How to Connect AirPods With an Apple TV

Connect automatically or manually to enjoy AirPods audio

What to Know

  • If the devices are signed in to your iCloud account, go to Home screen > press Play/Pause > choose your AirPods.
  • Pair manually: Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth. Press case button > select your AirPods.
  • Unpair AirPods and Apple TV: Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth > select AirPods > Forget Device.

This article explains how to connect Apple's wireless AirPods to the Apple TV and how to unpair AirPods from the TV. Instructions apply to all models of Apple AirPods and Apple TVs.

Connect AirPods to an Apple TV Automatically

If your AirPods and Apple TV are both signed into your iCloud account, they'll pair automatically. (You must have entered your Apple ID when you set up your Apple TV.) Here's how it works.

  1. Open your AirPods case with the AirPods inside.

  2. Navigate to your Apple TV's Home screen.

  3. Press the Play/Pause button on your Apple TV remote and select your AirPods.

Connect AirPods to Your Apple TV Manually

If your AirPods and Apple TV aren't signed into the same iCloud account, you'll need to pair them manually. Here's how.

  1. Place your AirPods in their charging case.

    Apple AirPods in the charging case
    Apple Inc.
  2. Open the Settings app on your Apple TV.

    The Settings app on an Apple TV
  3. Select Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth.

    A screenshot of Apple TV's Remotes and Devices settings screen with the Bluetooth option highlighted
  4. Open the AirPods case; hold the pairing button on the back of the case until the status LED flashes white.

    An AirPods case with the pairing button highlighted
  5. On the Other Devices list, select your AirPods.

  6. When you've paired your AirPods to your Apple TV:

    • You can listen to audio from Apple TV.
    • You can double-tap an AirPod to play or pause content on Apple TV.
    • The automatic ear detection system in AirPods pauses audio or video when you remove them from your ears.

You can use this process to pair your AirPods with an Android phone, Windows device, or any other device with Bluetooth support.

Unpair Your AirPods and Apple TV

Perform the following steps on your Apple TV to unpair your AirPods from your Apple TV:

  1. Select your Apple TV Settings.

    The Settings app on an Apple TV
  2. Select Remote and Devices > Bluetooth.

    A screenshot of Apple TV's Remotes and Devices settings screen with the Bluetooth option highlighted
  3. From the list of paired devices, select your AirPods.

  4. Select Forget Device.

  5. Select Forget Device again to authorize the process.

When you've paired your AirPods with your Apple TV, the headphones will automatically reconnect and play audio from that device.

What Are AirPods?

Apple's wireless AirPods may not make your ears smarter, but they certainly put a computer in your ear. Introduced in 2016, AirPods use a range of proprietary Apple technologies to provide an excellent listening experience.

They use an Apple-developed wireless chip to provide high-quality sound. They're easy to set up and provide useful controls for your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Once you've connected AirPods to an iPhone, iPad, or another device, you can listen to audio, access Siri, and answer phone calls.

But AirPods are capable of much more.

For example, AirPods have dual optical sensors and accelerometers to detect when they're actually in your ear. So, they play only when you're ready to listen and stop automatically when you take them out (although this feature works only with iPhones).

Additionally, when you're signed in to your iCloud account and you pair your AirPods with your iPhone, they automatically work with any Mac, iPad, or Apple Watch that's signed in to the same iCloud account.

You can't use Siri on Apple TV through AirPods. Siri support on AirPods used with Apple TV is not yet available.

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