AirPods 3 system requirements: Which devices work with Apple’s third-generation earbuds?

Check out the official AirPods 3 system requirements to see if your phones, tablets, computers and other devices are supported by Apple’s third-generation wireless earbuds.

AirPods 3: What’s new and changed

Apple announced AirPods 3 as part of its pre-taped product unveilings broadcast under the tagline “Unleashed” on Monday, October 18, 2021. Powered by Apple’s H1 headphone chip, the earbuds bring support for spatial audio (Hey Siri works just like on the previous model).

Apple's marketing image highlighting the key new features of AirPods 3
Image credit: Apple

Other improvements include water resistance, adaptive EQ, refreshed design and a MagSafe-enabled charging case that works wirelessly with MagSafe chargers or Qi-certified chargers, or you can charge the case via the wire using the built-in Lightning connector.

Like with other models, AirPods 3 can be safely used as Bluetooth 5.0 headphones with Android smartphones and other non-Apple devices, but functionality is limited (you won’t get magic pairing, automatic device switching and other Apple-specific perks)

Apple trimmed the AirPods 3 device compatibility list because iOS 15 doesn’t work on older devices such as iPhone 6s and iPad mini 3. We have made sure to mention any potential compatibility issues in the AirPods 3 system requirements included right ahead.

Visit Apple’s Compare AirPods webpage to see how AirPods 3 differ from earlier models.

Apple's marketing image showing the AirPods 3 charging case sitting on a MagSafe wireless charging puck
Image credit: Apple

AirPods 3 system requirements

Supported iPhone models

AirPods 3 do not work with older iPhones, like the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models because those phones don’t run iOS 13 which is the lowest iOS version required.

to use the earbuds, according to the AirPods 3 technical specifications on Apple’s website.

AirPods 3 work with the following iPhone models:

  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (second generation)
  • iPhone SE (first generation)

Apple’s audio sharing feature works on the third-generation AirPods, but it won’t work unless your iPhone supports it, too. The company states that audio sharing is not supported by the first-generation iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models.

Supported iPad models

The third-generation AirPods are compatible with all of the iPads supported by the previous AirPods sans the second- and third-generation iPad mini.

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (fifth generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (fourth generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (third generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (second generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (first generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (third generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (second generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (first generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad (ninth generation)
  • iPad (eighth generation)
  • iPad (seventh generation)
  • iPad (sixth generation)
  • iPad (fifth generation)
  • iPad Air (fourth generation)
  • iPad Air (third generation)
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini (sixth generation)
  • iPad mini (fifth generation)
  • iPad mini 4

Audio sharing is unsupported on AirPods 3 when using the earbuds with the fourth-generation iPad mini, second-generation iPad Air, 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Supported iPod models

AirPods 3 are currently supported by a single iPod touch model:

  • iPod touch (seventh generation)

All AirPods 3 features work on the seventh-generation iPod touch, including audio sharing.

Supported Mac models

AirPods 3 are compatible with a wide variety of Mac computers:

  • MacBook (12-inch, Retina, early 2015–2017)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, mid 2012–early 2015)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, mid 2012–2017)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Retina, 2018–2020)
  • MacBook Air (M1,2020)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Retina, late 2012–early 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Retina, mid 2012–mid 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, mid 2012–2020)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, mid 2012–2019)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, two ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, four ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020)
  • MacBook Pro (14-inch, M1 Pro/Max, 2021)
  • MacBook Pro (16-inch, M1 Pro/Max, 2021)
  • MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
  • iMac (21.5-inch, late 2012–2017)
  • iMac (27-inch, late 2012–late 2013)
  • iMac (21.5-inch, Retina 4K, late 2015–2019)
  • iMac (27-inch, Retina 5K, late 2014–2020)
  • iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • Mac mini (late 2012–late 2018)
  • Mac mini (M1, 2020)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013–2019)

Audio sharing won’t work when using your AirPods 3 with any of the supported Mac models because this feature is currently nowhere to be found in macOS.

Supported Apple Watch models

  • Apple Watch Series 7
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch SE
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Apple Watch Series 2
  • Apple Watch Series 1

Supported Apple TV models

The third-generation AirPods are compatible with all Apple TVs from Apple TV HD onward.

  • Apple TV 4K (first generation)
  • Apple TV 4K (second generation)
  • Apple TV HD

Apple TV HD does not support audio sharing with AirPods 3.