Daily Tips

How to switch AirPods Max between various Apple devices

If you’ve been able to afford some AirPods Max, you’ll certainly want to use them with a variety of Apple devices. Thankfully, it’s easy to switch between them.

How to use automatic switching

You’ll need iOS 14.3 or later, iPadOS 14.3 or later, or macOS Big Sur 11.1 for your AirPods Max to switch between devices automatically. Your devices need to be signed in with the same Apple ID using two-factor authentication. For example, while listening to music on your iPad, you answer a call on your iPhone. Your AirPods Max switch from the music on your iPad to the phone call on your iPhone automatically.

In some situations with macOS Big Sur, you’ll see a notification about your AirPods Max on the screen of your Mac. When you hold the pointer over the notification, a Connect button appears. Click Connect to confirm that you want your AirPods Max to switch to—or stay with—your Mac.

If you want to turn automatic switching off for an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Bluetooth on that device with your AirPods Max on your ears. Tap the Info button next to your AirPods Max in the list of devices. Tap Connect to This iPhone [or iPad], and then tap When Last Connected to This iPhone [or iPad]. To turn this feature on again, tap Automatically.

If you want to turn automatic switching off for your Mac, open Bluetooth preferences on your Mac with your AirPods Max on your ears. Click the Options button next to your AirPods Max in the list of devices. Click Connect to This Mac, and then choose When Last Connected to This Mac. To turn this feature on again, choose Automatically.

How to use manual switching

You can disable automatic switching and use manual switching, if you wish. On your iOS or iPadOS device:

  1. Open Control Center on your iPhone or iPod touch, or iPad.
  2. Touch and hold the audio card in the upper-right corner of Control Center to control audio.
  3. Tap the icon that looks like a pyramid interestcing three circle, then choose the device that you want from the list.

On your Mac, click the volume control in the menu bar and choose your AirPods Max or other speakers under Output Device.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.