an online video platform that needs a good Wi-Fi or network connection to work.

If you are streaming a video on YouTube with a poor internet connection, the audio from your device will pause randomly to reload.

Another possible reason is that you have enabled the “Remind Me To Take a Break” feature. This option automatically pauses your video after a specific amount of time has passed. People enable it to prevent them from excessive screen time. If you enabled it, YouTube will pause your video.

A problem with YouTube’s server, faulty headphones, and device software problems may also cause YouTube to pause your headphones.

How To Fix:

To stop YouTube from pausing your device, you need to connect to a stronger network. Also, ensure your headphones are not faulty and the YouTube server isn’t down. If you enabled the “Remind Me To Take a Break” feature, you’ll need to disable it.

Here is a detailed guide on how to do this:

  1. Launch the YouTube app on your device and click on “Profile
  2. Go to “Settings” and click on “General”. You’ll see the feature under “General
  3. Disable the “Remind Me To Take a Break” feature.

3. Spotify

Spotify is a music streaming platform. The app might pause your music without warning for a few reasons. The most common reason is a poor network connection while streaming.

You may also experience this problem if your Spotify account is being used at the same time on two different devices or by two different people. In this case, every time the other person presses “Play”, your device will pause and when you press “Play”, the other person’s device pauses too.

Spotify can also pause randomly if you enabled “Low Data Mode.” This mode limits the amount of data consumed by the apps on your device. This can slow down your data speed causing the app to pause. Spotify may also pause unexpectedly if the app is having issues. In this case, you’ll need to uninstall and reinstall it.

How To Fix:

Start by turning off “Low Data Mode” and ensure you have a strong internet connection. Next, you should sign out of your Spotify account on other devices. If these fixes don’t stop the pausing, you can uninstall and reinstall the app.

4. Apple Music

Like Spotify, Apple Music is a music streaming platform. If Apple Music causes your headphones to pause, it’s most likely due to a poor internet connection.

You can also experience this if “Low Data Mode” is on. The problem may also be due to a problem with Apple’s server. Check the Apple System Status Page to see the Apple Music status.

How To Fix:

To stop Apple Music from pausing your headphones, you need to connect to a stronger internet connection and turn off “Low Data Mode”.

If the problem is from Apple’s server, you’ll have to wait a while till the problem is resolved. If Apple’s server is fine and you still can’t enjoy the uninterrupted sound, you should uninstall the Apple Music app and reinstall it. This should fix the problem.


In summary, there are different reasons your headphones pause while listening to audio content but in most cases, it’s caused by a weak Bluetooth or internet connection. If you own wired headphones, a faulty cable or dirty audio port can be the problem.

Fixing the problem is a trial and error process. The task would be much easier if you knew what was causing them to pause so you can find a fix for it from the list above.

If you don’t know what the problem is, try each fix one after the other till you resolve the problem. Hardware issues are better left to experienced technicians.

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