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13 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Apple AirPods

These helpful tips and tricks can help you control and customize your Apple AirPods to manage playback, preserve the battery, find them if they’re lost, and a lot more.

By Lance Whitney

With Apple’s AirPods, you can listen to your favorite music, audiobooks, and podcasts just like any other pair of true wireless earbuds. But if you know the right tricks, you can do a lot more, like talk to Siri, control music playback, and enhance the audio. You can also check and preserve the battery charge on your AirPods and hunt them down if they’re missing. Below are 13 tips to help you get the most out of your AirPods. (AirPods Pro have a few more bells and whistles than the standard AirPods, like spatial audio; the tips below apply to both versions of Apple’s earbuds.)

Pair AirPods With a New iPhone

Connecting your AirPods to a new iPhone is quick and seamless. Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your iPhone. Open the lid of the charging case on your AirPods but don’t remove them just yet. A card flashes on your phone telling you that they’re not connected to this iPhone. Tap Connect.

Next, press and hold down the button on the back of the charging case but make sure the lid stays open. A notice pops up saying that the AirPods are paired and connected. Tap Done, pull out your earbuds, and tune up your favorite music. The next time you want to use them with your iPhone, just remove them from the case, and they’ll automatically connect.

Pair AirPods With an iPad

If you want to use your AirPods with an iPad after pairing them with your iPhone, Apple does the work for you. When you pair your AirPods with an Apple device, iCloud syncs that pairing with any other Apple devices connected to your Apple account. On your iPad, swipe to display the Control Center, then long-press on the Music card. Tap the music source icon and change it to your AirPods to use them with your iPad.

Pair AirPods With an Apple Watch

There’s actually no special trick to using your AirPods on an Apple Watch. Pairing them with your iPhone also pairs them with your Apple Watch. Open Bluetooth on your Apple Watch to check their status once they’ve been removed from their case. Make sure the AirPods are connected. If not, tap the entry for your AirPods to connect them, then open your favorite music or audio app.

Rename Your AirPods

By default, your AirPods are named after you, as in John’s AirPods. If you want to name them something else, turn to your iPhone and go to Settings > Bluetooth > info icon > Name, then tap the Name field to type the new name. Tap Done and then Back.

Call Up Siri

You can always activate Siri by pressing a button on your phone or by saying the activation phrase, but your AirPods also have the built-in means to call Apple’s voice assistant. By default, double-tapping on either AirPod activates Siri. Speak your question or request through the built-in microphone, such as asking for the current temperature, and Siri will respond.

Control Your Music

If you want to pause, play, or jump forward and back a track, you could ask Siri to do it, but you can also change the action associated with double-tapping on an AirPod to control your music. Navigate to Bluetooth > [Your AirPods info icon] > Double-Tap on AirPod. Tap right or left, and on the next page, select the action you’d like that AirPod to perform when you double tap.

Improve Sound With Headphone Accommodation

A new feature known as Headphone Accommodations enhances the audio from your AirPods by boosting softer sounds and certain frequencies. You must be running iOS 14 on your iPhone and have either second-generation AirPods or AirPods Pro for this feature to work.

Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Headphone Accommodations and turn on the switch. Tap Play Sample to start playing music, which will allow you to tune the audio for a balanced tone across a range of frequencies, a vocal range for middle frequencies, or brightness for higher frequencies. You can also boost softer sounds slightly, moderately, or strongly.

Automatically Transfer Audio to Your AirPods

When you put in your AirPods, you want your music to start playing, and when you take them out, the music should pause. You can set this up on your iPhone by going to Settings > Bluetooth > [Your AirPods info icon] > Automatic Ear Detection and turning this feature on.

Now you can place your AirPods in your ears and the music will bounce from your device’s built-in speaker to the earbud. If you remove one AirPod the music will pause. Put it back in your ear, and the music resumes. Remove both and the music stops.

If you have iOS 14 or higher, your AirPods will also automatically switch among your iPhone, iPad, and Mac as long as they’re all pointing to the same iCloud account.

Change the Microphone Source

Your AirPods come with a built-in microphone in both the left and right buds so you can make calls and talk to Siri. By default, the microphone can automatically switch between the two AirPods, but if you want to set the mic to a specific ear, open Settings > Bluetooth > [Your AirPods info icon] > Microphone and change it from Automatic to Always Left AirPod or Always Right AirPod.

Share Audio With Apple’s AirPods

With iOS 13.1 and iPadOS, Apple adds an Audio Sharing feature that lets you share with a friend what you’re listening to on your Apple AirPods or select Beats headphones. Here’s how it works.

Preserve the Battery Charge

Do your AirPods lose their battery charge too quickly? That can happen if you use both earbuds a lot. If you don’t mind listening through just one AirPod, you can make the charge last longer by removing one and putting it back in the case. When the current charge runs out, swap in the fully charged one.

Check the Battery Charge

You can check the current charge on your AirPods and the charging case. Place at least one AirPod in the case. A card appears on your iPhone’s screen to indicate the case and AirPods’ charge level.

You can also check the Batteries widget. Swipe to the right on your iOS device until you reach the Widgets screen, then swipe to the Batteries section. Tap the Show More link to see the charge on all your connected devices, including the AirPods and case.

Find Your Lost AirPods

Did you lose your AirPods again? Don’t worry. You can track them down through your iPhone or iPad. On your iOS/iPadOS device, open the Find My app. Make sure you’re signed in with your Apple account. Tap the entry for your AirPods and the map should pinpoint their location.

If the earbuds are out of the case and paired with your iPhone or iPad, you can also find them with a sound. Tap the Actions link, then tap Play Sound. Your AirPods emit a beeping noise to help you locate them.

Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.



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