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Home / Tips and Tricks / Apple AirPods: the very best tips and tricks for your new wireless headphones

Apple AirPods: the very best tips and tricks for your new wireless headphones



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Apple & # 39; s AirPods with wireless charging cassette.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Apple released two new models of AirPods this year, the second generation AirPods debuted in March followed by AirPods Pro in October . Both new models are equipped with Always-on Hey Siri recognition, a battery life of 5 hours and a charging case that works with the same wireless charging pads that iPhones do.

The AirPods Pro have a new design, noise reduction and a cool new transparency function so that you can listen to music and still hear what is happening around you. There are a handful of tips specifically for AirPods Pro but there is also a lot of overlap between the regular AirPods and the Pro version.

AirPods can do more than just stream music into your ears, so make sure to read the tips below to learn how you can take advantage of your fully wireless earbuds.

Read more: Dear AirPods accessories

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Pairing is a breeze

The linking process for the AirPods takes three seconds – literally. Open the charging case, wait for the prompt on your phone, tap Connect and you are done. You don't have to worry about repeating these steps on the rest of your Apple devices as long as you use the same iCloud account. Yes, that means that after you pair your AirPods with your iPhone, your AirPods will automatically pair with your Apple Watch, iPad, Mac or Apple TV. It's pretty cool.

Seriously, linking your AirPods is too easy.


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Yes, you can link them to non-Apple products

Do you see that small, flat button on the back of the charging case? That is what you will use to connect AirPods to an Android device or something else that does not work with Apple's own chips.

Place the AirPods in their case, turn the lid up and press and hold and hold the small button on the back of the charging case until the small LED light starts blinking white. They should then appear in all Bluetooth pairing settings on an Android phone, computer or TV. Full instructions can be found here .

Keep in mind that when you use a product without Apple, they lose some of their magic. If you remove an AirPod from your ear, you will not pause the music and the play buttons will not work either. Android users can install this app to check the battery level of AirPods.

To use AirPods again with your iPhone simply select "AirPods" again in the Bluetooth settings of your iPhone and they & # 39; ll re-pair.

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To conserve the battery, hold one in and keep changing your buttons

I have never run out of the AirPod battery for one day, but if you are a powerful user who makes many phone calls you may want to almost empty. One AirPod can work independently as a Bluetooth headset. Save the others in the case for charging and exchange them if necessary. The other button takes over seamlessly.

Listen to one-button stereo streaming

If you want to listen to a live stream while doing other things casually, plug a single button while the other is in the case. It pumps a stereo signal into one button. Otherwise you will only get one ear stereo with both AirPods.

The different screens with the battery life of AirPods on the iPhone.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Check the battery with your iPhone

You have a number of options when it comes to checking the battery status of your AirPods and the charging case.

You can open the charging case next to your iPhone (it also works on iPad and iPod touch), so your phone should display a pop-up with the battery status. Or you can add the battery widget to the Today panel of the Reporting Center using the instructions in this post . Please note that the battery widget only contains AirPods if you use them actively.

View the battery life of AirPods on an Apple Watch.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Check the battery status on an Apple Watch

If you own an Apple Watch this is a nice trick: place your open AirPods case next to your watch, open the Control Center and tap the battery choice. In addition to displaying battery statistics for your watch, you will also find statistics for your AirPods and the case.

Hey, Siri!

The second generation of AirPods and AirPods Pro will recognize the Hey Siri wake command. So if you have the AirPods in and your iPhone in a different room, you can say "Hey, Siri" and control the volume or play music, ask to send a message or one of the other commands you can do to Siri to give. If you use your AirPods with an Apple Watch, Hey Siri will still work as long as your watch has a data connection.

After you & # 39; Hey, Siri & # 39; have said, the volume from which you are listening will decrease, indicating that Siri is listening and is ready for your assignment.

Let Siri read your messages to you

With iOS 13.2 installed on your iPhone or iPad, Siri can read your incoming messages directly to you through your AirPods without you having to do anything. You can then reply to the message with a quick voice command. It's pretty cool.

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Change the name of your AirPods on iOS.


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Change the name of your AirPods

There is no special app for changing settings and adjusting your AirPods. Instead, you must do this via your Bluetooth settings.

With your AirPods connected to your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Bluetooth . Then tap the "i" icon next to the name of your AirPods. Then tap the field Name and enter the desired name. The new name is synchronized with the rest of your devices connected to iCloud.

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Assign tap interactions to each AirPod.


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Adjusting controls

While viewing the settings of your AirPods, you can also change the double-tap or hold function for both earbuds. Go again with your AirPods connected to your iPhone or iPad to Settings > Bluetooth . Then tap the "i" icon next to the name of your AirPods. Tap Left or Right to change the functionality of each AirPod or to completely disable any interaction.

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Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Use AirPods as a hearing aid

With iOS 12 Apple has added a feature called Live Listen, which essentially turns your AirPods into on-demand hearing aids. You need to set up a bit, but when it's done, you can place your phone on a table closer to the person you're talking to and audio will be sent to your AirPods.

On your iPhone go to Settings > Control Center > Adjust the controls and tap the green "+" symbol next to the option Hearing . If you then want to use the function in your AirPods and open the Control Center on your iPhone, select the Hear icon followed by Listen live . Disable the function by repeating those last steps in the Control Center.

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Select AirPods from the Bluetooth menu on the Mac.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Use AirPods on a Mac

If you want to use AirPods to listen to all of your Mac's audio, you must select it as an audio output device. To do this, click on the icon Bluetooth in the menu bar and select your AirPods > Connect.

You can also use the AirPlay icon in the Music app to select AirPods to stream music from your Mac to your ears. However, my experience of connecting to AirPods via AirPlay in Music is a bull's-eye. Usually miss.

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Settings of AirPods on a Mac.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Adjusting controls on a Mac

I am not sure why I have never tried to adjust AirPod settings on the Mac. I suppose it's because my primary device to use them is my iPhone. Nevertheless, a message on 9to5Mac displays details about the process for adjusting your AirPods settings for controlling playback and the use of Siri.

With your AirPods connected to your Mac, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth . Click on Options next to your AirPods and use the drop-down menu to adjust the settings as desired.

Link prompt for AirPods that are already linked with another iCloud account.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Sharing, with restrictions

What happens if someone else tries to use your AirPods? A message appears that the AirPods are not theirs. Of course he or she can connect the AirPods to their iPhone by tapping Connect but it is nice to know that they cannot sneak into your AirPods in a specific listening time without your knowledge.

Share music, but no phone calls

Splitting AirPods between two people is like sharing headphones, minus the wire. But unfortunately, AirPods only make one microphone active at a time. That means that two people cannot jump on one phone call. But you both could listen while only one person speaks.

You can assign microphone tasks to a specific AirPod in the Bluetooth settings section under Settings > Bluetooth > tap "i" next to your AirPods and then Microphone and select the AirPod that you want to use as an all-time microphone.

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Jason Cipriani / CNET

Share audio with friends

Starting with iOS 13, if you are listening to a new album or streaming a show and a friend or family member who also has AirPods wants to listen, use the new Audio sharing feature . Have your friend keep his iPhone at the top of yours and follow the directions.

Check if your firmware has been updated

Apple has quietly pushed new firmware to AirPods to improve performance. You cannot manually update the firmware, but you can check whether you have the latest version.

Go to Settings to General > About on your iPhone when your AirPods are in your ears. At the bottom of the page, a tab AirPods displays the model and serial number plus the firmware version.

Wireless charging is optional

In addition to the second generation of AirPods, Apple has released a new AirPods case that works with Qi-based wireless charging pads. You don't have to buy the AirPods with the wireless charging cassette – it even saves you a little money if you skip it.

You can still buy a few AirPods for $ 159, and they come with better battery life and Hey Siri. For $ 199 you also get the new wireless charging cassette. The AirPods Pro costs $ 249 and comes standard with a wireless charging case.

First generation case upgrade

If you don't mind upgrading your AirPods, but you have the idea to charge your AirPods wirelessly, you can buy the latest case yourself. It will cost you $ 79.

Apple continues to make improvements and add features to the AirPods with iOS updates. The most recent, iOS 13 is what has added the ability for Siri to read your messages to you along with a special dark mode improved Reminders app .

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Apple & # 39; s AirPods Pro have some new tricks.


Jason Cipriani / CNET


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