If you were holding out on redesigned AirPods like I was because of their Frankenstein look, then you will probably still be waiting until 2019 based on the latest AirPod rumors. I finally gave in to getting a pair of AirPods after going through at least a dozen bluetooth headsets over the past year. Many mainstream publications picked AirPods as Apple’s best product of last year. After testing out a demo unit in the Apple Store, I have to agree that they really do offer a huge upgrade on all of my previous bluetooth headsets. They are easy to use, and the sound is impressive.
Pairing your AirPods
One of AirPods’ best features is easy pairing. Once you have paired your AirPods with one Apple device, it will automatically be paired with all your other devices, as long as they are on the same iCloud account. Here’s how to connect your AirPods for the first time:
Go to your iPhone’s Home screen.
Open the AirPods case (no need to take them out yet), and hold it next to your iPhone.
When the popup appears on the screen, select Connect, then select Done.
You can now go ahead and put the AirPods in your ears.
To use your AirPods, simply put them in your ears. They will connect automatically, and when you press play on music or a video, the sounds will be routed to the AirPods.
To pause playback, remove one AirPod. To resume playback, put it back in your ear. This lets you pause the music when you take out a ‘pod to listen to someone. If you take out both AirPods, then playback will stop, and audio will be routed back to the iPhone’s own speaker.
Another cool tip is to put one Pod in your ear, and keep the other in the case. The iPhone will then mix both left and right tracks into one mono track, so you can listen to all of a stereo track in one ear.
Note: When one AirPod’s battery runs down, you can switch to the other, while the first one recharges in the case. This doubles your usage time.
Using AirPods with other devices
To use your AirPods on another Apple device, use the standard AirPlay box to select them as an output. AirPlay can be found in Control Center, or by tapping the AirPlay icon in any video or music playback view. Your AirPods will be listed, alongside any other available AirPlay speakers.
Checking battery level on your AirPods
To see how much charge remains in your AirPods, just open the lid of the case and hold it near an iPhone or iPad that has been paired with them. After a few seconds, a panel will pop up on the screen with the charge levels for the AirPods themselves, and for the charging case.
Note: If you’re using the AirPods, then you can also use the battery widget on your iPhone or iPad to check the levels.
Customizing your AirPods’ gestures
By default, the double tap gestures for controlling your AirPods are play/pause (right AirPod), and summon Siri (left AirPod). You can customize these on your iPhone, in the Settings app. The available choices are Siri, play/pause, next track, previous track, and off.
Pairing AirPods with other Bluetooth devices
You can also use AirPods with any other device that works with Bluetooth speakers and headphones. You lose the cool extra features that work with the latest Apple devices, but you still will maintain the sound quality. Just go ahead and pair the AirPods like you would pair any other Bluetooth audio receiver. The exact method depends on the device you’re using. To put the AirPods in pairing mode, just press and hold the setup button on the back for about 5 seconds or until the LED pulses white.
How to reset your AirPods
If you have trouble with your AirPods, there are a few tricks to get them working again. Apple has a support page with instructions, but the basics are that you should make sure they’re charged, then try closing the lid, and waiting for 15 seconds before opening it again. If that doesn’t work, hold the button on the back of the AirPods’ case for about 5 seconds or until the status light flashes white. If that doesn’t work, hold the same button down for at least 15 seconds or until the status lamp “flashes amber a few times and then flashes white to perform a reset.