How to Connect Two Airpods to One Phone Simultaneously

One iPhone with two pairs of AirPods
One iPhone with two pairs of AirPods

The days of sharing earbuds are over. Here’s how you and your friend can connect two pairs of AirPods to one phone at the same time.

Ever wanted to listen to music with your friend during a long commute without playing it through your phone speakers? While using one earbud each is a solution, it’s frustrating to hear only one audio channel.

Not to mention, sharing earbuds isn’t the most hygienic way to listen together. The thought of where your friend’s earbud has been before you put it in your ear is enough to make anyone hesitate.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could connect two sets of AirPods to the same device to share audio without contaminating your earbuds? Fortunately, with Apple’s audio sharing feature, you can do precisely that! Here’s how to utilize this handy feature.

What Is Apple’s Audio Sharing Feature?

Apple’s audio sharing feature is a way to link two pairs of AirPods or AirPods Pro to one device so that you can play audio from your phone or iPad to both sets of earbuds.

Introduced on iOS 13, Apple developed the audio sharing feature only three years after the release of the first AirPods.

With the rise of the new spatial audio tracks (such as in Apple Music), using just one AirPod to share your music with a friend can significantly reduce your listening experience.

But it’s not a widely understood function, and many customers are left wondering if they can connect two pairs of AirPods to one phone at all.

Well, the answer to that depends on the model of the device you’re using. To use the audio sharing feature, you will need an Apple device operating on iOS 13 or later that supports Bluetooth version 5.0 and two pairs of compatible wireless earbuds.

Have trouble connecting your AirPods to your iPhone or iPad? Check out our article on how you can fix this issue.

These are the devices that will support Apple audio sharing:

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

In addition to your Apple device, you also need a pair of headphones that can support this feature. Here’s a list of the compatible devices:

Samsung devices also have a Dual Audio feature, which allows you to connect two Bluetooth headphones to their selected models. However, the difference here is Samsung’s Dual Audio do not limit the model of Bluetooth headphones you can connect — you can use any Bluetooth headphones you want. Whereas Apple’s Audio sharing only allows AirPods and selected Beats models.

How to Connect Two Airpods to One Phone

Now that you know that you can connect two sets of wireless earbuds to your device, it’s time to find out how to do it!

Here’s how to use the Apple audio sharing feature:

  1. First, you need to connect both pairs of AirPods to the device. To do this, you first need to enable Bluetooth on your device. Go to Settings > Bluetooth, and toggle on the Bluetooth function.

    iOS Bluetooth toggled on
    iOS Bluetooth toggled on
  2. Go to your home screen, place both sets of AirPods in their charging case and close the lid.

    Both sets of AirPods in their charging case with the lid closed
    Both sets of AirPods in their charging case with the lid closed
  3. For the first pair of AirPods, simply open the case, and a pop-up showing a setup animation should appear on the device. Tap Connect, then exit the pop-up.

    Connecting first AirPods
    Connecting first AirPods
  4. For the second pair of AirPods, you will need to open the case lid and then press and hold the setup button on the back of the case for the setup animation to appear.

    Press and hold the setup button
    Press and hold the setup button
  5. Tap Connect > Done, and your AirPods will be connected to the device.
    If the pop-up doesn’t appear, close the AirPods’ case lid, wait for a few seconds, and repeat the process.

    Connecting 2nd pair of AirPods to iOS
    Connecting 2nd pair of AirPods to iOS
  6. Go to your Control Center.
    For an iPhone X or later or an iPad, you can access this by swiping down from the top right of your screen. For an iPhone 8, you need to swipe up from the bottom edge of your screen.

    iOS Control Center
    iOS Control Center
  7. Tap on the Airplay button at the top-right corner of the control center. This icon is located next to the currently active audio and shows a triangle laid over a series of concentric circles.

    iOS AirPlay button on Control Center
    iOS AirPlay button on Control Center
  8. From here, you can select both sets of AirPods by tapping the circle next to their names, then hit play on your audio track. The sound should come out of both sets of earbuds.

    Activating two AirPods on one iPhone
    Activating two AirPods on one iPhone

Once connected, both sets of AirPods will start playing audio from your Apple device. You can also control the volume levels for both from your phone. Let’s take a look at that next.

How to Adjust the Volume and Noise Controls

Now you can share your audio with another set of AirPods; here’s how to customize the audio levels and noise controls for each pair:

  1. Go to the Control Center of your device.

    Accessing the iOS Control Center
    Accessing the iOS Control Center
  2. The two volume sliders next to the names of the AirPods will allow you to raise or lower the volume for each pair of headphones.
    Above the individual volume sliders, there’s a master slider that will affect the audio of both pairs of AirPods.

    Two AirPods' volume control on AirPlay
    Two AirPods’ volume control on AirPlay

Outside of the control center, you can also pause/play music or videos inside the app that’s playing them.

Learn some handy tips and tricks on how you can make your AirPods sound louder and have them play at the volume they’re supposed to!

How to Stop Audio Sharing

When you’ve finished sharing audio with your friend, you’ll want to disconnect their earbuds from your device. Here’s how to remove one pair of AirPods from the audio sharing feature:

  1. Access the AirPlay section from your Control Panel.
  2. Tap on the check next to the device you want to disconnect. This will cause it to disconnect.

    Disconnecting one of two connected AirPods on iOS
    Disconnecting one of two connected AirPods on iOS

Bonus: How to Share Audio Using Two iPhones

Another option to share audio with a friend is to connect their iPhone to yours. This way, your AirPods (or other headphones) are still connected to your individual devices, but your phones are playing the same audio.

This method can be less fiddly than using the audio pairing function discussed above, as you don’t need to set up another pair of AirPods on your device.

Again, for this to work, both devices must be running iOS 13 or above, and the earbuds must be compatible.
  1. With your AirPods connected to your individual devices, place your phones next to each other.
  2. A dialogue window should automatically pop up. Tap on ‘Share Audio,’ and your iPhones will sync their audio.

    Tap on Share Audio
    Tap on Share Audio
Both devices will appear in your AirPlay menu when paired. You can control each device’s volume from your device using individual sliders.

Conclusion

No longer will you miss out on the basic functionality of a headphone splitter with Apple’s Audio Sharing feature. You and a friend can now listen to the same music and watch the same videos without sacrificing an earbud.

If you’re facing issues with sound, connectivity, or other functionality, here’s our comprehensive guide on how you can fix most of these issues by simply resetting your AirPods.

What do you think about this feature? Could it be done better, or do you think Apple has nailed it already? Let us know in the comments below!

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