How to connect any AirPods to your iPhone

How to connect any AirPods to your iPhone
The method for pairing AirPods to your iPhone varies depending on the model of your headphones.Crystal Cox/Business Insider
  • To connect AirPods or AirPods Pro to your iPhone, open the case with your headphones in and bring it close to the phone.
  • To pair AirPods Max, take the headphones out of the case before moving them close to your phone; press the Noise Control button on the right earcup if they don't automatically pair.

Apple's AirPods may not offer the kind of absolute best-in-class audio quality that true audiophiles look for, but they sound quite good and are easy to use — two criteria that have made them popular among iPhone owners.

Whether you're setting up AirPods for the first time or want to connect them to a second iPhone, the setup process is simple and only takes a few moments.

How to connect your AirPods to an iPhone

1. Before you begin, make sure that the iPhone is up to date with the latest version of iOS and that your AirPods are charged. They don't need to be fully charged in order to pair them to an iPhone, though.

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2. Your Bluetooth is probably already turned on, but you might want to double-check. To do that, start the Settings app, tap Bluetooth, and make sure the slider is on with the button swiped to the right.

How to connect any AirPods to your iPhone
Your Bluetooth must be turned on to pair your AirPods.Dave Johnson

3. Go to your iPhone's Home screen and make sure the screen is on before going to the next step.


4. Depending on which AirPods model you have, do one of the following:

  • AirPods (2nd or 3rd generation) or AirPods Pro. With the AirPods in the charging case, open the case and hold it close to the iPhone. If you don't see the pairing instructions appear, press and hold the button on the back of the case for several seconds.
  • AirPods Max. Take the AirPods Max out of their case and hold them close to the iPhone. If you don't see the pairing instructions appear, press the Noise Control button on the right earcup and then hold the headphones close to the iPhone.

5. If these AirPods have already been connected to another iPhone, you'll see a Not Your AirPods pop-up. To continue, tap Connect.

How to connect any AirPods to your iPhone
If you're pairing AirPods that are already connected to a different iPhone, you'll need to tap Connect.Dave Johnson

6. Follow the onscreen instructions. When you're finished, tap Done.

7. Your AirPods will automatically be added to your iCloud profile on all your other Apple devices with the same Apple ID, such as your iPad and MacBook — you won't need to pair the AirPods again.

Quick tip: You can connect your AirPods Max to an iPhone without pairing it by using an audio cable. You'll need to connect an Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Audio Cable to the AirPods Max and an Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter to your iPhone.

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