Can AirPods Connect To Mac And iPhone At The Same Time?

Constantly switching your AirPods between devices is never an efficient option.

Being able to connect AirPods to Mac and iPhone at the same time would solve the issue, right?

Is that even possible? If yes, how to get that done?

This article unlocks the mystery of multi-device connectivity with your AirPods.

We’ll help you seamlessly transition from your Mac to your iPhone with your AirPods. Let’s smoothen your Apple ecosystem experience.

Can AirPods Connect To Mac And iPhone At The Same Time?

The short, according to Apple products users community, Yes, you can. Your AirPods can link to both your Mac and iPhone at the same time.

For this, you have to connect one AirPod to your iPhone and another AirPod to your Macbook. After setting up the AirPods on both devices, you can stay connected effortlessly with smooth switching between calls and videos.

How To Connect AirPods To iPhone and Mac?

As mentioned earlier, AirPods can connect to your Mac and iPhone at the same time. Now, a few questions hit your mind;

“How to connect?”

“What are the steps?”

We answer that all one by one below.

  • You have to connect the AirPods with your iPhone.
  • Then, you have to connect them to your Mac.
  • Then make them automatically switch between the devices when you want.
  • Or you can switch the AirPods manually if it doesn’t switch automatically

Connecting AirPods on your Mac and iPhone at the same time now may seem a bit long process. But if you follow along, you’ll have your AirPods connected in no time!

We start the steps from connecting AirPods with your iPhone, then Mac, before we start switching.

Note: If you know the first two, you can skip them. Here we recommend just reading the switching steps. 

How To Connect AirPods To Your iPhone?

According to Apple, there’s a 7 step process to connect your iPhone to your airpods:

Step 1: Head to Your iPhone Home Screen

Step 2: Open the lid of your AirPods, and you’ll get a notification on your iPhone.

get a notification on your iPhone from airpod

Step 3: On your iPhone, you’ll see an option to ‘Connect’. Tap on it.

Step 4: For AirPods Pro or AirPods (3rd Generation)

If you’re using AirPods Pro (1st or 2nd generation) or AirPods (3rd generation), there will be a few additional screens with instructions. Read through them and follow along.

Step 5: Setting Up Siri

For those with AirPods Pro (1st or 2nd generation) or AirPods (2nd or 3rd generation), if Siri is already set up on your iPhone, it will automatically be ready to use with your AirPods. If you haven’t set up Siri yet, the setup process will guide you through it.

Step 6: Complete the setup by tapping ‘Done’ on the next screen.

Step 7: Your AirPods will also pair with other Apple devices by being logged into iCloud using the same Apple ID.

How To Connect AirPods to Your Mac?

Here’s how you can connect your Mac with AirPods:

Step 1: Click on the Apple menu at the top of your Mac’s screen and select ‘System Settings’.

select System Settings

Step 2: Find and click on ‘Bluetooth’. Make sure it’s turned on.

click on Bluetooth

Step 3: Grab your AirPods and put them in their charging case and open the lid.

Step 4: Press and hold the setup button on the back of the AirPods case. Wait for the status light on the front of the case to flash white.

Step 5: You should now see your AirPods listed under ‘Nearby Devices’. Click ‘Connect’ next to your AirPods.

Click 'Connect' next to your AirPods

Step 6: Finalize the Output Device

If your Mac still plays sound through its own speakers, no problem. Click on the ‘Control Center icon ()  in your Mac’s menu bar.

Make sure your AirPods are selected as the output device.

How To Automatically Switch Your AirPods Between iPhone and Mac?

Your AirPods can just read your mind and switch between your iPhone and Mac automatically.

Here’s how to set it up:

Step 1: Update Your Devices

First things first, make sure your iPhone,  and Mac are updated to the latest version of their operating systems.

This step is crucial for the automatic switching feature to work smoothly.

Step 2: Use the Same Apple ID with Two-Factor Authentication

Sign into all your devices with the same Apple ID. Also, ensure that two-factor authentication is activated for this Apple ID. This adds an extra layer of security and is a must for switching.

Step 3: Automatic Switching in Action

Once you’ve got the setup right, your AirPods will become more intuitive.

For example, if you’re watching videos on your Mac and a call comes in on your iPhone, your AirPods will automatically switch to the iPhone.

No manual selection is needed – it’s all seamless.

Step 4: Connecting to Your Mac (macOS Sonoma and later)

If you’re using macOS Sonoma or a later version, you’ll see a notification pop up on your Mac’s screen when your AirPods are ready to switch.

Just click ‘Connect’ if you want to move your AirPods’ connection to the Mac, or if you want them to stay connected to your Mac.

Need more assistance? Keep an eye on Apple’s guide on automatic switching system.

How to Manually Switch AirPods Between iPhone and Mac?

Since it’s a manual process, you have to do it in two ways. First with your iPhone and then with your Mac.

Here’s how you can switch:

Select Your AirPods for Audio on iPhone

Step 1: Access the Now Playing Screen

Grab your iPhone, and you can switch your AirPods from the

  • Now Playing screen
  • The Lock Screen
  • Or even in the Control Center

So, tap on the screen where you see what’s currently playing.

Step 2: Select Your AirPods

When you’ve opened the Now Playing screen, look for an audio output icon. It looks like a small triangle with circles above it. Tap on that icon. This brings up a list of available devices. From there, just select your AirPods.

Select Your AirPods for Audio on Mac

Getting your AirPods set as the audio output on your Mac is easy. Here are two methods you can follow:

Method 1: Quick Selection from the Menu Bar

Step 1: Locate the Bluetooth Icon

Find the Bluetooth symbol in the menu bar at the top of your Mac’s screen.

Step 2: Select Your AirPods

Click on the Bluetooth icon. A drop-down menu will appear. Look for your AirPods in the list and select them.

Method 2: Through System Settings for Detailed Control

Step 1: Open System Settings

Click on the Apple menu located in the top left corner of your screen.

Step 2: Navigate to Sound Settings

In the System Settings, find and click on ‘Sound’ which is listed in the sidebar.

Step 3: Select Output

In the Sound settings, you’ll see an option for ‘Output’ on the right side. Click on it.

Step 4: Choose Your AirPods

Your AirPods should appear in the list of output devices. If you don’t see them immediately, scroll down through the list and select your AirPods to set them as your output device.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Connecting AirPods

Experiencing issues with your AirPods can be frustrating. But the good news is, most problems have straightforward solutions.

Let’s tackle some common issues and get your AirPods working perfectly again.

Issue 1: Difficulty in Connecting to Both Devices

Sometimes, connecting your AirPods to both your Mac and iPhone simultaneously can feel like a high-tech puzzle. This difficulty often stems from various factors.

Reasons

  • It could be a mismatch in the iCloud settings or differences in the operating system versions.
  • Bluetooth glitches can also play a part, where one device might not recognize your AirPods, or they may keep disconnecting.

Solution

  • Check Bluetooth & Wi-Fi: Ensure both are active on your devices. Sometimes, a simple toggle off and on can resolve connectivity issues.
  • Restart Devices: Sometimes, your iPhone or Mac might need a quick restart to refresh the connections.

Issue 2: Automatic Switching Not Working

Many users face that the seamless transition they expect from their AirPods through automatic switching between Mac and iPhone doesn’t quite happen. 

Reasons

  • Automatic switching requires specific models of AirPods (2nd generation or later, including AirPods Pro and AirPods Max) and compatible versions of iOS, iPadOS, or macOS.

If your devices or software versions don’t meet these requirements, automatic switching won’t work.

  • For automatic switching to function, both devices need to be signed in with the same Apple ID and have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled. Misconfigured settings can disrupt this feature.

Sometimes, other Bluetooth or wireless devices in the vicinity can interfere with the connection between your AirPods and Apple devices, affecting the automatic switching.

Solution:

  • Update Software: Ensure your devices and AirPods are updated to the latest software, as this feature relies on the latest updates.
  • Same Apple ID, and Bluetooth enabling: Verify that both devices are logged in with the same Apple ID, Bluetooth settings  are enabled for automatically search and connect your AirPods.

Issue 3: Poor Audio Quality or Dropouts

Experiencing poor audio quality or dropouts with your AirPods is disappointing, especially when you’re expecting a premium listening experience.

Reasons

  • In some cases, the issue is as simple as the AirPods being out of charge or too far from one or both devices.
  • Also, too much dust, dirt, or earwax build-up can affect sound quality.

Solution:

  • Distance and Obstacles: Stay within a reasonable range of your connected device. Walls and other obstructions can affect audio quality.
  • Clean AirPods: Gently clean the microphone and speaker meshes on your AirPods using cotton buds or professional tools.

Issue 4: AirPods Connecting to the Wrong Device

What if your AirPods connect to the wrong devices than your expected one? Yeah, it’s disappointing.

Sometimes it happens with lots of Apple users who want to use their AirPods with Mac and iPhone simultaneously.

Reasons

  • AirPods automatically connect to the right devices if you sign in with the same Apple ID. Sometimes, they might connect to a device you didn’t intend to use because it’s the most recently used device with your Apple ID, or it’s in closer proximity.
  • If you have several Apple devices (like an iPhone, iPad, and Mac) within the Bluetooth range of your AirPods, they might mistakenly connect to the wrong device. This can happen especially if all devices are actively seeking a Bluetooth connection.

Solution

  • Manual Selection: Temporarily disable automatic switching and manually select the AirPods from the Bluetooth menu of the desired device.
  • Disconnect Other Devices: If not in use, disconnect or turn off Bluetooth on other devices that are not currently being used with the AirPods.

Pro Tips

  • Reset Network Settings: On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This won’t delete your data but will reset Wi-Fi networks and passwords, cellular settings, and VPN and APN settings.

FAQs

Can AirPods switch between iPhone and MacBook?

Yes, AirPods can switch between iPhone and Macbook both automatically and manually.

Why are my AirPods not switching between my iPhone and MacBook?

There are various reasons behind not switching your AirPods between your iPhone and MacBook, such as

  • Not using updated software.
  • Bluetooth isn’t enabled.
  • AirPods have low charge.
  • Too much distance between the devices.

Conclusion

Connecting your AirPods to Mac and iPhone at the same time now should be a breeze for you.

Follow the simple step by step connection steps, and you’ll be just fine. If you’re facing common issues, we’ve provided you with practical solutions.

Your AirPods can transform into a seamless bridge linking your Mac and iPhone, and enhance your digital lifestyle with effortless audio continuity.

Now go connect your AirPods and enjoy the seamless audio experience across your apple devices.

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