Your one-stop guide to getting the most of Apple’s virtual assistant with any pair of AirPods.
Siri and AirPods are designed to work together in the Apple ecosystem. But the lack of a visual interface on AirPods and the absence of a dedicated app for Siri often prevent us from getting the most out of Apple’s virtual assistant.
Even after pairing your AirPods to your iPhone or iPad, you still need to adjust your settings to turn on some of Siri’s functionality.
But fret not. We’ve compiled all you need to know about using Siri with your AirPods. From setting up the “Hey Siri” trigger to the list of must-know Siri commands, we’ve got it all covered. Let’s get right to it.
How to Use Siri With AirPods: Using Voice Controls
One of the perks of using Siri with AirPods is that you don’t need to interact with your phone to do many things. You can simply say “Hey Siri” to activate the virtual assistant and ask it to do your deed.
However, the “Hey Siri” trigger is not active by default. So, you need to turn it on before you can use the hands-free Siri interaction.
If you’ve confirmed that both your AirPods and device support “Hey Siri,” here’s how you can set it up on your iPhone or iPad:
- Connect your AirPods to your iPhone or iPad.
- Open Settings, then tap on Siri & Search.
- Turn on the Listen for ‘Hey Siri‘ toggle.
If you’re setting up this feature for the first time, you’ll need to train Siri to recognize your voice. When prompted, just say “Hey Siri” with your AirPods in your ears. Siri will respond, and you can start using voice commands with your AirPods.
How to Activate Siri With AirPods: Using Manual Control
If you’re in a quiet room and don’t want to annoy people with your “Hey Siri,” there’s a subtler way to summon the virtual assistant. You can activate Siri with the touch sensors on your AirPods.
Here’s how to set your AirPods touch sensor to activate Siri on your iPhone or iPad:
- Pair your AirPods or AirPods Pro with your iPhone.
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
- Tap the “i” menu next to your AirPods’ name.
- Select either Left or Right, depending on which earbud you want to use to trigger Siri.
- Under the list of actions, choose Siri.
While the Siri set-up methods for all AirPods are the same, how you actually activate Siri may differ. You’ll need to either double-tap or press and hold, depending on the type and version of your AirPods.
Here’s how to summon Siri on different versions of AirPods:
- AirPods 1st & 2nd gen: Double tap on the top side of the left or right earbud.
- AirPods 3rd gen, AirPods Pro & AirPods Pro 2: Squeeze the force sensor (located on the stem) on either the left or right earbuds for about 1 second until you hear a chime.
- AirPods Max: Press and hold the digital crown for about 1 second until you hear a chime.
What Can Siri Do With AirPods?
There are plenty of tasks that Siri can perform with your AirPods. These include reading your messages, making phone calls, playing specific songs, and many more.
But out of the plethora of things Siri can do, we’ve made a list of the most useful ones – and how to activate them – below:
How to activate Siri’s announce message feature
The announce message feature allows Siri to read your message for you, so you can get the message without taking your phone out of your pocket. As such, if you’re constantly on the move, this feature may bring more benefits than you know.
But to use this feature, you must first activate it in your device’s settings. Here’s how:
- Go to Settings, and select Siri & Search.
- Find the Announce Notifications menu, then turn it on.
- Tap on Messages and turn on Announce Notifications toggle switch, then select Direct messages.
You can also choose the conditions under which Siri announces your messages. There are three conditions to choose from: always, headphones & car, or headphones only. If you want to stop Siri from announcing your messages, read our guide on how to stop Siri from reading messages.
Complete list of Siri commands you should know
There are a plethora of tasks that Siri can help you with. It’s impossible to limit how many things Siri can do since it constantly evolves as more people use it.
However, there are Siri commands that can make everyday tasks much more convenient. Here is the list of Siri commands you should know, ranked from the most useful to the good-to-know ones:
- “Raise/lower the volume”: Changes the volume of your audio.
- “Call [contact name]”: Initiates a phone call to the specified contact.
- “Send a message to [contact name]”: Sends a message to the specified contact. Once you set the recipient’s name, Siri will ask you what you want to say in the message.
- “Send an email to [contact name]”: Creates an email draft to the specified contact. You can change the details by saying “change subject to,” “add recipient,” “change the message,” and many more.
- “Play [song name]”: Plays a specific song you want. You can also use the album or artist name if you don’t want a particular track. Siri defaults to Apple Music, but you can add your preferred streaming platform by adding “on [platform name].”
- “Set an alarm for [time]”: Sets an alarm for a specific time. You can also trigger it with a conversational tone like “Wake me up in two hours.”
- “Remind me to [task] at [time]”: Creates a reminder for you that will trigger at a specific time – super helpful if you tend to forget your chores. The time can also be conversational, like “Remind me to pick up dry cleaning at 5 pm next Monday.”
- “Schedule a meeting with [name] on [time]”: Create a block on a specific date and time on your calendar for a meeting.
- “How do you say [word/sentence] in [language]?”: Get an audio translation of a word or sentence in different languages.
- “Take a note”: Creates a note of whatever you’re dictating to Siri.
- “Where am I?”: Gives your current location as long as you have location services active.
- “Where is [location]?”: Provides directions to the specified location.
- “Take me to [place name]”: Launches the Maps app and directs you to the location. If you specify the address of someone’s contact details, you can also say something like, “Take me to Michael’s.”
- “What’s the weather like?”: Tells you the current weather and forecast for the day. You can also add “in [location]” or “today, tomorrow, or next week” to get more specific results.
- “What’s the nearest [business type]?”: Provides information on nearby businesses of the specified type. You can also trigger this command with a conversational sentence like “Where can I get a salad nearby?”
- “What’s the latest news?”: Provides news updates from various sources. You can also add “on [subject]” to get more specific results.
- “What’s [math problem]?”: Solves a math problem.
- “What’s [amount and currency] in [new currency name]?”: Calculate a real-time currency conversion based on the latest available data online.
- “What’s the time in [city or country name]?”: Shows you the current date and time of a specific region. You can also use “What time is it now in [time zone]?” to get the same result.
- “What’s the score of the game?”: Pulls up the live score (or final result) for a specific sports game.
- “Flip a coin” or “roll a dice”: Helps you make a quick decision between pizza or burgers – or doing anything that needs a dice.
- “Tell me a joke”: Commands Siri to tell you a joke to lighten up your mood. You can also substitute jokes with riddles or fun facts.
- “How much free space do I have?” (only on Mac): Tells you the amount of free storage you have left.
You can also ask Siri anything or to perform any task – if it can find the information or take action, it will do so for you. So, feel free to try stuff out using Siri with your AirPods.
AirPods and Siri are meant to work side-by-side, all you need to do is toggle some settings on, and you’ll have access to tons of nifty features. If you’re reading this, you should now know better about what you can do with Siri and AirPods – and how to do so.
Did you find any Siri and AirPods command combo that we didn’t list above? Or did you find difficulties getting Siri to work with AirPods? Let us know in the comments!