AirPods are capable of doing a lot of things: Playing your favorite music through wonderfully engineered speakers; helping you stay connected with friends and family hands-free; and they can even learn your routine to power up when you’re most likely to need them, which helps save on battery power. You can use them in your car or with your iPad, MacBook, or Apple Watch. They’re high-tech, sleek in style, and are the epitome of modern must-have gadgets.
However, we have some disappointing news for you:
Even though they’re versatile and maintain a decent level of connectivity, AirPods still can’t be connected to two devices at once.
Let’s talk a bit more about what this means.
Can AirPods be Connected to Two Devices?
Depending on what you mean by this question, your answer could be “yes” or “no.”
Let’s review an example. To keep it simple, we will say you have an iPhone and an iPad, and you’re wondering whether your AirPods can be connected to two devices—the iPhone and the iPad.
If you want to listen to music on your iPad and then switch your audio input to your phone when you receive a call, then we have good news for you: AirPods can do this. They can be configured to switch to your current device: MacBooks, iPads, or iPhones. One of the best features of AirPods: If you exclusively use Apple products, you’ll love that they can switch between devices seamlessly.
So, in this situation, yes, AirPods can be connected to two (or more) devices—they can be “paired” with any Apple device and can connect with other smartphones through Bluetooth. Great!
Now, let’s change up the scenario: You want to talk on your phone and listen to music at the same time. Can you listen to two streams of audio simultaneously from two devices?
The short answer is no; you cannot. The AirPods cannot accept audio input from two different devices concurrently.
However, one iPad or iPhone can recognize multiple AirPods. And, you can set your iPhone to stream music to two different pairs of AirPods simultaneously.
Can AirPods be Paired with Multiple Devices?
AirPods use Bluetooth technology to connect to devices, meaning they can “remember” whichever devices you tell them to. Whether you use Apple products such as iPhones and iPads or you have an Android phone, you can easily pair AirPods with your device—as long as it has Bluetooth technology.
You can direct your devices to remember your AirPods and vice versa. This way, you can easily select the AirPods as your audio input whenever you switch devices. You won’t have to “pair” the devices every time. And you can have the AirPods paired with as many devices as you want.
The key here is understanding the difference between pairing and connecting. “Pairing” means you’ve made a connection between two devices. This connection is remembered so it can be activated later. “Connecting” means an active link is maintained between the devices. You need this if you want to use the audio output.
Put simply: Your AirPods can be paired with your MacBook, iPhone, and iPad, but they can only be connected to one of these devices at a time.
Can AirPods be Split Between Phones?
You may be wondering whether you can split the AirPods between phones.
If you are asking whether you can pair the AirPods with more than one phone, then yes! You can do this, as mentioned above. You could set it up so you or your spouse could use the AirPods on each phone if you wanted.
But if you are wondering whether you can pair one AirPod to one phone and then use the other with another phone, the answer is no. Although there are two AirPods, they are considered one device by Bluetooth technology. And that means that they can only be connected to one other device at a time.
What Kinds of Devices Can AirPods Connect to?
By now, it should be evident that AirPods work with any Apple product. These include the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch.
As long as your device utilizes Bluetooth technology, you can connect your AirPods to it.
The key difference between using AirPods with Apple products and other devices is that the Apple “ecosystem” supports seamless transition between devices. That is, the AirPods will automatically detect the Apple device the wearer is using and will switch to it without your intervention.
But when you have an Android or Windows system, you have to manually pair with the device and select it as your audio option.
Can Someone Else Connect to My AirPods?
With so many devices supporting the AirPods, you may be wondering if someone else could connect to them.
Yes, it is possible for someone else to use your AirPods or for you to use theirs.
If you suspect that someone has access to your AirPods, then you should reset your connections and pair again.
But because AirPods cannot be connected to two devices at once, don’t worry—even if someone were trying to listen to your conversations or music, they wouldn’t be able to. The AirPods will only accept input from one device at a time.
AirPods are a coveted item and have become something of a status symbol: They’re high-quality gadgets and instantly recognizable in design. They can pair with many devices and can switch between Apple products seamlessly. In a nutshell, they’re valuable pieces of wearable tech that any music lover would want to own.
But there are some limitations you should be aware of: Namely, that AirPods are considered one device, and as such, cannot be split between other devices. Although AirPods cannot be connected to two devices at once, they can still be paired with many others. You just have to set them up, and voila! You’re ready to go.