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AirPods pro tip: Customize double-tap to play/pause, skip or Siri

This Apple AirPods trick will improve how you listen to music and podcasts and keep your phone in your pocket or purse.

Jason Hiner VP of Content, CNET Labs; Editor in Chief, ZDNET
Jason is Vice President of Content for CNET Labs and the Editor in Chief of ZDNET. From CNET's world-class testing facilities, the CNET Labs team designs tests to quantify the best products worth buying.
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Jason Hiner
2 min read
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Apple AirPods

Sarah Tew/CNET

One of the nicest things about the Apple AirPods is the stuff it does automatically -- quickly connecting to an iPhone without having to mess with Bluetooth, pairing to all your Apple devices once you connect to the first one, instantly stopping the music when you remove an AirPod from your ear and starting it back up when you put it back in.

But despite the fact that there are no buttons on the AirPods and they can do so much by themselves, they do have a control on each side. It's a simple double-tap. People often don't realize they can customize what that double-tap does, so we're going to show you how.

There are currently four options you can set for a double-tap on each of your AirPods:

  • Siri
  • Play and pause
  • Next track
  • Previous track

For example, I set mine so that the right AirPod will play or pause when I double-tap. The left one activates Siri.

Watch this: AirPods 2 vs. AirPods: What's the difference?

To customize the effect of the double-tap on your AirPods, here are the steps to follow on an iPhone

1. Connect your AirPods

2. Put one or both AirPods in your ears

3. Tap the Settings app

4. Tap Bluetooth

5. Check to see that the status of your AirPods is "Connected"

6. Tap the "i" icon next to the "Connected" status

7. Go down to the section "Double-Tap on AirPod"

8. Tap on Left and then select the action you'd like the left AirPod to take when you double-tap on it

9. Tap the name of your AirPods in the upper left corner to go back to the previous menu

10. Tap on Right and then select the action you'd like the right AirPod to take when you double-tap it

AirPods settings menu
Screenshot by Jason Hiner/CNET

And if you're worried about the AirPods popping out when you do a double-tap, don't miss our tutorial on how to keep the AirPods from slipping out of your ears.

AirPods (second generation) from all angles

See all photos