Best AirPods and AirPods Pro Tips and Tricks

Whether you have a pair of AirPods, AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, there are a lot of features to learn.

For example, did you know that AirPods can be found using the Find My app on your iPhone? Or how about the fact that you can use AirPods with an Android phone or Windows PC?

Below you’ll find several tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your AirPods.

AirPods integrate and work across all your Apple devices without much effort on your part. For example, pairing your earbuds with all your Apple devices — yes, that includes your Apple Watch, iPad, Mac or Apple TV — can be done in a matter of seconds.

After unboxing your AirPods, open the charging case (leave the earbuds inside of it) next to your unlocked iPhone. After a second or two you’ll see an alert asking if you want to pair AirPods with your iPhone – tap Connect and you’re done.


Your AirPods are now paired with every Apple device that uses your iCloud account.

Use AirPods with Android and Windows Devices

Just because AirPods are designed to work seamlessly with Apple products, doesn’t mean they won’t work with Android phones or Windows computers. AirPods use Bluetooth, so they’ll function as a standard pair of Bluetooth earbuds with non-Apple devices.

To connect your AirPods to an Android device or Windows PC, drop the earbuds into the charging case and open the lid. Press the button on the case until the indicator light flashes to let you know the AirPods are in pairing mode.

Then go into Bluetooth Settings and select your AirPods on the device you want to connect them to.

Playback controls should work on non-Apple devices, but some features like auto-pause/play and hands-free Siri will be absent when you remove the earbuds.

Checking how much your AirPods charge can be done a few different ways. It’s quickest to open the charging case next to your iPhone or iPad and wait for an alert — similar to the one that appeared during the initial pairing — to show how much charge is in the case and each earbud.

Another quick way to check battery life is to add the Battery widget to your iPhone’s home screen. Press and hold an empty space on your screen until the app icon starts to move. Next, tap on the “+” sign in the top-left corner. Locate Batteries in the list of widgets, and then drag the size of the widget to your Home screen. Whenever your AirPods are in use, the widget will show their battery level.

As you’re using AirPods, you’ll naturally want to control the music or podcast you’re listening to. You don’t need to pick up your iPhone or go back to your desk to change tracks. The quickest way to do things like stop or skip a track is to use the built-in controls. Those controls will vary depending on the model of AirPods you use.

For longer-stemmed AirPods (1st and 2nd generation) you can double-tap each AirPod to trigger a different task. We’ll show you how to customize each action in the next tip.

Jacob Kroll / CNN

For the AirPods Pro and the new third-generation AirPods, you’ll squeeze the stem of any earbud. Here is the number of taps required for the various controls:

  • A squeeze: play/pause toggle
  • Double squeeze: Skip forward
  • Triple Squeeze: leave behind
  • long press: Switch between ANC or Transparency mode for AirPods Pro or trigger Siri for the latest AirPods

If you have a pair of AirPods Max headphones, all controls are done using the Digital Crown and noise control buttons above the right ear cup. Turn the Crown to adjust the volume up or down, or use the following to control playback, cancel noise, or trigger Siri:

  • one press: play/pause toggle
  • double press: Skip forward
  • Triple Press: leave behind
  • long press: trigger siri

To switch between noise cancellation mode and transparency mode, single-press the noise control button.

Where to Find and Change AirPods Settings

There’s no dedicated app to adjust settings or change controls for your AirPods. Instead, you need to dive into your iPhone’s Bluetooth settings to make any changes.

With your AirPods connected to your iPhone, open the Settings app and then select Bluetooth. Find the name of your AirPods and tap the “i” to the right of the name.

Here you’ll be able to rename, switch between transparency and noise-canceling modes, adjust what double-tapping or long-pressing the earbud does, or the earbud for the AirPods Pro (or Beats Fit Pro) Tip can run fit test.

One of the most important features to double-check and turn on is the Find My Network option if it’s available (more on this below).

Take a few minutes and go through each setting to make sure your AirPods are set up exactly the way you want them to, and if you change your mind later, you can always return to this Settings screen and You can change it again.

Apple added the ability to use Siri with your voice starting with the second generation AirPods. That means if you have AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, second-generation AirPods, or third-generation AirPods, you can simply say “Hey Siri,” followed by a command whenever you’re using them.

For example, you can use Siri to send messages, change the volume, change what you’re listening to, or even ask for weather updates.

If you have first-generation AirPods, you can trigger Siri by double-tapping on any earbud.

AirPods and charging cases are small, and instead lend themselves to getting lost. The easiest way to track them is to use the Find My app on your iPhone.

Once the app is open, select the Devices tab and find your AirPods in the list. You’ll see a map that shows the last location your AirPods moved from your iPhone to first or second generation AirPods, or the current location of third generation AirPods, AirPods Max, and AirPods Pro for up to the last 24 hours. when they were connected to one of your Apple devices. After 24 hours, the Find My app will show their last known location.

Also available in the Find My app is the ability to play a sound on a lost AirPod to help you find it.

If you don’t want to go into your iPhone’s Bluetooth settings to adjust the listening setting, here’s a quick shortcut: Swipe down from the top-right corner of your iPhone or iPad’s screen.

The volume bar will let you make quick adjustments, but if you long-press the bar you’ll see additional options.

For noise-canceling AirPods — Pro or Max — you’ll have a button to switch modes. And you can also find controls for spatial audio.

Mike Andronico/CNN

If you have AirPods Pro or Beats Fit Pro, you may see an additional feature listed on the Bluetooth settings page for your earbuds. The ear fit test plays a variety of sounds on each earbud and then tells you whether you’ve fitted the correct ear tip size.

If it looks like you don’t have the right sized ear tip, you can use one of the extra tips included with your earbuds and then run the test again.

If you notice that your AirPods are getting dirty, you can clean them quickly and easily, but make sure you’re doing it the right way so you don’t damage them. According to Apple, the best way to clean your AirPods is to use dry cotton swabs on the microphone and mesh speakers. You can use a dry, lint-free cloth to clean the rest of each AirPod’s housing.

Use the same type of cloth you used to clean the charging case, and if necessary, you can moisten the cloth lightly in isopropyl alcohol.

Jacob Kroll / CNN

It is a good rule not to get any model of AirPods and associated charging case wet. That said, if you have AirPods Pro or third-generation AirPods, don’t stress yourself if they’re exposed to water or sweat because they’re both sweat and water-resistant—not-proof.

Difference? You can’t wear your earbuds in the shower or while swimming, and if you’re sweating a lot after a workout, you should remove the earbuds and wipe them down as soon as possible.

In other words, it’s fine to wear them while working out and they’re likely to survive sweat and the occasional splash of water, but make sure you dry them before putting them back in their charging case.

The MagSafe Charging Case that comes with the latest AirPods boasts of the same resistance rating, however the AirPods Pro Wireless Charging Case and MagSafe Charging Case lack any kind of water or sweat protection.


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