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Friday, April 19, 2024

How to Make the Most of Your AirPods and AirPods Pro: 13 Tips and Tricks

If you own a pair of AirPods or AirPods Pro, you may not be aware of all the features and functions they offer. These wireless earbuds from Apple are more than just headphones. They can also enhance your listening experience, connect with other devices, and even help you find your phone.

In this article, we’ll show you 13 tips and tricks to make the most of your AirPods and AirPods Pro. Whether you have the original model, the second-generation ones, or the new AirPods Pro 2 that came out in September 2023, there’s something for everyone here.

1. Pair your AirPods with your iPhone or iPad in seconds

One of the best things about AirPods is how easy they are to pair with your iPhone or iPad. All you have to do is unlock your device and open the charging case near it. A prompt will appear on your screen asking if you want to connect your AirPods. Tap Connect and you’re done.

Not only will your AirPods work with your iPhone or iPad, but they’ll also be paired with all Apple devices you’ve signed in to via your iCloud account. This means you can switch between your Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and more without having to pair them again.

2. Control your AirPods with gestures and buttons

Unlike some other wireless earbuds, AirPods don’t have touchscreens or physical buttons. Instead, they have sensors that detect when you tap or squeeze them.

For the original AirPods and the second-generation ones, you can tap either earbud once to play or pause music, answer or end a phone call, or activate Siri. You can also customize what happens when you double-tap each earbud in the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. For example, you can set it to skip to the next track, go back to the previous track, or turn off the microphone.

For the AirPods Pro and the AirPods Pro 2, you can squeeze the stem of either earbud once to do the same things as tapping on the older models. You can also squeeze twice to skip forward, squeeze three times to skip back, or squeeze and hold to switch between noise cancellation and transparency modes.

3. Adjust the volume of your AirPods with ease

There are several ways to change the volume of your AirPods without reaching for your phone or tablet. Here are some of them:

  • Use Siri: You can activate Siri by tapping or squeezing your AirPods (depending on which model you have) and then say something like “Turn up the volume” or “Lower the volume by 20%”. You can also ask Siri what the current volume level is.
  • Use Control Center: You can swipe down from the top-right corner of your iPhone or iPad screen (or swipe up from the bottom on older models) to access Control Center. There you’ll see a volume slider that you can adjust with your finger.
  • Use an Apple Watch: If you have an Apple Watch paired with your iPhone, you can use it as a remote control for your AirPods. Just open the Now Playing app on your watch and use the Digital Crown or tap on the screen to change the volume.
  • Use widgets: You can also add a volume widget to your iPhone or iPad home screen or lock screen for quick access. Just tap and hold on an empty space on your screen until the icons start wiggling. Then tap on the plus sign at the top-left corner and search for Volume in the widget gallery. Choose a size and location for your widget and tap on Add Widget.

4. Experience spatial audio with your AirPods Pro or AirPods Pro 2

One of the coolest features of the AirPods Pro and AirPods Pro 2 is spatial audio. This is a technology that creates a surround sound effect by using directional audio filters and motion sensors. It makes you feel like you’re in a movie theater or a concert hall when you watch videos that support Dolby Atmos or other formats.

To use spatial audio, you need an iPhone or iPad running iOS 14 or later. You also need to enable the feature in the Settings app on your device. Go to Bluetooth and tap on the info icon next to your AirPods Pro or AirPods Pro 2. Then tap on Spatial Audio and turn it on. You can also test how it sounds by tapping on See & Hear How It Works.

To enjoy spatial audio, you need to watch videos that support it on apps like Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix, and more. You’ll see a Dolby Atmos or 5.1/7.1 logo on the video description if it’s compatible. You can also check if spatial audio is active by opening Control Center and long-pressing on the volume slider. You’ll see a Spatial Audio On label under your AirPods name.

5. Find your AirPods or AirPods Pro with Find My

Losing your AirPods or AirPods Pro can be a nightmare, especially if they’re not in their charging case. Fortunately, you can use the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or iCloud.com to locate them. The app will show you the last known location of your earbuds on a map and let you play a sound to help you find them.

To use Find My, you need to have it enabled on your device and sign in with your Apple ID. You also need to have your AirPods or AirPods Pro connected to your device via Bluetooth. If they’re out of range or out of battery, you won’t be able to see their current location or play a sound.

To find your earbuds, open the Find My app and tap on Devices. Then tap on your AirPods or AirPods Pro from the list. You’ll see a map with their location and a button to play a sound. Tap on Play Sound and wait for a few seconds until you hear a chirping noise coming from your earbuds. You can also mute one earbud at a time to focus on finding the other one.

If you have the new AirPods Pro 2, you can also use the Precision Finding feature to get more accurate directions to your earbuds. This feature uses the Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip in your iPhone 11 or later and your AirPods Pro 2 to show you how far away they are and in which direction you need to move. To use Precision Finding, tap on Find Nearby in the Find My app and follow the instructions on the screen.

6. Check and extend the battery life of your AirPods or AirPods Pro

One of the drawbacks of wireless earbuds is that they need to be charged frequently. Depending on how you use them, your AirPods or AirPods Pro can last up to five hours of listening time or three hours of talk time on a single charge. The charging case can provide additional charges for up to 24 hours of listening time or 18 hours of talk time.

To check the battery level of your earbuds and their case, you can do any of the following:

  • Open the charging case near your iPhone or iPad and wait for a pop-up window to appear with the battery percentages.
  • Add a Batteries widget to your iPhone or iPad home screen or lock screen and tap on it to see the battery levels.
  • Ask Siri “How’s the battery on my AirPods?” or “How’s the battery on my AirPods case?” and get a verbal answer.
  • Swipe down from the top-right corner of your iPhone or iPad screen (or swipe up from the bottom on older models) to access Control Center. Then tap on the ear icon at the top-left corner and see the battery levels.

To extend the battery life of your earbuds and their case, you can do any of the following:

  • Turn off noise cancellation or transparency mode when you don’t need them by squeezing the stem of your AirPods Pro or AirPods Pro 2.
  • Turn off automatic switching between devices by going to Settings > Bluetooth > Info icon next to your AirPods or AirPods Pro > Connect to This iPhone/iPad > When Last Connected to This iPhone/iPad.
  • Turn off automatic ear detection by going to Settings > Bluetooth > Info icon next to your AirPods or AirPods Pro > Automatic Ear Detection > Off.
  • Use only one earbud at a time and keep the other one in the charging case.
  • Charge your earbuds and their case regularly with a Lightning cable or a wireless charger (if you have a wireless charging case).

7. Clean your AirPods or AirPods Pro regularly

Keeping your AirPods or AirPods Pro clean is not only hygienic, but also essential for their performance and longevity. Dirt, dust, wax, and moisture can affect the sound quality, the microphone, the sensors, and the battery life of your earbuds.

To clean your earbuds and their case, you can follow these steps:

  • Remove the ear tips from your AirPods Pro or AirPods Pro 2 and wash them with water. Don’t use soap or other cleaning products. Let them dry completely before putting them back on.
  • Use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe the exterior of your earbuds and their case. Don’t use wet wipes, alcohol, or other liquids.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or a cotton swab to gently remove any debris from the speaker grills, the microphone holes, and the charging contacts of your earbuds and their case. Don’t push too hard or insert anything into the openings.
  • If you notice any wax buildup on your earbuds, you can use a toothpick or a similar tool to carefully scrape it off. Don’t use sharp or metal objects that could damage your earbuds.

8. Customize the noise control modes of your AirPods Pro or AirPods Pro 2

One of the main advantages of the AirPods Pro and AirPods Pro 2 over the older models is that they have active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency modes. ANC blocks out external sounds so you can focus on your audio, while transparency lets in some ambient sounds so you can hear what’s going on around you.

You can switch between these modes by squeezing the stem of your earbuds or by tapping on the ear icon in Control Center. You can also customize how these modes work by going to Settings > Bluetooth > Info icon next to your AirPods Pro or AirPods Pro 2 > Noise Control.

There you’ll see options to adjust the level of noise cancellation and transparency, as well as to turn off noise control altogether. You can also choose which modes you want to cycle through when you squeeze the stem of your earbuds.

9. Share audio with another pair of AirPods

If you want to share your audio with someone else who has a pair of AirPods or compatible Beats headphones, you can use the audio sharing feature on your iPhone or iPad. This feature lets you connect two sets of wireless earbuds to one device and listen to the same music, podcast, video, game, or phone call.

To use audio sharing, you need an iPhone or iPad running iOS 13 or later and two pairs of AirPods (any model), AirPods Pro (any model), Beats Solo3 Wireless, Beats Studio3 Wireless, BeatsX, Powerbeats3 Wireless, Powerbeats Pro, Beats Solo Pro, Beats Flex, or Powerbeats.

To share audio with another pair of earbuds, you can do any of the following:

  • Bring both pairs of earbuds near your device and open their charging cases. A prompt will appear on your screen asking if you want to share audio. Tap Share Audio and follow the instructions.
  • Connect one pair of earbuds to your device and put them in your ears. Then open Control Center and tap on the ear icon. Tap on Share Audio and bring the other pair of earbuds near your device. Tap Share Audio again when they appear on your screen.
  • Connect one pair of earbuds to your device and put them in your ears. Then go to Settings > Bluetooth and tap on Share Audio under your earbuds name. Bring the other pair of earbuds near your device and tap Share Audio again when they appear on your screen.

To stop sharing audio with another pair of earbuds, you can do any of the following:

  • Put both pairs of earbuds back in their charging cases.
  • Open Control Center and tap on the ear icon. Tap on Stop Sharing under either pair of earbuds.
  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth and tap on Stop Sharing under either pair of earbuds.

10. Use Siri to read your messages and announce calls

If you want to stay connected without looking at your phone, you can use Siri to read your messages and announce calls through your AirPods or AirPods Pro. This feature lets you hear who’s calling or texting you without interrupting what you’re doing.

To use Siri to read your messages and announce calls, you need an iPhone or iPad running iOS 13 or later and a pair of AirPods (any model), or compatible Beats headphones.

To enable Siri to read your messages and announce calls, you can do the following:

  • Go to Settings > Siri & Search and turn on Announce Messages and Announce Calls.
  • Go to Settings > Notifications > Announce Messages with Siri and choose which apps you want Siri to read messages from. You can also choose whether you want Siri to reply without confirmation or not.
  • Go to Settings > Phone > Announce Calls and choose whether you want Siri to announce calls always, only with headphones, only in car, or never.

To use Siri to read your messages and announce calls, you can do the following:

  • When you hear a message notification through your earbuds, Siri will read the sender’s name and the message content. You can then say “Reply” to dictate a response or say “Tell me more” to hear more messages.
  • When you hear a call notification through your earbuds, Siri will announce the caller’s name or number. You can then say “Answer” to take the call or say “Decline” to reject it.

11. Switch devices seamlessly with automatic switching

If you have multiple Apple devices that are signed in with the same Apple ID, you can use the automatic switching feature to switch your AirPods or AirPods Pro between them without having to manually connect them. This feature lets you move from one device to another without missing a beat.

To use automatic switching, you need an iPhone or iPad running iOS 14 or later, a Mac running macOS Big Sur or later, an Apple Watch running watchOS 7 or later, or an Apple TV running tvOS 14 or later. You also need a pair of AirPods (second-generation or later), AirPods Pro (any model), or compatible Beats headphones.

To enable automatic switching, you can do the following:

  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth on your iPhone or iPad and tap on the info icon next to your AirPods or AirPods Pro. Make sure Connect to This iPhone/iPad is set to Automatically.
  • Go to System Preferences > Bluetooth on your Mac and click on Options next to your AirPods or AirPods Pro. Make sure Connect to This Mac is set to Automatically.
  • Go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth on your Apple TV and select your AirPods or AirPods Pro. Make sure they are connected and not paired.

To use automatic switching, you can do the following:

  • Put your earbuds in your ears and start playing audio on one of your devices. Your earbuds will automatically connect to that device.
  • Pick up another device and start playing audio on it. Your earbuds will automatically switch to that device.
  • To switch back to the previous device, pause the audio on the current device and resume the audio on the previous device. Your earbuds will automatically switch back.

12. Check if your ear tips fit well with the Ear Tip Fit Test

If you have a pair of AirPods Pro or AirPods Pro 2, you may have noticed that they come with three sizes of silicone ear tips: small, medium, and large. These ear tips are designed to provide a comfortable and secure fit in your ears, as well as create a seal for better noise cancellation and sound quality.

However, not all ears are the same size and shape, so it’s important to check if your ear tips fit well with the Ear Tip Fit Test. This test uses the microphones in your earbuds to measure how well they fit in your ears and whether you need to adjust them or try a different size.

To use the Ear Tip Fit Test, you need an iPhone or iPad running iOS 13 or later and a pair of AirPods Pro or AirPods Pro 2.

To run the Ear Tip Fit Test, you can do the following:

  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth on your iPhone or iPad and tap on the info icon next to your AirPods Pro or AirPods Pro 2.
  • Tap on Ear Tip Fit Test and follow the instructions on the screen.
  • Put your earbuds in your ears and tap on Play. You’ll hear some music playing for a few seconds while the test runs.
  • After the test is done, you’ll see a result for each earbud: Good Seal, Adjust, or Try a Different Ear Tip. If you see Good Seal, it means your ear tips fit well and no further action is needed. If you see Adjust, it means you need to reposition your ear tips in your ears for a better fit.
  • If you see Try a Different Ear Tip, it means you need to change your ear tips to a different size for a better fit.

13. Discover the new features of the AirPods Pro 2

  • If you have the new AirPods Pro 2 that were released in September 2023, you may be wondering what’s new and different from the previous model. Here are some of the new features and improvements that you can enjoy with the AirPods Pro 2:
  • Longer battery life: The AirPods Pro 2 can last up to six hours of listening time or four hours of talk time on a single charge, which is one hour more than the original AirPods Pro. The charging case can provide additional charges for up to 30 hours of listening time or 24 hours of talk time.
  • New charging case: The AirPods Pro 2 come with a new charging case that has a MagSafe connector and supports Find My. This means you can attach the case to a MagSafe charger or accessory for wireless charging, or use the Find My app to locate your case if you lose it.
  • Updated microphones: The AirPods Pro 2 have improved microphones that can reduce wind noise and enhance voice clarity. This can make your phone calls, voice recordings, and voice commands sound better and clearer.
  • New volume controls: The AirPods Pro 2 have new volume controls that let you adjust the volume by sliding your finger up or down on the stem of your earbuds. You can also customize what happens when you slide your finger in the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • New H2 chip: The AirPods Pro 2 have a new H2 chip that provides faster and more stable wireless connection, better audio processing, and lower power consumption. The H2 chip also enables some new features, such as Conversation Boost and Ambient EQ.

Conclusion

  • As you can see, there’s a lot more to your AirPods and AirPods Pro than meets the eye. By following these tips and tricks, you can make the most of your wireless earbuds and enjoy a better listening experience.
  • We hope this article has helped you learn how to use your AirPods and AirPods Pro more effectively. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below.
  • And if you’re looking for more articles on how to make the most of your Apple devices, check out our other posts on this blog.

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