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Apple AirPods: 10 secrets you’ll wish you knew sooner

It’s like Christmas year-round with Apple these days. Between the introduction of its iPhone 11 series and two new models of AirPods this year, the tech giant has fans excited and amending their wish lists.

Truth be told, its difficult not to like Apple products. For example, take the AirPods. Outside the price tag, the company’s signature headphones are sleek and provide a great overall user experience, thanks to a multitude of features the competition lacks. Tap or click here to learn how to safeguard your AirPods.

While there are a few design differences between the three models, AirPods, AirPods (2nd gen) and AirPods Pro, they have many features in common beyond the ability to stream music.

If you are hoping to find AirPods under the tree this year, or you’re just curious as to what attributes make them a celebrated set of headphones, here’re 10 AirPod secrets you’ll wish you knew sooner.

1. One pod at a time

Although you can expect your AirPods to last several hours on a single charge, with heavy use the battery will eventually get low. One method you can use to extend the battery life is to leave one AirPod in the charging case while you use the other. Swap them out whenever necessary.

2. Let Siri take over

Siri, your smart assistant, is quite handy when you need help with tasks. If you have iOS 13.2 installed on your iPhone or iPad, Siri can now read your incoming messages via your AirPods, using nothing but your voice.

After listening to your messages, you also have the option to reply to texts with a voice command. But be careful! Tap or click to learn which privacy setting you must change to keep Siri from spying on you.

3. Switch it up

Though your AirPods are connected to your iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time, and will automatically switch audio between them, there may be occasions you want to put down your iPhone and use your AirPods to listen to the audio from your Mac or iPad.

The transition requires little effort if you pair your AirPods with your iPhone first. This process connects the headset to your Apple account, which will allow the buds to work across all of your Apple devices.

RELATED: Buying guide: 10 headphones to add to your Christmas list

To switch up devices open Control Center (swipe down the home screen on iPhone X or newer and swipe up on an iPhone 8 or older). Press down on the audio card in the upper right corner and tap on the device you want.

4. Share the tunes

Because AirPods are wireless, you can opt to share the earbuds, thus any audio, between yourself and someone else. Even if you receive a phone call while sharing your earbuds, you both can hear the phone conversation; however, because only one mic is active at a time, only one person can speak to the caller.

5. Lost and found

If you have the “Find my iPhone” feature activated on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and you pair that device with your AirPods, you can use it to locate your lost earbuds.

When you need to find missing AirPods, go into your iPhone Settings, and tap on your name. Click on Find My and enable Find My iPhone and Send Last Location.

6. Who is it?

Thanks to your AirPods and Siri, you can hear who is calling without needing to check your iPhone. To enable this feature, go into your iPhone Settings and tap on Phone, then tap Announce Calls and select Always.

7. Play nice

The use of your AirPods is not exclusive to Apple products. That’s right, you can use your earbuds with other iOS gear not logged into an iCloud account or with Android devices.

With your AirPods in the closed case, open the lid, press and hold down the pairing button on the back of the case. Launch the Bluetooth settings on your device, the select AirPods and confirm pairing. To re-pair with your iPhone when done, reselect AirPods within your iPhone’s Bluetooth settings.

8. Clear up a convo

If you have ever had difficulty hearing someone during a conversation, AirPods can be your on-demand hearing aid. Apple introduced a feature, starting with iOS 12, called Live Listen. Once set up, you can place your iPhone closer to the person you want to hear and the AirPods will produce clearer audio for you.

To set up this feature, go into your iPhone Settings and click Control Center. Select Customize Controls and tap the plus sign next to Hearing. When ready, place the AirPods in your ears and either swipe down your iPhone X (or newer) home screen or up on an iPhone 8 or older and click the ear icon. Tap Live Listen.

9. Make them your own

Although the default double-tap settings on your AirPods are functional as is, you may wish to change them up. It’s easy to customize both the double-tap or press-and-hold settings for either earbud.

With your AirPods connected to your iPhone or iPad, go into Settings and select Bluetooth. Click on the “i” icon next to your AirPods and choose the left or right to make changes. Options include play, pause, play genre and skip to next track.

10. Get serious with Siri

If you like using the Siri function to complete tasks, you’re in luck, as the latest models of AirPods (2nd gen and Pro) now include the “Hey Siri” feature. You can request Siri to help with any number of undertakings like change songs, turn up the volume or the weather forecast.

With the host of other AirPod features and these AirPod secrets, you will enjoy a greater user experience with your Apple headset.

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