The AirPods offer a seamless experience of listening music and attending calls on all apple devices. They are easy to connect, pair and switch between different devices but how many devices can AirPods connect to? Can AirPods connect to multiple devices? I am going to answer all such questions about AirPods and AirPods Pro in this post.
The AirPods come with many innovative and exciting features. These features include auto turn on/off, fast charging, single tap, double tap, triple tap and others. The AirPods can pair with multiple devices and switch between them automatically and manually.
Can AirPods Connect to Multiple Devices?
Yes, AirPods can connect to multiple devices, you can connect them to two devices and pair them with all your devices. For example: If you have an iPhone and an Apple Watch then you can connect the AirPods to both devices at the same time.
When your iPhone and Apple Watch are connected to same AirPods, the AirPods will consider audio output from only one device at a time. The AirPods will keep switching between these two devices depending upon your interaction.
How Many Devices Can AirPods Connect to?
AirPods can connect to two devices at once. These two devices include one iOS device and one watchOS device. It can be your iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch and Apple Watch that are synced with each other.
The AirPods can connect to multiple devices but they work with only one device at a time. Many apple device users often ask if they can connect the AirPods to multiple devices at the same time and the answer is yes for an iPhone and an Apple Watch, but the answer is no for two iPhones or one iPhone and one other device.
How Many Devices Can AirPods Pair with?
The AirPods can pair with multiple devices but there is no specific limit like maximum number of devices for AirPods pairing.
For example: If you have a Mac computer, a MacBook, an iPhone, an iPad, an Apple TV and an Apple Watch, you can pair the AirPods with all these devices one-by-one. Once paired, you can use AirPods with any one device at a time.
The AirPods come with in-built Bluetooth and they are compatible with all devices having Bluetooth functionality. It means that you can connect & pair AirPods with all Apple devices (iPhone, Mac, Apple TV, etc.) and non-Apple devices like Android phones, Windows computers and others.
How to Switch AirPods between 2 Apple Devices
When the AirPods are connected and paired with multiple devices, you can switch them between 2 apple devices as per your needs. The Apple provides quick switching feature on all AirPods models, the AirPods 2nd gen and 3rd gen switch faster between devices compared to AirPods 1st gen.
Here, the term “Switching AirPods” means switching of sound source of AirPods from iPhone to Apple Watch or Mac or any other device. The AirPods support two types of switching called automatic switching and manual switching. Let us discuss more to understand what auto and manual switching are and how they work.
When the AirPods are connected with your iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time, they work on automatic switching system. The AirPods switch their sound source between iPhone and Apple Watch based on your interaction with those devices.
The automatic switching between devices work with AirPods 2nd gen, AirPods 3rd gen, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. If you are signed in with same Apple ID on your devices then the AirPods will switch automatically from listening podcasts on your iPhone to listening music on your iPad and back to taking a call on your iPhone.
The Mac users should note that the Mac devices with macOS Big Sur or later may show a notification when AirPods switching automatically. In respond to such a notification, you need to click allow or connect as applicable.
Note: The AirPods switch automatically between Apple devices only when they are all signed in with the same Apple ID with two-factor authentication. Moreover, your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV must be updated to their latest OS version.
The AirPods should switch automatically between devices but sometimes it may not work. At that time, you can use manual switching feature to switch the AirPods between your iPhone, iPad, Mac and other devices.
Here I provide step-by-step process to switch AirPods manually on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac and Apple TV devices.
Steps to Switch AirPods Manually on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
- On your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, open the control center.
- Touch and hold the audio card located at upper right corner of the control center.
- Now, tap on a triangular icon (i.e. AirPlay icon).
- Choose the AirPods or any other device that you want to connect.
Steps to Switch AirPods Manually on Mac, MacBook and iMac
- If your Mac has macOS Big Sur or later, open control center and select AirPods or speakers under Output.
- If your Mac has macOS earlier than Big Sur then click the Volume Control/Speaker icon in menu bar and choose AirPods or speakers under Output.
Steps to Switch AirPods Manually on Apple TV
- Sign into your iCloud account on your Apple TV, skip this step if you are already signed in.
- Put the left and right AirPods in your left and right ears respectively.
- On your Apple TV, go to settings, then select Remotes and Devices.
- Select Bluetooth, choose your AirPods and choose Connect option.
- Your AirPods are connected to your Apple TV and should show up in My Devices section on the TV screen.
So, this is how you can manually switch AirPods between your devices.
How to Connect AirPods Pro to 2 Devices at Same Time
The AirPods can connect to 2 devices but switch the audio output between them. On the other hand, the AirPods Pro can connect to 2 devices at the same time and stream audio from both devices simultaneously. If you want to do this then you should have AirPods Pro and 2 apple devices.
Here I provide steps to connect AirPods Pro to 2 devices at same time. Let us assume that you have two iPhone models called iPhone 12 and iPhone 14.
- Make sure that both AirPods are into the charging case and the lid is closed.
- Open the AirPods Pro case lid and keep it near the iPhone 12.
- Turn on Bluetooth on iPhone 12 and connect to the AirPods Pro device.
- Get the left AirPod out of the charging case and place it in your left ear.
- Close the case lid and bring the iPhone 14 near it.
- Open the AirPods Pro case lid and press & hold the function key on back.
- Leave the function key on AirPods Pro as you see a pop-up on the iPhone 14 screen.
- Tap Connect on iPhone 14 and get the right AirPod out of the case.
- Put the right AirPod in your right ear and you are done.
In this way, you can connect left and right AirPods of AirPods Pro to two different devices at the same time and get different audio from both devices.
NOTE: The Apple has not provided any official method to connect AirPods Pro to 2 devices at once. But this trick has worked for many AirPods Pro users, so I shared it with you. So, it may or may not work for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you buy new AirPods, the first thing you do is to connect them with your iPhone or Mac or any other device. Connecting AirPods is quite simple but you may want to connect them with multiple devices.
People with non-apple devices often ask if they can connect AirPods and use them. Here I provide some necessary questions about AirPods connecting and pairing process/rules. You should read all FAQs to clear your doubts and use AirPods with all your devices.
Q.1 Can I pair AirPods to multiple devices?
Yes, you can pair AirPods to multiple devices but can remain connected to only one device at a time.
Q.2 How many devices can AirPods Pro connect to at once?
The AirPods Pro can connect to two devices at once as I have explained in the step-by-step process above.
Q.3 Can I give my AirPods to someone else?
Yes, you can give your AirPods to someone as a gift so that your dear one can enjoy listening music, watching movies/series and taking calls. But, before you give your AirPods to someone, you should forget AirPods from all your devices and also remove them from your Apple ID.
Q.4 Can I connect my AirPods to a non-Apple device?
Yes, you can connect your AirPods to a non-Apple device with Bluetooth function. Simply turn on Bluetooth on your device, open the case of AirPods, tap on the AirPods name when shown on your device screen and pair & connect it.
The AirPods can connect and pair with multiple devices plus switch automatically between devices signed in with same Apple ID. You can also manually switch AirPods between your devices as per your needs.
You can connect AirPods Pro to 2 devices at once and get different audio output on left and right AirPods. For more queries or questions regarding AirPods connecting/pairing, ask me in the comment section, I will answer them ASAP.