AirPods are one of the most popular wireless earbuds in the market, offering a seamless connection with your Apple devices, high-quality sound, and a sleek design. But did you know that there are many features and settings that can enhance your AirPods experience?
In this article, we will show you how to use AirPods like a pro, with tips and tricks for getting the most out of your wireless earbuds.
Switching between devices with Airpods automatically or manually
Table of Contents
- Switching between devices with Airpods automatically or manually
- Customizable shortcuts for Airpods
- Using active noise cancellation with AirPods
- Transparency mode for situational awareness
- Sharing audio wirelessly between Airpods
- Using Spatial Audio with compatible Airpods
- Using AirPods with Apple TV for immersive audio
- Using Siri with AirPods
- Pairing AirPods to Bluetooth devices
- Locating missing AirPods using the Find My app
- Using the AirPods Pro/3rd gen fit test
- Wireless charging AirPods
AirPods are paired to a user’s Apple ID, allowing seamless connectivity across linked Apple devices including iPhone, iPad and Mac. By default, AirPods attempt to connect to the last used or nearby Apple device for convenience. However, this automatic switching is not always preferable.
Users can customize AirPod device connectivity preferences in Bluetooth settings. On iPhone/iPad, go to Settings > Bluetooth, tap the “i” next to AirPods and change “Connect to This iPhone/iPad” to “When Last Connected”. This prevents the AirPods from automatically reconnecting unless last paired to that device.
A similar process applies on Mac – visit Settings > Bluetooth, select the AirPods “i” and modify the connection setting. This per-device control offers flexibility, enabling automatic switching where useful like on iPad, or disabling it on Mac for undisturbed audio. With a few taps, users optimize their AirPods experience across Apple devices based on personal preference and context.
Customizable shortcuts for Airpods
Airpods offer customizable touch and tap-based shortcuts for convenience. Original/2nd generation Airpods use double-taps on each pod, while 3rd generation/Pro models employ a force sensor tapped once, twice or squeezed long.
Key 3rd generation/Pro shortcuts include:
- Single squeeze: Play/pause
- Double squeeze: Skip forward
- Triple squeeze: Skip backward
- Squeeze and hold: Activate Siri/toggle modes
AirPods Max uses a digital crown and button. Customization is available by visiting Settings > Bluetooth, then tapping the “i” icon next to your connected Airpods. Here, shortcuts like double-tap actions or squeeze functions can be reassigned based on preference. This allows optimizing usability across the Airpods range for seamless media control directly from the earbuds.
Using active noise cancellation with AirPods
AirPods Pro, Beats Fit Pro, Beats Studio Buds and AirPods Max feature active noise cancellation (ANC) to block ambient sound. On AirPods, squeeze the stem or use the dedicated button on AirPods Max to toggle ANC.
Users can also adjust ANC settings through the iPhone/iPad Control Center by tapping and holding the volume slider. This reveals a “Noise Control” option to switch between noise cancellation, transparency mode, or turning ANC off.
Mac users can click the Sound menu in Control Center with AirPods connected to access the same controls. Employing ANC consumes more battery life. In quiet environments or to maximize battery, turning ANC off is recommended. ANC effectively masks distracting background sounds for improved listening focus.
Transparency mode for situational awareness
Transparency mode on AirPods Pro, Beats Fit Pro, Beats Studio Buds and AirPods Max allows ambient sound passage for situational awareness. Engage it by long pressing the AirPods stem or tapping the noise control button.
This convenient feature removes the need to remove earbuds when conversing in shops etc. Transparency also doubles as a safety feature for runners or cyclists, although bone conduction headphones provide optimal awareness.
Limitations include difficulty hearing others at high music volumes. For best results, lower the volume or briefly pause playback before enabling transparency. This feature strikes a useful balance between immersive audio and remaining attentive to one’s surroundings.
Sharing audio wirelessly between Airpods
Airpods, Beats headphones and compatible devices allow shared listening using the H1/W1/H2 chip. Start playback and reveal the iPhone/iPad Control Center.
Tap the AirPlay icon in the Now Playing section. Select “Share Audio…” then hold the additional Airpods case/headphones near the device to pair.
Both pairs will appear connected in the device list. The volume slider independently controls each.
To end the shared session, simply tap the headphones to disconnect from the list in Control Center. This convenient feature enables synchronized audio for multiple users without Bluetooth pairing overhead.
Using Spatial Audio with compatible Airpods
Spatial Audio provides immersive surround sound via Dolby Atmos on select AirPods and Beats headphones. Compatible models include AirPods Pro, 3rd generation AirPods, AirPods Max and Beats Fit Pro.
An Atmos source like Apple Music is required. Play content with the Atmos logo and engage Spatial Audio in iPhone/iPad Control Center. Tap and hold the volume slider then select between “Fixed”, “Head Tracked” or “Off”.
Head tracking enhances the experience though may not suit all situations. iOS 16 also enables personalized spatialization by scanning your head shape. Overall, Spatial Audio delivers impressive 360-degree positional audio for a richer listening experience.
Using AirPods with Apple TV for immersive audio
AirPods automatically pair with Apple TV without additional steps. Press and hold the remote home button, then select AirPods as the audio output under AirPlay in the options.
For spatial audio, AirPods Pro, 3rd generation AirPods, AirPods Max and compatible Beats models are supported. Sources with Dolby Atmos like Apple TV+, Netflix enable impressive surround sound.
An Apple TV 4K (2017 model or newer) is required for spatial audio. Other Apple TVs still pair AirPods but only offer standard stereo sound. Overall, pairing AirPods with an Apple TV delivers a cinematic listening experience for movies and shows.
Using Siri with AirPods
With “Hey Siri” enabled in iPhone/iPad Settings, AirPods serve as the default microphone to allow hands-free Siri commands. Say “Hey Siri” followed by requests.
If “Hey Siri” is off, manually trigger Siri depending on AirPods model – 3rd generation AirPods use squeeze and hold, while AirPods Pro allow customizing the tap gesture per bud in Bluetooth settings.
Overall, AirPods seamlessly integrate with Siri for convenient voice control on the go. Users can choose between hands-free or manual activation based on preference.
Pairing AirPods to Bluetooth devices
While AirPods automatically connect to Apple products, Bluetooth pairing enables multi-device use.
- Place AirPods in their case and press/hold the back button until the LED flashes to initiate pairing mode.
- Select AirPods within the target device’s Bluetooth settings.
- For AirPods Max, hold the noise control button until the light flashes white.
- Once paired, AirPods can toggle between devices. To return to Apple device mode, select AirPods as the audio output in iOS/macOS. Subsequent connections are faster for previously paired devices.
This pairing process allows versatile cross-device use of AirPods with any Bluetooth enabled products, from Nintendo Switch to Windows PCs. Users can continuously stream audio between all linked systems.
Locating missing AirPods using the Find My app
Locate missing AirPods with the Find My app on iOS/iPadOS and macOS devices.
- Access Devices tab or sidebar menu to select AirPods and view their last known location.
- Users can also play a sound alert to help find individual earbuds within Bluetooth range, provided the environment is quiet.
- Mark AirPods as “Lost” to leverage the global Find My network – other iPhone users may report sightings to help recovery efforts.
These features ease AirPod retrieval when misplaced, such as slipping between couch cushions. Find My enables contactless device tracking for peace of mind.
Using the AirPods Pro/3rd gen fit test
AirPods Pro and 3rd generation AirPods include multiple ear tip sizes for a comfortable seal. For best audio quality and fit, ensure ear tips securely situate without excessive tightness.
An ear tip fit test is available to validate a proper seal. Pair AirPods, access Bluetooth settings and select the linked AirPods for test instructions. This confirms ear tip suitability prior to use. Users can verify seal integrity to attain quality sound isolation and comfort. Size selection impacts the AirPods experience.
Wireless charging AirPods
AirPods Pro, 2nd gen AirPods and AirPods with wireless cases support Qi-certified wireless charging. Place the case on a wireless charger – a yellow light indicates charging in progress. Adjust placement if light shows as red. The case and AirPods inside can be charged simultaneously wirelessly. Only AirPods Pro 2nd gen feature MagSafe for charging compatibility with Apple Watch chargers due to their MagSafe case. Wireless charging offers portability without cables for seamless power replenishment on the go.