Thanks to the iOS 13 and iPadOS software updates, you can easily share audio with wireless headphones such as the AirPods earphones or any supported Beats headphones. This lets you and a friend both listen to the same audio from your iOS device, adjust the volume for each person individually, stop sharing with a tap and more. Follow along with us as we explain how to share audio with AirPods and Beats audio devices from your iPhone or iPad.
With audio sharing, users are able to connect two pairs of AirPods or other supported devices to a single iPhone or iPad and listen to the same media at the same time.
You just pair two sets of AirPods or other compatible wireless headphones to one iPhone or iPad to enjoy the same song or movie along with your friend. Gone are the days days of plugging in a headphone splitter so you could listen to music together with a friend!
Of course, you can also share audio with a friend by each wearing a single AirPod, but this trick leaves a lot to be desired because you’re basically splitting stereo channels unless you switch to mono audio in Settings → Accessibility → Mono Audio.
For a far more elegant solution than the above method, continue reading our tutorial to learn how to use two sets of compatible earphones or headphones to share audio with a friend.
Share audio with these wireless headphones
This feature requires an iPhone or iPod touch running the iOS 13.1 update or later. You can also use an iPad powered by the iPadOS 13.1 software and up. To download and install the latest iOS software for your device, go to Settings → General → Software Update. Supported audio devices must be powered by Apple’s W1 or H1 headphone chip.
The following wireless headsets are supported:
- AirPods and AirPods Pro wireless earphones
- Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones
- Powerbeats3 wireless earphones
- Beats Solo3 wireless headphones
- Beats Studio3 wireless headphones
- BeatsX wireless earphones
The following iOS device models support the audio sharing feature:
- iPhone 8 and later
- iPad Pro (12.9-inch) (2nd generation and later)
- iPad Pro (11-inch)
- iPad Pro (10.5-inch)
- iPad (5th generation and later)
- iPad Air (3rd generation)
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- iPod touch (7th generation)
How to share audio with wireless headphones
Follow the steps included right ahead if you’d like to share audio with a friend via supported wireless headphones or earphones from your iPhone or iPad.
1) Bring your AirPods or AirPods Pro close to their paired iPhone or iPad, then open the lid. Your supported earphones or headphones should be connected to your iOS device.
2) Put on your wireless audio device and start playing something, then hit the AirPlay icon in the Now Playing controls within the app you’re currently listening to, on your Lock screen or in Control Center and choose the option Share Audio or Temporarily Share Audio that should appear below the name of your wireless earphones or headphones.
3) Now it’s time to connect the other headphones or earphones to your iOS device. During this process, your friend’s earphones or headphones should be inside their case and your own ones should be connected to your iOS device and you must be wearing them.
- AirPods: Ask a friend to hold their other AirPods or AirPods Pro close to your iPhone or iPad. Their AirPods must be inside the charging case and the lid must be opened.
- Beats Studio3 or Solo3: Your friend is required to press the power button on their headphones for less than one second while holding them close to your iOS device.
- Other wireless headphones: The other person should put their wireless headphones in pairing mode and hold them close to your iOS device.
Is your friend already wearing earphones or headphones connected to their own iOS device?
If so, and their audio device is not in its charging case, simply bring your iOS own device close to theirs and tap Share Audio or Temporarily Share Audio on your device, then ask your friend to tap the option Join that will appear on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
4) As soon as your friend’s wireless headphones or earphones appear on the screen of your iOS device, tap the option Share Audio or Temporarily Share Audio on your iPhone or iPad and follow the onscreen instructions to complete your audio sharing session.
And that’s it!
Now when you play some music, start a movie or launch an app on your device, iOS will automatically send audio wirelessly to both sets of connected audio devices so that both you and your friend can listen to the same thing playing on your iPhone or iPad.
Continue reading this tutorial if you’d like to learn how you can separately control the volume of each set of earphones or headphones, control audio and stop your sharing session.
How to control audio
The same audio controls you’ve grown accustomed to are being used to change the volume and play, pause and stop shared audio — there’s no learning curve involved at all. You can adjust the volume during an audio sharing session for both audio devices at once or separately for each set of connected earphones or headphones.
Control the volume of both headphones
Open Control Center on your iPhone or iPad, touch and hold or press and hold the volume control and drag the volume slider for either set of headphones or earphones.
Yup, it’s that easy.
Separately control the volume of each set of audio devices
You can also independently control the volume. On your iOS device, invoke Control Center and touch and hold or press and hold the volume slider. Notice a pair of volume sliders, as opposed to a single slider you’re accustomed to seeing. Now all you need to do is drag these separate volume sliders in order to independently adjust the volume levels for each set of wireless earphones or headphones.
These dual volume sliders also appear in Control Center, on your Lock screen (when audio is playing) and in other places where iOS’s Now Playing controls are available. Plus, each user can separately control the audio with the hardware controls on their audio device.
How to stop sharing audio
To stop the current audio sharing session so you and your friend can both listen to the music from their own iPhone or iPad, simply tap the AirPlay icon on the Lock screen of your iOS device, in Control Center or in the app you’re listening to, then hit the checkmark next to the name of your friend’s audio device in order to turn off shared connection.
Doing so will instantly disconnect the second set of headphones or earphones immediately.
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