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How to connect two AirPods to one phone

Two people, one device, two AirPods, one audio source.
By
February 11, 2024

Before wireless earbuds became mainstream, you could share audio with friends by sitting side-by-side and taking one bud each. Wireless earbuds made it even easier since you didn’t need to sit next to each other.

But with improving technology, there are even better ways to share audio. If your friend has an AirPod pair of their own, you can both connect to and listen from the same Apple device. We’ll show you how to connect two AirPods to one phone.

QUICK ANSWER

Connect the first pair of AirPods to your device via Bluetooth, tap the AirPlay icon in the Control Center, select Share Audio, bring the second pair of AirPods close to your phone, and tap Share Audio again when they appear on the screen.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Which Apple devices support audio sharing?

The Apple AirPods Pro Gen 2 and the Apple Airpods Gen 3 sitting on a wooden surface with their cases behind them.
The biggest difference between the two product lines continues to be the different fit provided by the ear tips on the Pro model.

Apple’s audio-sharing feature allows you to connect two AirPods to your iPhone or iPad, but it only works on devices running iOS 13 or later. These include:

  • iPhone 8 and newer
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation) and newer
  • 11-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad Air (3rd generation) and newer
  • iPad mini (5th generation) and newer
  • iPad (5th generation) and newer
  • iPod touch (7th generation)

Even if your phone supports audio sharing, your earbuds need to be compatible. The feature is available on the following Apple headphones:

How to connect two AirPods to one phone

Here’s how to connect two AirPods to one phone, whether it’s an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Connect the first pair of AirPods to your device via Bluetooth.
  2. Tap the AirPlay icon from the Control Center or Lock Screen to bring up connected devices.
  3. Tap Share Audio.
  4. Leave the second pair of earbuds in their case with the lid open and bring them close to your iPhone if they are AirPods or AirPods Pro. If they are AirPods Max, just hold them close to your phone. For compatible Beats earbuds, put them in pairing mode and keep them close to your phone.
  5. Tap Share Audio again when the second pair of earbuds appears on the screen.

The audio quality remains the same on both sets of AirPods. However, you may notice a slight audio lag on the second pair of AirPods. The Spatial Audio’s head tracking feature also doesn’t function when using this feature.

The process is a little more intricate if you want to pair two AirPods to your Mac. Navigate to Finder > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup, click the plus button, and create a new multi-output device with both pairs of AirPods.

How to control AirPods playback and volume

A hand holds the AirPods (3rd generation) in the right ear while touching the force sensor stem.

After connecting two headphones to your device, you can control volume and playback. You can change the volume by:

  • Using AirPods gestures
  • Using the volume sliders in the Control Center for either set of earbuds
  • Using the main volume slider at the bottom of the Control Center for both earbuds

The first two options adjust the AirPods volumes separately, while the third controls both at the same time.

Note that you can also pause, play, or stop playback on your iPhone’s lock screen or Control Center.

How to stop AirPods audio sharing

You’ve learned how to connect two AirPods to one phone, but how do you disconnect them? Follow these steps:

  1. Swipe down from the top-right corner of your display to open the Control Center.
  2. Tap the AirPlay icon to see connected devices.
  3. Tap the check button next to the AirPods you wish to disconnect.

FAQ

Apple’s Audio Sharing lets you share audio with two pairs of AirPods from one device. For a larger group, use a high-quality Bluetooth speaker.

You can connect two pairs of AirPods to an iPad simultaneously using Apple’s Audio Sharing feature. It works just like the iPhone.

Apple’s Audio Sharing feature only works when listening to audio from music applications, videos, and similar media. However, It doesn’t support phone calls.