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AirPods FAQ: Everything you need to know about Apple’s wireless earbuds

Susie Ochs | Dec. 16, 2016
How to get your AirPods set up, control your music with Siri—and what happens if you lose one.

If you are listening to the Music app, you can ask for specific songs, albums, artists, and playlists (in your library if you aren’t an Apple Music subscriber, or across the whole Apple Music service if you are), and you get more commands.

  • Start this song over
  • Rewind
  • Play more like this
  • Add this to my collection
  • Shuffle on

Obviously, using Siri to control playback has some lag. First you have to double-tap the AirPod and wait for the chime that lets you know Siri is listening. Then you have to speak your query and wait for the iPhone to parse it.

It’s a lot less convenient than, say, the Beats Solo3 or other wireless headphones that put more controls right on the headphones themselves. But the AirPods are a lot smaller, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t have buttons. Apple could perhaps add support for a second gesture (say, a triple-tap to join the double-tap), but what is here is a good start.

How to charge the AirPods and their case

The AirPods will last about five hours per charge, according to Apple—we’ll be sure to test this for our review. Their case holds a battery too, and you stick the AirPods back in the case to charge them. The little light inside the case glows orange when the AirPods are charging, and magnets keep them snug in the charging case, even if you turn it all the way upside down. Each AirPod fits exactly in one of the two openings, so as long as they’re in there and you can close the lid, they should be properly seated for charging.

airpods in case 

To charge the case itself, just connect a Lightning cable to the port on the bottom. Then connect the other end to an AC power adapter or a USB port on a Mac.

What do the light inside the case mean?

If your AirPods are in the case, you’ll see an orange light if they’re charging, or a green light when they’re nearly fully charged. If no AirPods are in the case, the light still goes on when you open the lid, but it indicates how much battery life is left int he case itself: orange for needs charging and green for good life left. I’d like it if there were multiple lights, say five of them that lit up in increments of 20 percent. Right now, the case is showing a green light, but my iPhone says it has 62 percent of its charge left.

Real talk—are they going to stay in my ears?

They’re staying in my ears just fine! Seriously, check out the video below. I headbang, jog in place, and perform a pretty wild shadow boxing kind of a dance, and they didn’t budget at all.


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