How to Use AirPods Automatic Switching Feature to Switch Between Devices

Apple recently issued an update for its AirPods, AirPods Pro and some Beats-branded headphones that allows them to automatically switch between your different Apple devices. Learn how you can make use of this AirPods automatic switching feature to easily switch between your iPhone, iPad and Mac, depending on which device you are using to listen to audio.

For example, if you have your AirPods connected to your Mac but receive a phone call on your iPhone, your AirPods will automatically switch to your iPhone when you answer a call. The feature is really useful, and when used properly, can really make your workflow efficient.

Supported Devices

Currently, only the following headphones by Apple and Beats support the audio switching feature:

  • AirPods Pro
  • AirPods (2nd generation)
  • Powerbeats
  • Powerbeats Pro
  • Solo Pro

On the device side, you need to make sure all the devices you want to use for audio switching are signed in to the same Apple ID as your iPhone. You also need to ensure that your devices are updated to the latest firmware. That means they should be running iOS 14, iPadOS14, and macOS Big Sur or later, as well as the latest firmware for your headphones.

Latest Headphones Firmware

It is essential that your headphones are running the latest firmware available from Apple to use the AirPods automatic switching feature.

Firmware updates are usually installed over-the-air for AirPods, AirPods Pro and the aforementioned Beats models when they’re connected to an iOS device. Apart from this, there is no other way to upgrade the firmware. A quick way to force upgrades to your AirPods / AirPods Pro is to put the earbuds in the case, connect the case to a power source and then re-pair the headphones with your device.

Apple introduced AirPods / AirPods Pro / Beats headphones firmware update 3A283 that introduced audio switching in September 2020. You can check which version they’re running with the following steps:

1. Connect your AirPods / Beats heaphones to your iOS device.

2. Open the Settings app.

3. Tap “General -> About -> AirPods.”

4. Look at the number next to “Firmware version.”

For Beats headphones:

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap on Bluetooth.

3. Tap on the Info icon next to your Beats headphones.

Switch Airpods Between Devices Info

4. Look at the number next to “Firmware version.”

Switch Airpods Between Devices Version

If this is anything before 3A283, keep your AirPods connected in the case and hope that they update automatically.

On the other hand, you can also use the Beats Updater to keep your Beats earphones or headphones up to date with the latest firmware available.

How to Use Audio Switching

1. Make sure your headphones are connected to your iOS device.

2. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.

3. Tap on Bluetooth.

4. Tap the Info icon next to your AirPods or Beats headphones.

5. Tap “Connect to This iPhone / iPad.”

Switch Airpods Between Devices Connect Option 2

6. Select Automatically.

Switch Airpods Between Devices Switch

Now, whenever you open any other connected iPhone / iPad / Mac that’s synced with your nearby headphones, your AirPods / Beats headphones should automatically switch to it, and you’ll get a notification.

In case you want to keep them connected to your current device, simply tap on the blue arrow next to the “Moved to” notification. This will keep them connected to your current device.

Switch Airpods Between Devices Notification

Similarly, a notification will appear on the other device where the headphones were connected previously.

Switch Airpods Between Devices Mac Switch

If you don’t find the AirPods automatic switching feature handy, you can easily turn it off by following the steps again and selecting “When Last Connected to This iPhone” instead of “Automatically.”