The AirPods Pro with third-party earbuds.

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One aspect that Apple’s AirPods as appealing is how easy it is to set up. Connecting the earbuds to your iPhone takes only a few seconds and very little effort. As long as you are logged in iCloud, your AirPods will automatically sync with any other supported Apple device – like a MacBook Air or iPad – that is linked to yours Apple ID.

Apple now sells four different types of AirPods: the standard AirPods (second generation), the new third generation AirPods, the AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max. The setup process is the same for all models, even if you have the original 2016 AirPods.

Here’s a more in-depth look at how to get started with your new AirPods.

Continue reading: The AirPods 3 are great, but the AirPods 2 have some of Apple’s best features for less

Connect your AirPods to all of your Apple devices at the same time

After unpacking the AirPods, unlock your iPhone, then open the AirPods charging case next to your phone (or your iPad). Do not do anything else. After a second or two, you’ll see a pop-up on your iPhone asking if you’d like to connect the AirPods to it. Tap associate. A few seconds later, the popup shows the current battery level of your AirPods and the charging case.

Yes it is that simple.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

That’s all there is to it! Depending on your AirPods model, you might also see some additional tips and instructions on this pop-up screen. For example, if you own the second generation AirPods, third generation AirPods, or AirPods Pro and the “Hey, Sirius“Function on your iPhone, you will be prompted to do so when you pair your AirPods.

To use AirPods with your iPad, open Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner of the screen and tapping the AirPlay button. You should see your AirPods listed as an option. On your Mac, you can open Control Center (assuming you have Big Sur or later installed) and do the same thing.

If you have problems, make sure that Bluetooth is activated and your The iPhone software is up to date. With the lids closed, leave your AirPods in their case and press and hold the pairing button until it flashes white. Hold the case with your AirPods near your iPhone and open the lid.

Now that your AirPods are connected, make sure you know all of their tricks. We have guides on how to get the most out of the standard AirPods, the AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max.


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