AirPod Settings: What They Are and How to Use Them

Get the most from your Apple wireless earbuds

Woman listening to AirPods and holding her iPhone in the air.

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Everyone knows that AirPods are great for listening to music, making phone calls, and talking to Siri, but there are also a bunch of AirPod settings that let you customize how your AirPods work. From changing their name to assigning different actions when you double tap each AirPod and more, you have lots of options to adjust AirPod settings. Here's what you need to know.

The instructions in this article apply to all versions of the AirPods, including the 1st generation (Lightning case) and 2nd generation (wireless case) models.

How to Change AirPod Settings

However you want to customize your AirPods, you always begin with the same set of steps. For all of the sections in the rest of this article, start with these four steps:

  1. On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, tap the Settings app to open it.

    Screenshots of changing AirPods settings on iPhone
  2. Tap Bluetooth.

  3. Tap the i icon next to your AirPods.

    The main AirPods setting screen on iPhone

    Your AirPods must be connected in order to change the settings. If they're not listed as Connected on this screen, connect them first.

  4. The screen that loads next contains all of the AirPod settings options.

You can only customize AirPod settings on Apple devices (iOS and Mac). While AirPods work with virtually any device that supports Bluetooth, on those devices they act like normal Bluetooth earbuds. They only have the special features and settings when used with Apple products.

How to Change AirPods Name Settings

By default, your AirPods will be name "[your firstname]'s AirPods." You won't see the name of your AirPods too often—just when you try to connect them to a device or if you use Find My AirPods to look for them when they're lost.

Still, you may want to give them a different (and maybe more fun) name. To find out how, check out our article How to Rename AirPods.

How to Change AirPods Double Tap Settings

You can cause different actions to happen when you quickly double tap your AirPods, including playing/pausing audio or activating Siri. You can control what action happens on the double tap, and assign different settings to each AirPods, by following these steps:

  1. In the Double-Tap on AirPod section, tap Left or Right to choose which AirPod's settings you want to change.

    Screenshots of changing AirPods double tap settings
  2. On the next screen, choose the action you want to trigger when you double tap that AirPods. Options include Siri, Play/Pause, Next Track, Previous Track, and Off (if you select this, nothing happens when you double tap the AirPod).

  3. Tap the back arrow in the top left corner and then tap the other AirPod and choose your settings.

How to Change AirPods Automatic Ear Detection Settings

By default, when you put your AirPods in your ears, the audio playing on devices that you've connected your AirPods to—like an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other device—automatically gets sent to the AirPods. This is smart and convenient, but you may not want it to happen. To stop your AirPods from automatically picking up any audio that's playing when you put them in your ears ove the Automatic Ear Detection slider to off/white.

Ever notice that your AirPods stop playing audio when you take them out of your ears? If you turn off this setting, audio will keep playing even if they're not in your ears.

How to Change AirPods Microphone Settings

Both AirPods have a microphone in the bottom that picks up your voice when you're making a phone call or using Siri. By default, either AirPod work as the mic, which means you can just have one in your ear and it still works. You can also choose to have just one AirPod always have the microphone work, while the other never will by following these steps:

  1. Tap Microphone.

    Screenshots of changing AirPods microphone settings
  2. The default setting, to use both AirPods, is Automatically Switch AirPods. You can also choose either Always Left AirPod or Always Right AirPod.

Change AirPod Settings on Mac

In addition to changing AirPod settings on the iPhone and iPad, you can also change them using a Mac. Here's how:

  1. On a Mac that has AirPods set up to work with it, click the Apple menu in the top left corner.

    Screenshot of selecting System Preferences menu on Mac
  2. Click System Preferences.

  3. Click Bluetooth.

    Screenshot of macOS System Preferences window
  4. Single click your AirPods.

    Screenshot of changing AirPods settings on a Mac
  5. Click Options and then customize the same settings as already discussed earlier in this article.