How to Pause Apple AirPods

Learn how to customize AirPod gestures, too!

Airpods

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If you're an Apple aficionado, you probably have Apple AirPods, Apple's wireless, rechargeable, in-ear headphones. AirPods enable you to talk to friends or listen to music and podcasts without even having to touch your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac. Once you've set up your AirPods and charged them, they're always on and connected.

When you're listening to music or podcasts, these headphones offer several ways to pause and restart audio playback as well as skip or replay audio tracks. You can also configure which AirPod performs an audio task based on your personal preferences. Read on to learn three ways to pause audio playback on your AirPods.

Pause Playback by Taking an AirPod out of Your Ear

By default, if you remove one of your AirPods from your ear, audio playback automatically stops. Playback resumes if you put the AirPod back in your ear within 15 seconds of removing it.

If you remove both AirPods from your ears, audio playback switches to the speakers of the Apple device your AirPods are connected to. Then, you can manually pause the audio playback on your Apple device.

This default function is called Automatic Ear Detection. If you want audio playback to continue even if you remove one of your AirPods from your ear, you can disable Automatic Ear Detection. Disabling this function may be a good idea if:

  • You're multitasking and want to listen to music through one AirPod
  • You don't want your music or podcast to switch to playing out loud on your Apple device when you remove an AirPod from your ear.

To disable Automatic Ear Detection, complete the following steps:

  1. Open the AirPods Case with your AirPods in it. Then, on your iOS device, select Settings > Bluetooth.

  2. Under MY DEVICES, select the i Detail Disclosure button next to your AirPods.

  3. Select the Automatic Ear Detection switch to disable the function.

    Airpod Automatic Ear Detection

Pause Playback by Double-Tapping an AirPod

The second way to pause audio playback is by double-tapping an AirPod. To enable and customize this functionality, complete the following steps:

  1. Open the AirPods Case with your AirPods in it. Then, on your iOS device, select Settings > Bluetooth.

  2. Under MY DEVICES, select the i Detail Disclosure button next to your AirPods.

  3. Under DOUBLE-TAP ON AIRPOD, select which of the following functions the right and left AirPods will perform when you double-tap them:

  • Access Siri
  • Play, pause, or stop audio playback
  • Skip to the next track
  • Replay the previous track
Airpod

Apple introduced the Next Track and Previous Track options with iOS 11. If your iOS device is running an earlier version of iOS, the only options for double-tap are Siri, Play/Pause, and Off.

Pause Playback by Using Siri

Both first- and second-generation AirPods work with Siri. Which generation you have determines how you access Apple's digital assistant:

  • If you have first-generation AirPods and configured one of your AirPods to access Siri, double-tap the designated AirPod, and then tell the assistant want you want it to do (for example, pause playback).
  • If you have second-generation AirPods, access Siri by saying "Hey, Siri." Then, tell the assistant what you want it to do (for example, skip to the next track).