Liz, I had the same problem where disconnecting, forgetting and resetting did not work. I went into the Settings and then into - Accessibility . Note: This is a setting in your phone that affects your Airpods when they are connected.
1. scroll down to Hearing
2. then check whether noise cancellation is on or off
3. Mine was on and was shifted all the way to the right ear.
4. This setting for the phone speakers was directly affecting my L/R Airpods.
5. I shifted the control back to the middle and turned off the noise cancellation.
No more issues!