How to use AirPods

What are AirPods?

AirPods are fully wireless headphones from Apple that look a bit like the Apple EarPods from older devices but without the wires. AirPods feature Apple-designed hardware inside as a special wireless chip called the W1 or H1 (depending on the version), a gesture accelerometer, dual optical sensors, dual beam-forming microphones for Siri and phone calls, and a second voice recognition accelerometer.

AirPods comes with the AirPods Charging Case, which is used both for charging and storing purposes so that the AirPods do not get misplaced. The Charging Case is about the size of a dental floss jar, which makes it easy to pack. A Lightning port at the bottom helps you to charge the AirPods and the case with the Lightning cables you already have on hand, and the Wireless Charging Case allows you to connect with a wireless Qi charger.

Use your iPhone to set up your AirPods

If you first set up your AirPods make sure the device is up to date. Then, take the following steps:

  • Unlock your iPhone
  • Go to the Home screen.
  • Open the case—with your AirPods inside—and hold it next to your iPhone.
  • A setup animation appears on your iPhone.
  • Tap Connect. The pairing process will begin.
  • If you have AirPods Pro, read the next three screens.
  • If you have AirPods Pro or AirPods (2nd generation) and you are already installing “Hey Siri” on your iPhone, so “Hey Siri” is ready for use with your AirPods. If you have not already set up “Hey Siri” and have AirPods Pro or AirPods (2nd generation), then you will be guided through the setup.
  • Tap Done.
  • If you’re signed in to iCloud, your AirPods are set up automatically with any of your supported devices that are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID.

Pairing with Mac

  • Click on the Apple menu. the icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  • Click on System Preferences. It’s near the top of the drop-down menu.
  • Click on Bluetooth. It’s near the center of the window.
  • Click on Turn Bluetooth On. It’s on the left side of the dialog box.
  • Hold the AirPods case near your Mac. The AirPods must be in the case and the lid closed.
  • Open the lid on the AirPods case. 
  • Press and hold the “Setup” button. It’s a small, round button on the back of the AirPods case. Hold the button until the status light flashes white.
  • Click on AirPods. It will appear in the “Devices” section on the right side of your Mac’s Bluetooth dialog box.
  • Click on Pair. Your AirPods will now pair with your Mac.
    • Check “Show Bluetooth in menu bar” at the bottom of the dialog box to enable a drop-down menu that will allow you to quickly switch your Mac’s audio output to AirPods without going through “System Preferences.”

Pairing with Windows 10 PC

  • Open your AirPods case and press the pairing button on your device. If you get a notification to connect using SwiftPair, then accept it. This is the same way to get a stylus, keyboard, or mouse paired with your device.
  • Open Bluetooth settings in Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and other devices.
  • Tap “Add a Device”.
  • Choose “Bluetooth”.
  • Choose the AirPods.
  • Let Windows Update finish the pairing process.
  • Start listening to your computer. You are done.

Listening with AirPods

  • Take AirPods out of their case. They are turned on and ready to use when removed: there is no switch on / off.
  • Put AirPods in the ears. When placed, they are instantly connected to the audio output from the paired gadget you’re using; you don’t need to do anything more to hear passive audio over your AirPods, including notification sounds and ringtones.
    • Start a song, podcast, video, or other audio playback on your paired device to listen with your AirPods.
    • AirPods easily connect to both the iPhone and Apple Watch. This means you’ll hear audio on your AirPods from both your iPhone and Apple Watch without having to switch or pair it up again.
  • Tap double on an AirPod. Doing so will activate Siri, answer an incoming phone call, disconnect a call, or switch to a different call.
    • AirPods are designed to be controlled with Siri. Commands such as “Play my playlist,” “Skip to next song and “Turn the volume” — as well as others — can be performed with the Siri features of AirPods.
    • Tap Bluetooth, tap your AirPods, then tap Play / Pause in the “DOUBLE-TAP ON AIRPODS” section to change the double-tap function to play or pause music.
  • Remove one AirPod from your ear. This pauses audio playback on the paired device.
  • Remove both AirPods from your ears. This stops audio playback on the paired device.

Charging Your AirPods

  • Place AirPods in their case. AirPods shut down when in the case.
  • Close the lid on the case. The case is also a charger and will charge your AirPods when the lid is closed.
  • Charge the case. Use the USB/Lightning cable that came with your AirPods to charge the case and AirPods at the same time.
    • The USB end can be connected to an AC adapter or desktop computer to charge.

Control audio with your AirPods Pro

  • To play and pause your audio content, press the force sensor on the stem of an AirPod. To resume playback, press again.
  • To skip forward, double-press the force sensor on the stem of an AirPod.
  • To skip back, triple-press the force sensor.
  • To change the volume, say “Hey, Siri,” then say something like “Turn down the volume.” Or drag the volume slider in the app you’re listening to, on the Lock screen, or in Control Center. You can also open Now Playing on your Apple Watch and turn the Digital Crown to adjust volume.
    • AirPods Pro will let you control how much you hear about your surroundings. To switch between Effective Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode, press and hold the force sensor to. In Settings > Bluetooth > AirPods Pro > Press and Hold AirPods, you can choose which mode the press-and-hold action switches between.

Control audio with your AirPods (1st or 2nd generation)

You can use the AirPods for using Siri and controlling the audio content playback.
By default you use Siri for AirPods (2nd generation), by saying ”Hey Siri.” Then if you double-tap an AirPod, you can either play music, or skip it.
By default, you use the AirPods (1st generation) to double-tap Siri.

Regardless of which model of AirPods you have, you can set each AirPod to do one of these when you double-tap it:

  • Use Siri
  • Play and pause your audio content
  • Skip to the next track
  • Go back to the previous track
  • Turn off your audio content

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