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How to use AirPods and AirPods Max: Tips, tricks and general instructions

If you’re wondering how to use the Apple AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max so that you’re getting the most out of them, you’ve come to the right place. These headphones are some the best in the respective classes, whether it’s true wireless earbuds or over-ear, noise-cancelling headphones.

Yes, they’re very different in some respects but one thing they all have in common is that you get much better value out of them once you’ve mastered all their tricks. These range from the obvious, like ANC, to lesser-known features that can make your AirPods even more flexible.

In this collection of guides, we’ll show you not just how to perform the basics, but how to troubleshoot problems and discover handy new features your AirPods might have hidden away. Read on for our full AirPods guide to start using your Apple headphones like a true pro.

How do I connect AirPods to my iPhone?

iPhone with AirPods. Credit: Shaun Lucas

(Image credit: iPhone with AirPods. Credit: Shaun Lucas)

Before you start enjoying your new cordless audio life, you need to connect your AirPods to your iPhone. For the AirPods and AirPods Max:

1. Open the AirPods charging case in close vicinity to your iPhone

2. Click the Connect button.

The AirPods Max work similarly, just make sure they're outside of their Smart Case and in close proximity to your phone.

Voila! You're now ready to get your groove on.

However, if you want to connect your Pods to another phone, you'll have to do an extra step. After steps one and two of the initial setup, you'll see a message instructing you to press the Pairing button on the back of the charging case. Do it.

Want to pair the Pods to your Apple Watch? You're in luck. Once the buds are paired with your iPhone, the Airpods are paired automatically with your iPhone. The same goes for your iPad and MacBook thanks to your iCloud syncing the pairing. 

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