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How to connect two sets of AirPods to your iPhone with Apple's new software

Key Points
  • With iOS 13, Apple will let you connect two AirPods with a single iPhone.
  • The feature already works in the iOS 13 public beta, but will be available to everyone later this year.
  • Here's how to pair two sets of AirPods with a single iPhone in iOS 13.
Apple's second-generation AirPods support wireless charging and voice-activated Siri.
Apple

Apple will roll out new software for the iPad and iPhone later this year that will allow users to pair two sets of AirPods with one device. That means if you're traveling with a friend or spouse, you can both watch the same movie or listen to the same music playlist, eaching using your own AirPods.

The updates will be part of the launch of iPadOS and iOS 13.

Newer Android phones already have this option through Bluetooth 5, but it's the first time Apple is enabling it. A colleague and I just tested it using the iOS 13 beta. We were able to listen to the same song at the same time. It's a useful addition.

Here's how you pair two AirPods with one iPhone running iOS 13 after one is already connected:

  • Open the charging case lid and hold the pairing button on the back of your second set of AirPods until the inside light flashes white.
  • Bring it close to the iPhone for pairing.
  • Tap the pop-up menu confirming you want to pair the AirPods to your iPhone.
  • Start playing music.
  • You'll hear tunes through the AirPods you just paired.
  • Now tap the AirPlay button.
  • Choose the first pair of AirPods you connected.
  • Music should be playing in both sets of AirPods at the same time.

That's all you need to do.

I hope Apple adds support for multiple Bluetooth devices in the next iPhone, so you can enjoy the same functionality without having to use AirPods. That would help when I travel with my wife, who has a different brand of Bluetooth headset.

Bookmark this page so you can set it up when iOS 13 comes to iPhones in the coming months, or try it now if you've installed the iOS 13 public beta.

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