Quickly pair your AirPods to your iPhone, MacBook and other Apple devices (at once)

It takes only 3 seconds to connect your Apple earbuds to all your devices.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Lisa Eadicicco Senior Editor
Lisa Eadicicco is a senior editor for CNET covering mobile devices. She has been writing about technology for almost a decade. Prior to joining CNET, Lisa served as a senior tech correspondent at Insider covering Apple and the broader consumer tech industry. She was also previously a tech columnist for Time Magazine and got her start as a staff writer for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide.
Expertise Apple, Samsung, Google, smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, fitness trackers
Jason Cipriani
Lisa Eadicicco
2 min read

The AirPods Pro with third-party eartips.

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The Apple ecosystem is a well-interconnected environment, and that includes the AirPods . As long as the same Apple ID account is shared between your iPhone , MacBook and iPad , it's incredibly easy to connect your AirPods to all your Apple devices at the same time, whether you want to listen to music on your phone or watch a movie on your tablet.

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. But the setup process is the same between all models, even if you have the original 2016 AirPods. 

Here's a more detailed look at how to get started with your new AirPods.  

Connect your AirPods to all of your Apple devices at once

After unboxing the AirPods, unlock your iPhone, then open the AirPods' charging case next to the phone (or your iPad). Don't do anything else. After a second or two, there will be a pop-up on your iPhone asking if you want to connect the AirPods to it. Tap Connect. A few seconds later, the pop-up will display the current battery level of your AirPods and the charging case.

Yes, it's just that easy. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

That's all there is to it! Depending on your AirPods model, you may also see a few additional tips and instructions on this pop-up screen. For example, if you have the second-generation AirPods, third-generation AirPods or AirPods Pro and you haven't set up the "Hey, Siri" feature on your iPhone, you'll be prompted to do so when pairing your AirPods. 

To start using AirPods with your iPad, open Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen, and tap on 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're having trouble, make sure Bluetooth is turned on and your iPhone's software is up to date. Keep your AirPods in their case with the lid closed and hold the pairing button until it flashes white. Hold the case with your AirPods inside near your iPhone and flip open the lid.

Now that your AirPods are connected, you'll want to make sure you know all their tricks. We have guides to getting the most out of standard AirPods, the AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max.

Watch this: Comparing AirPods 3 to AirPods Pro: Which is right for you?