How To Stop Headphones From Activating Siri (Solved)


So, there you are listening to a favorite piece of music or an interesting podcast or audiobook, you just get to the good bit and… Siri cuts in the music stops or the excitement are lost… Grrr! There are various reasons why this happens. We’ve listed the most common causes and fixes to help you here. Some of them are surprisingly easy.  Read on to learn more.

How to stop headphones activating Siri depends on the reason for activation, we’ll look into causes and cures in detail below. The easiest way is to stop Siri interrupting is to turn the Siri app off by going to settings and clicking on Siri. Tap “off”, and this stops the app. 

If you don’t want to do that each time you use headphones, read on.

There’s a step by step guide to deactivating Siri and a look at what to do when you want to use Siri when wearing headphones.  

Why Does Siri Get Activated

It’s a big problem, high numbers of users report that the Siri voice control keeps popping up on their iPhone. Not just one model is involved either; the issue is affecting various iPhone models.  It does seem to be a bigger problem when moving around and happens most often when wearing headphones.  

  • For some reason, your iPhone thinks you have commanded it to activate Siri
  • Apple say a common reason for this is the side button or home button is being pressed down without the user realizing
  • Possibly, there is something that sounds like you’ve said “Hey Siri”

Although, according to Appletoolbox, sometimes it is a software error that makes the iPhone artificial intelligence think one of these three things has happened. 

Other possible causes are that a hardware glitch may be triggering the side button or home button to initiate. Or, there may be an issue with the headphone port or the headphones that prompt Siri to keep interrupting. 

Hardware issues are difficult and expensive to fix, requiring professional repairs, replacement parts, or replacement of the device. So, it makes sense to check all the other lost cost avenues first.

How to Make Sure the Headphones are the Sinner

There are a few checks you can do yourself to make sure that it is or is not the headphones that are at fault:

  1. Check the headphone jack on the phone; carefully clean it out using a paperclip. Even a small amount of fluff or paper from your pocket or bag could be enough to cause problems. 
  1. Check the condition of the wire at the jack plug on your headphones; it’s an area that is subject to wear due to gravity that makes the wire drop at the end of the hard part.
  1. When there is a controller assembly on your headphones wire, they are often a weak spot. So check carefully with the control in different locations. See if there is any crackling or static as you slide and move the controller about?
  1. Sometimes, some headphone controls will give an activation signal to Siri when used a few times in quick succession.
  1. The jack plug on the headphones may be worn or faulty.   
  1. If you have headphones with a microphone, noise from wind, breathing hard from running or dancing, or rustling clothing making a noise could activate Siri.

How to fix these issues

  1. Find anything? Chances are you did. So, test the equipment to see if it worked.
  1. Try gently moving the wire when in use and see if you get any breaks in sound or sound quality. It is possible to repair the wire, usually by shortening it a little to remove the damaged area.
  1. If there is any doubt at all about the in-wire controller, try another headphone set and see what happens. If it is faulty, the solution is to replace the headphones. Before you do that, check that the center button has a solid feel. Sometimes, when it is knocked, it can dislodge, and by setting it back into place, it will work as expected, although not always the case. 

Here is a useful video to get the most out of your Apple ear pods with microphone:

Some of the hints shown in the video could work on other models and brands too.

  1. Be mindful when using the controls in quick succession. Also, note if it does trigger Siri activation.
  1. A faulty jack plug is not very common, but they do wear with use. A fix that oftentimes works is to buy an adaptor, it’s a simple 3.5mm female to 3.5mm male, and making this fix can compensate when both jack plug and phone jack are worn by improving the interface connectivity.
  1.  Try using your phone with headphones that do not have a built-in microphone. May seem odd, but it is the noise that triggers Siri.

So, what if you’re one of the many people who bring up Siri by accident, you may not even use it, and it keeps activating.  

The problem doesn’t always present the same.  But the path to the solution is the same each time.  Here are a couple of questions:

Jed asks the question:

‘Why does my Siri randomly cut in and then go off again when I have headphones in?  I know I’m not touching the buttons or the microphone on my headphones.’

Vanessa says:

‘My headphones keep opening Siri and pausing music. I bought a new pair, and the brand new headphones are doing the same thing. What can I do?’ 

Answer: 

The first thing to do is to check your jack point on your phone.  Frequently, even a small bit of fluff or tissue paper, there can cause operational problems.  

If the jack is clean, then check the jack plug from the headphones, are there signs of wear? Carefully check the area where the wire joins to the jack; this is a weak spot.

Now check the control button on the headphones, the central button sometimes gets a bit loose, check that it is all tight and functioning well when you do use it.

If the above are all good, then try another headphone set and see if you have the same problem?  If you do, the problem is the phone.  Don’t despair; the adaptor mentioned above is only a few bucks from eBay or Amazon and could be a cheap and easy fix before calling in the engineers.

But My Headphones are Wireless

  1. Have a good look at them, do they need cleaning?  
  1. Fully charge the headphones, do they fully charge, is the charge point/box clean?
  1. If all looks good and is clean then try a reset
  1. If not, give them a clean, then try using them again, to test your wireless headphones

To reset your wireless headphones

  • On your iPhone go to 
  • Settings
  • Bluetooth
  • Select your headphones by tapping on them
  • Select Forget this Device
  • Switch off your iPhone and switch off your headphones
  • Restart your iPhone and restart your headphones
  • Reconnect them

How to Deactivate Siri

Step by step guide on how to stop Siri coming on when I accidentally hold down my home button (side button on iPhone 10).

  • Go to settings
  • Select General
  • Then Accessibility
  • Find the Interaction section
  • Home button (on iPhone 10 it’s side button)
  • Find section Press and Hold to Speak
  • See there is a tick next to Siri
  • Change to Off
  • Then go to the Home Button
  • Siri will not appear

See the step by step instructions here:

What About When I Want Siri to Activate when I have Headphones on?

Airpods/Other Brands/Bluetooth/Beats

Looking on Support.Apple.com, they make it seem really simple when you are wearing your Airpods Pro or second-generation Airpods; you say ‘Hey Siri’ then what you want. Example:

Hey, Siri Where’s the nearest Pizza place?

For the first generation, you will need to double-tap the outside of one of the AirPods, then when you hear a chime, make your request.

Example:

Wearing AirPods – tap, tap on one – hear an audible chime sound – ask the question. 

Where is the nearest pizza place?

Siri also works with other headphones and Bluetooth headsets. 

To activate Siri when you’re using headphones with a remote and microphone, you press and hold the center button to talk to Siri. 

To activate Siri with a Bluetooth headset, you press and hold the call button to talk to Siri.

You can use voice or a similar version to the AirPods method to use Siri with Beats

To activate Siri, you either say, “Hey, Siri.” And ask your question. Or you press and hold the Beats logo button on one earbud until you hear a chime. Then ask the question.

Where is the nearest pizza place?

Or, of course, whatever the question or instruction is!

Usually, Siri waits for you to stop talking, when there is background noise a useful feature is to tap the microphone icon to signal that you’ve finished talking and Siri can answer.

Conclusion

If these fixes don’t work, then you are looking at deactivating Siri each time you want to use headphones for listening to media. Or, having the phone checked for a hardware issue. However, the suggestions above frequently inexpensively solve the problems. 

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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