Airpods bluetooth version. Airpods 2 vs. Airpods 3: Are They Worth Upgrading

How to Tell the Difference Between Airpods 1 and 2

Evan Killham is a Lifewire editor and writer who has been appearing all over the internet since 2009 helping people swap out hard drives or pin down an elusive feature on their Apple Watch.

Michael Heine is a CompTIA-certified writer, editor, and Network Engineer with 25 years’ experience working in the television, defense, ISP, telecommunications, and education industries.

In This Article

The differences between the first and second models of Apple’s AirPod earbuds are few but important. Here they are and how to tell which version you have.

What’s the Difference Between Airpods 1 and 2?

With a quick look, you won’t see any visual differences between the two base models of Airpods. They’re the same size and weight. But the 2019 Airpods 2 have some updated hardware inside, making them worth trading up to if you already own the 2016 model. Here’s a quick rundown of the changes.

Chips: W1 vs. H1

The original Airpods, along with some Beats headphones, use Apple’s W1 chip. Later iterations of this processor appear in the Apple Watch.

The newer H1 processor is Apple’s current standard for its audio devices. Along with the 2019 Airpods, you’ll find this chipset in Airpods Pro, Airpods Max headphones, and other Beats headphones like the Powerbeats and Powerbeats Pro.

Here are some differences between the W1 and H1 chips:

  • The newer H1 supports the Hey, Siri vocal command to access Apple’s digital assistant. In the original Airpods, you could only activate Siri by tapping one of the pods.
  • H1 chips have 30% less latency over Bluetooth than W1s. You may not notice this difference while listening to music, but you might if you wear Airpods while playing games or watching movies.
  • H1 chips, which support Bluetooth 5, are also faster to connect to other devices–like an iPhone–than the W1 chip (which supports Bluetooth 4.2).

Battery Life: Not Much Difference

Apple claims that both kinds of Airpods support up to 24 hours of listening time between the headphones and the extra charges you get from the wireless case (five hours per charge). But because of the energy efficiencies that the new chipset provides, it says that the more recent version will let you talk longer.

According to Apple’s fact sheets, Airpods 1 support about two hours of talking time, while the updated model can do three. Still, you may not notice a significant impact during everyday use of either version.

Compatibility: Stay Up to Date to Use All the Features

The original Airpods were compatible with phones and tablets running iOS 10, and later, Apple Watches using watchOS 3 and up, or Macs running at least macOS Sierra (10.12). Those base requirements should also be good enough to use the Airpods 2, but to access every feature, you’ll need at least iOS 13 or iPadOS.

Because Airpods use Bluetooth to connect, you can also use them with non-Mac computers and Android phones. You may not have access to every feature. For example, non-Apple devices don’t have Siri.

How to Tell Which Airpods Version You Have

If you’re curious about which generation your Airpods are, you can try a few methods to find the model number. First, however, you should know the model numbers of both versions. Here they are:

The quickest (but hardest) way to find your Airpods’ model number is to look on the earbuds themselves. Each earbud has the model and serial number in tiny print underneath the earpiece.

You can also check on your iPhone. In iOS 14 and later, open Settings and select Bluetooth. Then, tap the i icon next to your Airpods and find the model number under About.

In earlier versions of iOS, go to Settings General About, and then tap the name of your Airpods. The next screen will show the model number.

Due to their use of different processors, you can’t pair an Airpods 1 earbud with an Airpods 2 earbud—both earbuds have to be from one or the other.

Yes, you can charge a pair of Airpods 2 using a case made for Airpods 1; however, the Airpods 1 case won’t be able to charge wirelessly.

First, pair one set of Airpods to your phone, then open the Control Center and select the AirPlay icon Share Audio. Hold the second set of Airpods (inside the case) close to the iPhone and open the lid. Wait for the Airpods to appear on the iPhone’s share screen, then select the second set of Airpods to start sharing audio.

Airpods 2 vs. Airpods 3: Are They Worth Upgrading?

Apple unveiled the Airpods 3 in October 2021 with exciting features that, until now, were reserved only for the Airpods Pro. The previous model, the Airpods 2, was a big hit, and the Airpods 3 only improved the experience with spatial audio, adaptive EQ, IPX4 sweat and water resistance, and force sensor controls. In this article, we’ll help you decide between the Airpods 2 vs. the Airpods 3 and share if they are worth upgrading.

Table of contents

  • Similarities
  • Differences
  • Design
  • Sound quality
  • Spatial audio
  • Battery life and charging
  • Microphones
  • Controls
  • Skin detection
  • Sweat and water resistance

Airpods 2 vs. Airpods 3: Similarities and differences

The Airpods 2 and the Airpods 3 have quite a few similarities. However, their differences are what might decide your purchase or upgrade. Let’s see them all, shall we?


  • Apple’s H1 chip
  • Hey Siri
  • Automatic switching between devices
  • Personalized engraving
  • Lightning charging case
  • Motion-detecting accelerometer
  • Speech-detecting accelerometer
  • Dual beamforming microphones
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Live Listen audio
  • Accessibility features: headphone levels and accommodations


The 2nd generation Airpods have:

  • Dual optical sensors
  • Double-tap controls to play, skip forward, or answer a phone call
  • Up to 5 hours of listening on a single charge
  • than 24 hours of listening time with charging case
  • Original price: 159

On the other hand, the 3rd generation Airpods offer the following key features:

  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking
  • Adaptive EQ
  • IPX4 sweat and water resistance
  • Force sensor
  • Skin-detect sensor
  • Up to 6 hours of listening time on one charge
  • Up to 30 hours of listening time with charging case
  • Custom high-excursion Apple driver
  • Custom high dynamic range amplifier
  • Inward-facing microphone
  • Press once to play, pause, or answer a phone call
  • MagSafe‌ charging case with Qi wireless charging support
  • Original price: 179

Airpods 2 vs. Airpods 3: Feature comparison

Let’s start by quickly comparing the specs and price of the Airpods 2 vs. Airpods 3, and we will cover every feature in detail next.

Sound quality

As you may have seen in the specs comparison table, the Airpods 3 bring two new important innovations: spatial audio with dynamic head tracking and an adaptive equalizer. The former helps turn your music and favorite media into a three-dimensional experience, and the latter automatically adapts to produce a unique sound experience for every user.

The third-generation Airpods include a new low-distortion driver and a custom high-dynamic range amplifier. over, the audio hardware is based on that of the Airpods Pro. These improvements bring powerful bass and crystal clear highs, further enhancing the audio quality. Lastly, both Airpods can work with Android devices.

Spatial audio

It’s worth noting that Apple Music announced spatial audio with Dolby Atmos, bringing lossless audio to the entire catalog at no additional cost. All music, movies and TV programs with spatial audio will be heard in an environment where the sound comes from different points. Home cinema only with your earbuds!

Only the Airpods Pro, Max, and the third-generation model feature spatial audio. Besides, dynamic head tracking, which works on top of the spatial audio, can make your group FaceTime calls, music, and movies on the Apple TV more enjoyable. The sound will change as you turn your head. For instance, if you listen to a song on Apple Music and turn your head right, the music will sound more prominent in your left ear.

Be aware that spatial audio with dynamic head tracking is only available on an iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV using your Airpods along with Apple Music.

Battery life and charging

The battery life is one of the most notable differences we found between the Apple Airpods 2 vs. the Airpods 3.

The Airpods 2 will offer up to 5 hours of audio playback or up to 3 hours of talk time. Similarly, the case will provide more than 24 hours of playback and up to 18 hours of talk time. At the charging level, 15 minutes in the case will give us about 3 hours of audio playback or 2 hours of talk time. Nonetheless, the 2nd generation Airpods lack any wireless charging.

As for the Airpods 3, they offer up to 6 hours of playback (5 hours with spatial audio on) or 4 hours of talk time, which increases to 30 hours of playback with the charging case or 20 hours of talk time. At the same time, 5 minutes of fast charging in the case will give us approximately one hour of audio playback or 1 hour of talk time. Lastly, the 3rd-gen Airpods charging case supports both Qi-standard wireless charging and Apple’s MagSafe charging system.


Both the Airpods 2 and Airpods 3 have two microphones that isolate your voice and ambient sound. Thus, they are perfect for your calls and offer better multimedia immersion in noisy surroundings.

Unlike its predecessors, the Airpods 3 are covered with a special acoustic mesh that softens the impact of air currents. If you live in a city with a lot of wind, you will notice the difference with this new feature.


The third-generation Airpods have a force sensor, the same as the Airpods Pro. This allows users to play and pause music or multimedia or answer a phone call by pressing them. The force sensor allows a wide range of commands, including pressing and holding to activate Siri. You can also press once to play, pause, or answer a phone call, and twice to skip forward.

In comparison, you can control the second-generation Airpods by tapping on the stems, and double-tapping to play, skip forward, or answer a phone call. These touch controls are more sensitive and may be accidentally triggered. It all comes down to your preference to decide which is better.

Skin detection

The Airpods 3 features a skin sensor, which can discern your ear from another surface. The sound will only play when you wear them, so they will not be activated by accident when you carry the wireless earbuds without the case in your This detector works by noticing water content in the skin to avoid mistaking it with s, bags, phones, tablets, or other surfaces.

The Airpods 2 have dual optical sensors to detect if they are in your ear. It’s essentially the same function, but it is not as optimal as the skin sensor of the third-generation Airpods. They can start playing if they detect any surface different from your ear.

Sweat and water resistance

One of the new additional features of the third-generation Airpods is that they are water-resistant with IPX4 certification. Unlike its predecessor, you don’t have to worry that much about sweat and water when exercising, and splashing water from any angle will not damage the device. They are perfect for training, especially considering their ergonomic design.

The second-generation model doesn’t have any IPX4 certification and is not sweat and water-resistant.

The verdict

Unquestionably, the Airpods 3 have more innovative technology like the spatial audio feature and adaptive equalizer to create a more immersive experience, with better isolation from the air or wind, better battery life, wireless charging, and new skin and force sensors for extra comfort.

Is it worth upgrading from the Airpods 2 to the Airpods 3, especially considering that they are 50 more expensive than their predecessors? It depends. If you are very demanding in audio quality and want the best possible immersion, the third-generation Airpods may be your choice. They are also sweat and water-resistant, so they can be a good upgrade if you exercise frequently.

On the contrary, if you are happy with the audio quality of the current Airpods 2, you don’t think you need the spatial audio, you don’t mind the wireless charging, and you haven’t cared that much about sweat and water until now when using them, you might as well keep your earbuds a bit longer. In the end, the second-generation Airpods are still robust earbuds with excellent audio quality and one of the best Apple devices ever made.

The alternative is to look for refurbished Airpods 3 that can make up for the price difference and get them even cheaper than factory-new Airpods 2. On RefurbMe, we specialize in offering the best refurbished Apple product comparisons in the market, with a warranty, 100% functional, and thoroughly tested and cleaned before being back on sale again.

Apple Airpods (2019) review

New features like wireless charging and faster pairing are useful, but the Apple Airpods (2019) aren’t a significant improvement over their predecessors, with the same lackluster audio performance and design. The battery life leaves something to be desired, too. Still, you shouldn’t write off the Airpods completely. Two years since their launch, and they (along with the Airpods Pro and Airpods Max) are still the best true wireless earbuds for those that want excellent connectivity that works with the wider Apple ecosystem. Plus, their advancing age means that you can often find discounts on the wireless earbuds.


  • Excellent connectivity
  • Wireless charging
  • Hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ functionality


  • – Wireless charging case costs extra
  • – Audio hasn’t improved
  • – No interchangeable eartips

Why you can trust TechRadar

We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The Apple Airpods are among the most popular true wireless earbuds on the planet – so are they still worth buying in 2022 now that the Airpods 3 have been launched?

The upgraded Apple Airpods were released in 2019, when the world was expecting Apple to bring out a totally new version of the original Airpods, which launched in 2016. There were even rumors that the new Airpods would launch with active noise cancellation and a more waterproof design.

In reality, the upgrades were less far-reaching than that, with Apple swapping out the existing processor for the latest H1 chip and giving the Airpods the ability to charge wirelessly.

While this may have felt like a disappointment for some, the inclusion of a new H1 chip did improve connectivity and battery life compared to the original Airpods, and it allows you to summon Siri with your voice alone.

Meanwhile, an optional wireless charging case means you can use a Qi-compatible charging mat to power the case, rather than sticking a cable into the Lightning charging port in the bottom of the case – though you do have to pay more to get the Airpods with a wireless charging case.

These upgrades are certainly useful, but it doesn’t feel like Apple has addressed any of the issues the original Airpods had, notably, the sound quality and design.

So, how do they sound? The Airpods have a lively, powerful presentation, although they can sound slightly harsh when it comes to higher-frequency sounds – and they certainly aren’t the bassiest earbuds on the market.

The design leaves a lot to be desired, too. Sure, the Airpods’ protruding stems have become almost iconic, but the lack of interchangeable ear tips means many won’t be able to find a snug fit – and they definitely aren’t secure enough for us to feel confident about wearing them while exercising.

These sound quality and design issues have since been addressed by the noise-cancelling Airpods Pro, which we would recommend over the 2019 Airpods. recently, Apple has also launched the next iteration of the Pro buds, the Airpods Pro 2. These bring significant upgrades over the original Pros in terms of both functionality and audio performance. However, as you might expect both the Pro and Pro 2 are much pricier options – and that brings us onto the price of the Airpods.

The second generation of the Apple Airpods cost 159 / £159 / AU249 with the standard charging case, and 199 / £199 / AU319 with the new Wireless Charging Case bundled in.

That’s pretty expensive compared to other better-sounding true wireless earbuds on the market, like the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 – although as time goes on, Airpods deals are increasingly common, and we’ve seen them drop to as low as 99 / £99 / AU99.

There’s no denying that the Airpods are still the most convenient earbuds to use with an iPhone or iPad, and that’s even more pertinent since a 2020 upgrade brought a an auto-switching feature that means the Airpods can now magically switch over between devices, detecting automatically which device you are using.

Whether that’s enough to convince you to buy them over cheaper alternatives, or the noise-cancelling Airpods Pro comes down to what you’re looking for from a pair of true wireless earbuds. And it’s worth bearing in mind that the next generation Airpods – the so-called Airpods 3 – are expected to be released this year.

All in all, the Apple Airpods aren’t the worst true wireless earbuds you could buy, especially if you’ve already bought into the Apple ecosystem – but they’re definitely not the best true wireless earbuds you can buy in 2022, either.

Price and availability

The second generation of the Apple Airpods have been given a permanent price drop, and now cost 129 / £119 / AU219.

They previously cost 159 / £159 / AU249 with the standard charging case, and 199 / £199 / AU319 with the Wireless Charging Case bundled in. You can still buy the Wireless Charging Case separately for 79 / £79 / AU129

Significant Apple AirPod deals are rare, but not impossible to find – in fact, we’ve seen drop as low as 99 /£99 / AU99.


Design-wise, there’s not a huge amount of difference between the second-generation Airpods and the originals; the long earbud stems and pillbox-style charging case look pretty much identical, although the new charging case now features a small LED light on the front. This allows you to check the charge status of the buds – it glows green if they’re fully charged, and orange if they’re not.

It’s interesting that Apple hasn’t changed the design of the earbuds themselves; after all, those stem-like protrusions were widely mocked upon their original release in 2016, and they don’t do the headphones any favors today.

After all, other true wireless earbuds that arguably look more stylish have been released since then, like the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 and the Bowers Wilkins PI7.

Another criticism of the first-generation Airpods was the lack of adjustable silicone ear tips that would allow you to find the best fit for your ears. and it’s the same story with the 2019 Airpods.

Despite this, the new Airpods do feel fairly snug and comfortable, although we probably wouldn’t wear them out running for fear of them falling out. As with other Apple products the design of the Airpods has quickly become somewhat iconic, and you could argue that the originals popularized the true wireless earbud, which is a good enough reason to stick to a tried and tested design.

Saying that, these design woes is have now been addressed with the Airpods Pro, which come with adjustable silicone tips and shorter stems for a more streamlined look.

Audio performance

In terms of audio quality, nothing has changed between the original Airpods and the second-generation model. They have a lively, powerful presentation, although they can sound slightly harsh when it comes to higher-frequency sounds, and they aren’t the bassiest earbuds on the market.

We tried them out on Joanna Newsom’s Sawdust and Diamonds, and while we were impressed by the clarity of the vocal, we were slightly underwhelmed by the treatment of the bass, and found that the treble frequencies were sometimes uncomfortably harsh.

We had the same issues listening to Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together; while the mid-frequency vocals sounded smooth and detailed, the higher brass and woodwind accents overpowered the other frequencies.

The Airpods (2019) fared slightly better when it came to Radiohead’s No Surprises. The gently strummed acoustic guitar had a warm, textural sound, while the glockenspiel sweetly accented the percussion with its crystalline presentation. Again, the vocals sounded good overall, with a smooth, clear tone; however, the new Airpods didn’t quite manage to convey the rich bass timbres.

So, like the original Airpods, the new Apple Airpods sound great when it comes to mid-frequency vocals, guitar and keys, but they can sound rather lackluster when it comes to bassier frequencies, and you may experience slight harshness with percussive, high-frequency sound.

There’s no noise cancellation on offer here; for that, you’ll need to take a look at the Airpods Pro, or the fantastic Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds.

Battery life and connectivity

The charging case offers a further 20 hours of battery life on top of the five hours you get from the buds themselves, which is the same as the original Airpods; Apple also says the second-generation model offers “three hours of talk-time from a single charge”, up from the two hours provided by the originals. This is thanks to Apple’s proprietary H1 chip, which is built into the new Airpods.

We found charging the case was really quick – we went from 25% to 100% battery in around an hour – and we also found the stated battery life for the earbuds themselves to be accurate.

The new wireless charging case means you can use Qi-compatible charging mats to power the case without the annoyance of cables, which is convenient if you already have a wireless charging mat – and as mentioned, if you have the original Airpods, you can buy the case separately.

The main calling card of the second-gen Airpods is improved connectivity, thanks to Apple’s H1 headphone chip, which replaces the previous chip, the W1.

Pairing was pretty Rapid with the original Airpods, but it’s noticeably quicker with the new Airpods; if you’re using an iPhone, an option to pair the Airpods will appear on your phone screen as soon as you open the charging case, as well as the battery status of the Airpods and the charging case.

A 2020 upgrade also brought a an auto-switching feature that means the Airpods can now magically switch over between devices, detecting automatically which device you are using – handy if you’re already embedded into the Apple ecosystem.

The H1 chip also enables the new Airpods to offer hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ functionality. This means you can use the voice assistant command to place calls, change songs and more – basically anything Siri can do, direct from the earbuds, without needing to pull your iPhone out.

We found this feature worked really well, and the built-in microphone was adept at picking up our voice, even in loud environments.

If you prefer, you can set up the new Airpods to summon the voice assistant when you double-tap the outer housing of the earbuds. If you select the Airpods from the Bluetooth menu in your phone’s settings, you can also configure the touch controls to play/pause your music, skip to the next or previous track; you can also turn off touch controls altogether. You can only assign one double-tap control to each earbud, which can be slightly limiting.

While we carried out most of our tests using an iPhone SE, we also tried pairing them with an Android phone, the Huawei Mate 20. While you don’t get the automatic pairing you get with an iPhone, Bluetooth pairing is still pretty quick. You just need to hold down the pairing button on the back of the Airpods case and they should appear in your phone’s Bluetooth menu.

Apple says the H1 chip means the “Airpods deliver up to two times faster switching between active devices”, are “50% faster when transferring a call to your Airpods”, and “deliver 30% lower gaming latency”.

airpods, bluetooth, version, they

We tested the second-gen Airpods while playing iOS games and we didn’t experience any latency issues. We also found using the Airpods to make and answer calls to be a seamless experience, and the quality of the audio was generally very good.

Buy them if.

You have an iPhone Connectivity with other Apple products is fantastic, and an automatic switching feature has made this even better.

How Far Can Airpods Be Away From Phone? [A Comprehensive Guide]

Discover the perfect range to retain sound quality and avoid connection drops with your Airpods.

Airpods generally have a range of 30 to 60 feet, allowing users to conveniently listen to their favorite tunes, even with their phone far away.

Unfortunately, this range was tested in an ideal setting, free of any blockages or interference. So when tested in real life, it’s more likely to decrease, leading to disconnections or audio distortions.

For this reason, we tested each Airpods models to understand how far you can go without losing connection. Read on as we breakdown our findings and discuss how you can test your own Airpods’ range.

How Far Can Airpods Be Away From Phone: Optimal vs Maximum Range

Generally, you must stay within 9 to 18 meters (30 to 60 feet) from your phone for the best audio quality. This is the optimal range to use your Airpods without issues, taking into account interference from walls and other obstacles.

However, you can still use your Airpods beyond 60 feet. In fact, Airpods models that use Bluetooth 5.0 and above have a maximum range of up to 800 feet (240 meters) in an open area.

The Airpods Pro 2 is the only model using Bluetooth 5.3. They are more battery efficient and offer better sound quality, improved connectivity, and less interference.

Here is a summary of the Bluetooth version, optimal range, and maximum range for each Airpods model:

The maximum range is the longest possible distance between your phone and Airpods without getting disconnected. However, at this range, you should expect to encounter connection drops and a decline in sound quality.

On the other hand, the optimal range is the range within which your Airpods’ connection to your phone is most stable. This means the quality of your audio is at its best, as no lags or audio distortions are present. The optimal range is usually shorter than the maximum range.

The Airpods’ maximum range is useful if you need to go out for a bit but don’t want to go through the hassle of leaving or disconnecting your Airpods. This is also especially helpful if you’ve misplaced your Airpods, as it would be much easier to find them if they’re still connected to your phone.

Meanwhile, if you want a seamless listening experience, you should stay within your Airpods’ optimal range.

How to Test Your Airpods’ Optimal and Maximum Range

The optimal and maximum range for Airpods are usually tested in an open area with limited interferences. So, you may want to test how your Airpods fare in more realistic settings.

Follow these steps to test your Airpods’ Bluetooth range:

  • Connect your Airpods to your phone, then place your phone in a secure area.
  • Wear your Airpods, then play something on your phone with continuous audio.
  • Slowly move away from your phone while listening via your Airpods.
  • Note the distance when the audio starts fading or lagging. This is your optimal range.
  • Move even farther until the Airpods get disconnected from your phone. This is your maximum range.

Factors That Affect the Airpods’ Bluetooth Range

Your Airpods’ optimal and maximum range can easily be affected by technological and environmental factors. These include obstacles between the Airpods and your phone and signal interference by other Bluetooth devices.

Let’s talk about these in more detail.

Obstacles between Airpods and phone

Bluetooth works by transmitting radio waves through the air. These radio waves attenuate with distance, weakening the connection between the Bluetooth transmitter and receiver. This phenomenon is known as path loss or path attenuation.

Path loss also worsens due to obstacles within the transmission environment.

Walls, Windows, and hard objects made of glass, wood, metal, or concrete can all increase the attenuation of radio waves by reflecting or absorbing them.

This is why being indoors can weaken your Bluetooth signal since the radio waves have to travel through the walls and furniture.

Ultimately, these factors reduce the maximum and optimal range within which your Airpods can operate.

To increase your Bluetooth range indoors, minimize the obstacles between your Airpods and phone. This might mean leaving your phone in an open area like the living room or keeping your bedroom door open when you need to leave your phone momentarily.

Interference from other devices

Bluetooth operates within a frequency range of 2.402 to 2.480 gigahertz. Different devices, like wireless speakers, Wi-Fi, and microwaves, work in the same frequency range.

That’s why using these devices while you use your Airpods can cause interference in connectivity, thus reducing your signal strength. This phenomenon is called Bluetooth interference.

The best way to minimize Bluetooth interference is to identify its cause. You can turn other wireless devices on and off until you find the one affecting your connection. Then, you can avoid using your Airpods near the interfering device or simply turn it off when not in use.

You can also turn off other wireless devices you don’t often use to prevent them from obstructing your signal.

How to Increase Airpods’ Connection Range

Aside from avoiding obstacles that can reduce your Airpods’ range, there are a few things you can do so you can increase the distance between your phone and Airpods. To do this, you can either use a phone that supports Bluetooth 5.0 and above or connect your Airpods to an Apple Watch.

Use a phone with the latest Bluetooth version

Bluetooth versions are backward-compatible, meaning Airpods with the latest Bluetooth version can still work with phones using older versions.

However, with backward compatibility, you can only utilize the features of the older Bluetooth version.

Thus, connecting a pair of Bluetooth 5.0 Airpods with a Bluetooth 4.2 phone will limit your connection’s capabilities to Bluetooth 4.2’s. Your connection will also be limited to 60 meters (200 feet), the maximum range for Bluetooth 4.2.

Therefore, if you want to maximize the signal strength of your Airpods, you must use a device with the latest Bluetooth version, or at least the version your Airpods support.

Use an Apple Watch

If you’re wondering, “Do you have to always carry your phone with Airpods?”, the answer is no.

Instead, you can use your Apple Watch with your Airpods to avoid carrying your phone with you. The portability of the Apple Watch ensures you can stay within the optimal range of your Airpods wherever you go.

You must be connected to the internet to use your music streaming apps on your Apple Watch without issue. To do so, you can use an Apple Watch Cellular or stay in an area with a stable Wi-Fi connection. Alternatively, you can download songs into your watch to access them offline.

Once you set up your Airpods with your iPhone, they will automatically be paired to your Apple Watch and other devices signed into iCloud with the same Apple ID, as long as your phone runs iOS 12 or higher.

However, if your Airpods fail to connect automatically with your Apple Watch, you can instead pair them manually. Here’s how:

  • Put your Airpods on pairing mode. Then, press the digital crown on your Apple Watch and go to Settings.
  • Scroll down to Bluetooth.
  • Tap on the name of your Airpods to connect.

To test if your Airpods are successfully connected to your Apple Watch, go to your music streaming app, then play music. On the AirPlay menu that pops up, choose Airpods in the list of connected devices, and check if you can hear the audio properly.


As you can see, you’ll need to cover a considerable distance before your connection to your Airpods starts breaking. Plus, you can try various methods to improve your Airpods’ range or decrease path loss to use your Airpods at farther distances.

Hopefully, this article has helped you make the most out of your Airpods. Now, you won’t have to worry about disconnecting from your phone whenever you walk some distance away!

Did this article help you identify your Airpods’ optimal and maximum range? Still confused about how to maximize your Airpods’ range? Let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев!

What is the Range on Airpods?

By Anna Middleton Anna Middleton Author Read more March 7, 2020

You probably hate it that your headphones somehow manage to get tangled no matter how neat you fold the cord. The wires stop working after a while, or the sound quality drops after the 150 th time you untangled them.

Switching to wireless headphones is only natural in this case. The Airpods are an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy simple and easy operation and quality sound at the same time. Would you like to learn more about the sound these Apple earbuds provide for you?

The Optimal and Maximum Range

The Apple Airpods are compatible with many devices, not only iPhones. You can connect them to many smartphones or tablets, as long as they have Bluetooth. Their optimal reception range is around 30-60 feet or 10-18 meters. That means you can move around without necessarily taking your phone with you, and whatever you’re listening to won’t start skipping.

Some users even decided to test the resiliency of these earbuds. They discovered the Airpods can do more than 60 feet and still play music without interruptions, but that’s not official information. However, you will probably make the most of this range by using the buds with an iOS device. Connecting them to an Android phone, for example, although entirely possible, may affect the range.

Note that two people can use these earbuds at the same time. If you lend one of yours to a friend, make sure you stay within the mentioned range, and you’ll be able to enjoy the music together.

There isn’t any noticeable difference between the 1 st gen and 2 nd gen Airpods when it comes to the range. The newer model may have a bit more stable connection when farther from the source. It wasn’t one of the highlighted improvements that came with the Airpods Pro edition, either.

How Do I Connect My Airpods?

The Airpods let you do more than listen to music. You can also talk to Siri or make phone calls. Here’s how to connect the buds and start using them if you have an iOS device:

  • Check your phone for available updates.
  • Put the case with your Airpods in it next to your phone.
  • Unlock your phone and wait for an animation to appear on the screen.
  • Tap Connect to start pairing.
  • Continue following the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  • When the pairing process finishes, tap on Done.

If you’re an Android user, here are the steps you should follow:

  • Open Bluetooth settings on your phone. It depends on the model you’ve got, but it’s probably under Settings and then Connections.
  • Turn on Bluetooth.
  • Open the lid of your Airpods’ case. There’s a button on the backside of the case – it’s for setup. Press it and wait for the status light to start flashing white.
  • The Airpods will appear in the list of available devices. Tap them and finish the pairing.

Note that you can’t use Siri with an Android device, only iOS phones and tablets can access it.

If you have a Mac, you can pair the Airpods with it. For the 2 nd generation, your Mac needs to be Mojave 10.14.4 or later versions, while the Airpods Pro work with Catalina 10.15.1 or later.

  • Go to System Preferences on your Mac computer and select Bluetooth.
  • Turn on Bluetooth and put your Airpods in their case with the lid open.
  • Find the setup up button on the backside of the case. Press it and hold. The status light will flash white when your Mac recognizes the Airpods.
  • Find them on the list on your computer and choose Connect.
  • Click on the volume control to select the Airpods as the main audio output, if they’re not already selected.

How Do I Talk to Siri?

If you connect the Airpods to an iOS device, you can take full advantage of Apple’s voice assistant, Siri.

The main difference between the first and second-gen Airpods is in the way you wake up your assistant. With the latter, you can say Hey Siri, and she will be at your disposal.

However, if you have the older version, you should double-tap one of the buds to activate the assistant and then start giving commands.

With Siri, it’s easy to turn the volume up or down, stop and resume the music, skip a song, and even check your Airpods battery status.

Make the Most out of Airpods

Airpods are one of the most practical Apple gadgets and bring relief after years of struggling with headphones and wires. They offer excellent sound quality and take only seconds to connect to any device, and they also give you more freedom than regular headphones.

Have you already started using your Airpods? What are you able to do within their range without picking up your phone? Tell us in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section below.