Airpods microphone not consistent or predictable

I’m using Duolingo to learn a language. There are intermittent sections that record audio for a few seconds to check that you’re saying things correctly.

I can’t consistently get the BT adapter to talk to my airpods cleanly, initiating the microphone and recording sound. It works occasionally, but I frequently fail the audio checks because no sound is recorded at all.

I had been using one of your competitor’s products, but when the microphone was engaged, the audio quality would turn into garbage. I bought your device hoping it would perform better. It performs better, but inconsistently, so the problem is not resolved.


Thank you for your question.

The behavior described sounds like it may be due to interference of some kind. However, it is also worth noting that Bluetooth devices are usually not considered acceptable for microphone input by most voice recognition software as the quality for Bluetooth microphone input is rather low due to the design of how it functions.

• Is there anything that blocks line-of-sight between the Bluetooth device you would like to use and your Bluetooth adapter? (The computer itself, a desk, a lamp, a fish tank, car door,etc.)

• Which side of your computer is the adapter plugged in to?

• Is the adapter plugged in to a USB 2.0 port (usually has a white or black plastic tab inside the plug), or USB 3.0 port (usually has a blue, orange, yellow, or red plastic tab inside the plug)?

• If the adapter is in a USB 2.0 port, is it near an in-use USB 3.0 port?

• Approximately how far away are you from the Bluetooth adapter when using your Bluetooth device?

I look forward to hearing back so that I can help get things working well for you.

All the best,

Plugable Support

The audio quality is definitely adequate. As I said, it works intermittently. I’ve used voice recording software and have the same problem; I can’t control when audio makes it through the system.

I can see it (it’s on a … tower above my desk); but i have it plugged into an extension with a (probably usb2) hub inbetween.

I’ll try to test without the hub on a higher speed port (provided I have any) and get back to you, but given the excellent (intermittent) performance, I don’t think improving the USB speed will help?


Thank you for the additional information.

Part of asking these questions is just to understand the current configuration. USB 3.0 has a known design flaw where it will emit broad-spectrum interference in the 2.4GHz to 2.5GHz range that Bluetooth uses for communication, which can cause problems.

Having the adapter away from the PC with a clear line-of-sight is ideal. As far as bandwidth goes, USB 2.0 provides more than enough.

One thing we can try is boosting the power of the radio in the adapter to see if that makes the connection more reliable. To do this, I need to check the configuration of your system.

Please run our diagnostic software (PlugDebug) which can be found at

Follow the instructions on that page and us at and refer to case #222912 with the .zip file generated by PlugDebug attached to your message.

I look forward to hearing back to hopefully get things working better for you.


Plugable Support