Bizarre Airpods Issue - Microphone delay

I’ve been answering calls with my Airpods, and people can’t hear me. So I flipped into Voice Memos and did some testing.

With either Airpod, one at a time, Ii I say “hello hello hello”, the first 5 syllables are either inaudible or very, very muffled. The last syllable comes through.

With both Airpods, the delay seems maybe a touch shorter - but same problem.

And if I keep talking, or if I’m only silent for a second or two, then the audio keeps working.

But if I stop talking for 3-4 seconds, and try again, same result - the first 5 syllables or so are either inaudible or very, very muffled.

These Airpods aren’t that old (this last January, maybe?). Anybody have any thoughts as to what might be causing the issue?

Edit: I’ve disabled automatic ear detection, and I’ve tried fixing the microphone to the left side instead of letting it auto-switch. Same issue.

I think I’m running into the same issues. I’ll do some investigating as well. I’ve been getting complaints on the microphone when on phone calls. My AirPods are about 18 months old. I’ll let you know what I find.