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Home / Tips and Tricks / The AirPods for iPhone sharing feature is simple and great. Here’s how to share music and more

The AirPods for iPhone sharing feature is simple and great. Here’s how to share music and more



audio-sharing-ios

Don’t share your AirPods, share the audio.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Have you ever wanted to watch a video from your phone with someone, without getting a splitter or clamping your AirPod in their ear? Apple’s Audio Sharing feature has been flying under the radar since it was released last year. But with iOS 14Has Apple streamlined the process, making it easier to share the audio playing on your iPhone or iPad without any of your AirPods or Beats earplugs or stretch out your over-ear AirPods Max headphones.

When using Audio Sharing, it means you can keep your AirPods in your ears, and they can use theirs – the ick factor is no more.

Sharing audio is as easy as the first time you connect your AirPods to your iPhone, once you figure it out. Here’s What You Should Know.

Sharing audio goes beyond AirPods

Apple sometimes refers to the feature as “Share audio with AirPods,” but it isn’t limited to just AirPods. In fact, it works with any pair of wireless headphones or earbuds powered by the H1 or W1 processor. Here’s the full list:

In addition to a compatible audio device, you also need an iPhone or iPad that supports Audio Sharing. It’s important to note, just because your device supports the latest version of iOS doesn’t automatically mean it supports this feature. At the bottom of this post is a full list of compatible devices.

installation-audio-sharing-ios-14

Sharing the audio from your phone or tablet is easy.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Use audio sharing with iPhone and iPad

It only takes a few seconds to set up Audio Sharing so that your friend or loved one can listen with you. Start listening to a show or music on your iPhone or iPad with your headphones or AirPods. Then tap the AirPlay icon – which you can find in the app you are using to stream, on the lock screen, or in the Control Center. Just below your AirPods or Beats, a Share audio button. Tap on it and follow the instructions.

If your friend has AirPods, he should put them in the charging case and open the lid before placing them next to your iPhone or iPad. If they have Beats headphones, they’ll have to press and hold the power button to put them into pairing mode by pressing and holding the power button for a few seconds and then holding them next to your device. You will be asked if you want to share audio with their device; accept it and the audio will start streaming to both your headphones or Airpods.

audio-sharing-control audio

Adjust the volume for both connected devices in the Control Center or with the volume buttons on the side of your phone.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Who controls the audio?

Whoever shares the audio from their device can control the volume for any connected headphones or earbuds. Adjust the volume using the volume keys on the side of the phone or by opening Control Center and long pressing the volume slider. Notice the little icon with two people on the volume slider? This way you know that you are sharing audio and operating both devices.

After a long press on the volume slider in the Control Center, two volume sliders will appear allowing you to independently adjust the volume of each connected device.

Alternatively, you can also adjust the volume in the AirPlay menu, but the sliders are smaller and finer for making minor adjustments.


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Which iPhone and iPad models work?

The list of supported iPhone and iPad models is extensive, but there are limits. Here is the current list of supported Apple devices:

Audio sharing is just one of the many features in there iOS 14 and iPadOS, including a homescreen widgets. But more importantly, there are plenty features that the AirPods offer, and the AirPods Pro has a few tricks of its own.


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