Apple’s AirPods have become much more than just trendy new tech — they’re practically a cultural phenomenon. It’s hard to walk down the street and not see somebody listening to their favorite tunes or chatting it up with someone. Plenty of people have chimed in about how the wireless headphones have been a game changer. At the same time, it’s understandable if you haven’t jumped on the AirPods bandwagon. There’s still the fear of one falling out of your ear and through a subway grate, forever lost into the abyss — though the new AirPods Pro are actively trying to address that issue. And starting at $199, the Apple product can still be a bit of a financial investment. But if you have taken the leap, we’ll help you get the most out of your new earbuds.
AirPods have numerous capabilities beyond just giving you a wireless listening experience. Check out our AirPods tips and tricks to learn everything from how to find your AirPods if you’ve lost a bud somewhere in your dorm to ways to improve how you use them.
How to find your AirPods if they get lost
So you finished up morning classes and dashed over to the dining hall for lunch, and halfway through your chicken tenders you realize that you left your AirPods somewhere. Don’t fret — there’s hope for getting your pearly whites back. If you already have Find My iPhone set up on an iPhone or Apple product you’re using with your AirPods, you can use the service to see where your AirPods are on a map.
Let’s say you fall asleep with your AirPods in during a late-night Netflix binge and can’t find one of the buds. It might be wrapped up in your sheets or have fallen behind your bed. If it’s near any of your Apple devices and connected to Bluetooth, you can play a beeping sound from Find my iPhone to help you find them. Just go to Find My iPhone > Actions > Play Sound to have them send out the beacon.
And if you’re wary of taking the plunge for earbuds that pop out of your ears, the new Airpods Pro come redesigned with silicone tips that make the pods not only way more comfortable, but way less likely to leave your ears without your knowledge (they do come with a higher price tag, at $249). You can even take an Ear Tip Best Fit test (the model comes with three sizes to adjust for maximum noise canceling) that uses a music clip to track how you listen. Science.
How to switch your AirPods from iPhone to Mac
Getting work done on your Macbook while wearing your AirPods but want the audio to play from your computer’s internal speakers so you can show your friend a YouTube video of a cat? Easy peasy. If you already have the volume shortcut set up on your Mac menu bar, you can click the volume icon for a quick shortcut to toggle the audio source from your AirPods to your Mac and back.
How to choose your AirPod double-tap settings
This is probably my favorite AirPod trick. You can program each of your AirPods to do a certain function by double-tapping it (heads up: this is only available on the new second-generation AirPods). To customize your double-tap settings for AirPods when they are connected to your device and are out of the case in Bluetooth settings, head to Settings > Bluetooth > AirPods info (the “i” in the circle next to where it says Connected/Not Connected). At that menu you can choose one of the following commands: activate Siri, play/pause, skip to the next track, or play the previous track. Personally, I have play/pause on my left AirPod and next track on my right. This makes it easier to skip to the next song on my queue without having to pull out my phone.
The AirPods Pro switch things up slightly with a new Force Sensor, which toggles listening modes and controls skips forward and back, or play and pause; in the info menu, you can change up Siri and Noise-Cancelling settings.
How to rename your AirPods
Want to jazz up your AirPods’ names with something a bit more creative? Dub it one of those Yeerks from *Animorphs*? Or something spacey like “Gabe’s Scouter?” Just go to Settings > Bluetooth > My Devices > Name AirPods.
How to use Siri with your AirPods
This feature will make you feel just like Ironman’s Tony Stark giving voice commands to Jarvis. By saying “Hey, Siri,” you can put in a number of asks. Some of the most useful ones are below:
• "Play my favorites playlist.”
• “Send a message to [contact name]"
• "Turn up/down the volume." You can specify this even further with a specific percent you’d like the volume to be turned up or down.
• "How do I get home from here?"
• "Skip to the next song."
• "Pause music."
• "How is the battery on my AirPods?”
• “How do you say hello in Spanish?”
• “Play [insert name] podcast"
How to clean your AirPods
After using all these handy dandy features, you’ll likely want to give your AirPods a nice cleanse from any dirt or ear wax build-up. Clean your AirPods and charging case regularly with a soft, lint-free cloth or a soft-bristled brush. For the microphone and speaker meshes, use a dry cotton swab. Remove any debris from the meshes with a clean, dry, soft-bristled brush.
How to Make Your Battery Last Longer
Currently, AirPods last around five hours a charge if you’re listening to music and around three to three and a half hours of talk time. The charging case provides around 24 hours of extra battery life. To make that cumulative time stretch out, you can hack it by using one pod at a time, lowering the volume when you’re using them, and popping the pods in their case when you’re not using them. Also, as MacWorld points out, don’t get in a nervous habit of popping the case open and shut — it’s the same drain as clicking your phone on and off 150 times a day.
The new Airpods Pro, on the other hand, come with two nifty new settings for ambient noise — one is “noise cancellation” and one is “transparency.” When you’re toggled for cancellation, you’ll block out an extremely high amount of noise. When it comes time to allow the world back in, toggle over to “transparency” to hear how a new outward-facing microphone filters in outside sounds (it’ll make you feel super-bionic). But all that power can drain your battery slightly faster, taking off around half an hour from the average five hours per charge. When you don’t need the special settings, simply go to Bluetooth > My Devices > Name Airpods to switch the features to “off,” leaving the silicone buds to do the noise-canceling heavy lifting alone.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue