How to Set Up and Connect Your New AirPods (2nd Generation)

Tuesday March 26, 2019 2:51 AM PDT by Tim Hardwick

Apple in March debuted second-generation AirPods, featuring several updates over the original massively popular wireless earbuds of the same name.

If you've just received a pair of Apple's new earbuds, you'll be raring to use them to listen to music, take phone calls, use Siri, and more. Keep reading to learn how to set up and connect them to your devices.


Update Your Software

As mentioned, Apple's second-generation ‌AirPods‌ include new features not seen in the previous model, but to use them you'll need to make sure your devices are running the latest software.

On iOS devices:

If you want to use your new ‌AirPods‌ with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, make sure you're running iOS 12.2 or later.


To check that your device's software is up to date, launch the Settings app and then select General -> Software Update, and download any available updates if necessary.

On Mac:

To use your new ‌AirPods‌ with your Mac, it needs to be running macOS 10.14.4 or later. To check that your machine is up to date with the latest software, select System Preferences... from the Apple () menu in the top-left corner of the screen, and then click Software Update in the preferences window.


If your Mac finds an update is available, click the Update Now button to download the software and allow the software to install when prompted.

Set Up New ‌AirPods‌ on ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, and ‌iPod touch‌

Before you can begin using your new ‌AirPods‌ with your iOS devices, there are a few quick steps you need to perform.

  1. Unlock your ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, or ‌iPod touch‌. If your device is already unlocked, navigate to the Home screen.
  2. Bring the ‌AirPods‌ case – with the ‌AirPods‌ inside – close to your device and open the case lid.

  3. Wait for the setup animation to appear on your device's screen.
  4. Tap Connect, then tap Done.
  5. If you haven't set up "Hey ‌Siri‌" already on your device, you'll be guided through the setup.

And that's all there is to it. Your ‌AirPods‌ should now pair seamlessly with your device whenever you go to use them. Note that if you're signed in to iCloud, your ‌AirPods‌ will be set up automatically with any of your supported devices that are signed in to ‌iCloud‌ with the same Apple ID.

Connect New ‌AirPods‌ to Your Mac

If you've set up your ‌AirPods‌ with your ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, or ‌iPod touch‌ and your Mac is signed in to ‌iCloud‌ with the same ‌Apple ID‌, then your ‌AirPods‌ should be ready to use with your Mac. In that case, all you you need to do is put your ‌AirPods‌ in your ears, click the Bluetooth icon in your Mac's menu bar, select your ‌AirPods‌ from the dropdown list, and click Connect.


If you don't see your ‌AirPods‌ in the Bluetooth menu, check out our dedicated how-to article on how to pair ‌AirPods‌ manually with your Mac and customize the gesture controls.

Connect New ‌AirPods‌ to Android Devices

You can use ‌AirPods‌ with Android smartphones and other devices. You won't be able to use "Hey ‌Siri‌" but you can use them to listen and talk. Check out our special guideo learn how to use ‌AirPods‌ on Android, as well as the benefits, the downsides, and how well ‌AirPods‌ work on non-Apple devices.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
13 months ago
Do we have to unpair our first gen AirPods??
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
Can't use new AirPods on Apple Watch yet. As requires watchOS 5.2 which isn't yet publicly available.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
It would be great if we could pick these up today at the Apple store...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
It would be great if Apple finally introduced automatic audio switching from iCloud devices.
It would be magic if you did not have to choose from sound sources.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Apple Adding Some 2013 and 2014 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Models to Vintage Products List at End of April

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:24 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that the following 2013 and 2014 models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will be added to its vintage and obsolete products list on April 30:MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014)Apple defines vintage...

AirTags Referenced in New Apple Support Video

Thursday April 2, 2020 12:12 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple has accidentally referenced its widely rumored AirTags item tracking tags in a video that it uploaded to its Apple Support channel on YouTube today. The video was first spotted by the blog Appleosophy and has quickly been removed. The video was titled "How to erase your iPhone." AirTags were mentioned in Settings > Apple ID > Find My > Find My iPhone under Enable Offline Finding, with...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Intel Unveils 10th-Gen Processors Suitable for Next 16-Inch MacBook Pro With Wi-Fi 6 and Turbo Boost Speeds Above 5GHz

Thursday April 2, 2020 7:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Intel today announced the launch of its latest 10th-generation Core processors for high-end notebooks, potentially including the next 16-inch MacBook Pro. The batch of 45W chips, part of the Comet Lake family, are built on Intel's 14nm++ architecture. The new H-series chips have the same base clock speeds as the 9th-generation chips in the current 16-inch MacBook Pro, but Turbo Boost speeds...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

2020 iPad Pro May Not Have a U1 Ultra Wideband Chip After All

Wednesday April 1, 2020 8:49 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
While it was previously reported that all 2020 iPad Pro models feature the same Apple-designed U1 chip as the iPhone 11 lineup, enabling Ultra Wideband support, we have compiled evidence to suggest that this may not be the case. As a reminder, Apple's tech specs for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro list an Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness, but the chip is not mentioned in Apple's...