Your questions about the AirPods

by Volker Weber


You had a couple of questions about AirPods control. Let me try to answer them by talking more about them in general.

Your AirPods are three, not two things. Two earbuds, one case. Think of them as one. When you take the earbuds out of the case, they switch on, put them back, they switch off. There is no on/off switch. When you put them in the case, they charge very quickly. As long as there is juice in the battery of the case, it will fill them up. That is what the metal rings at the tip of the earbud are for. The stem also contains the antennas.

Wireless range is pretty good. I can walk around the room and move to the next room without losing connection. It has to be, because it is actually harder to connect when your body is close and might block the direct line of sight between the AirPods and the iPhone.

AirPods use Bluetooth, and as such they can be paired with any device. Just press and hold the button on the back of the case and they become discoverable. However, they only shine when you stay in the Apple universe. If you're signed in to iCloud, your AirPods are set up automatically with any of your supported devices that are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID. If your iThing is on iOS 10 and your mThing is on macOS Sierra, you can select to connect with the AirPods. That is how you transfer between your iPhone and iPad. Open the Control Center by swiping from the bottom, then go to the second page, and there are your AirPods. That functionality is built into iOS 10 and macOS Sierra.

And no, they will not fall out of your ear. Unlike the EarPods that have a wire which will yank them out. You have to appreciate the design. They just want to stay in and unless you grab one by the tip, it won't come out. Having said that, they are very slippery and might as well be coated with Teflon. That is why they are also not easily removed from the case. It just takes a bit of adjustment until your fingers learn how to best grab them.

That means you will not lose the AirPods when wearing or carrying them in the case. Inbetween however you will drop them. Repeat: you will drop them. Make sure that happens when you can reach them. And also remember that you need the case to switch them off. Don't just put them somewhere. They have to go back into the case. Did I mention you should always keep your AirPods in their carrying case?

And no, you don't need an Apple Watch to control them. You want one. If you don't have an Apple Watch, all the same controls are on the iPhone lock screen. And you can adjust the volume with the iPhone volume buttons without ever looking.


Just one more thing :-)

Is it possible to pair the Airpods to your Apple universe devices with all the W1 features and have them paired with a normal PC at the same time? The usecase would be to be able to use them not only with my apple devices, but with my PC @ work too.

Daniel Meyer, 2017-01-19

Gruber made a nice video on how to best grab them when pulling them out of the case:

I learned something there ;)

Thomas Einwaller, 2017-01-19

Have you tried running with the airpods ?

Jerome Rauch, 2017-01-19

A gentleman walks, but never runs. If you want to know if they fall out when running, no way.

Volker Weber, 2017-01-19

I'm obviously the one with the funny ears. I walk some steps and I feel (and hear) that they have moved enough that I have to push them in again. Other actions like bending down – no way. The W1 chip is neat and I wanted to love them but I will stick to the Backbeat Fits for me mobile needs.

Dietmar Liehr, 2017-02-02

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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