If you’ve ever owned a pair of Apple Airpods or AirPods Pros, you’ve probably already spent a frantic 15 minutes rummaging around in your bag or retracing their steps at the coffee shop trying to locate these runaway earbuds. Misplacing these puny little gadgets has become something of a rite of passage to owning AirPods.
But don’t resign yourself to a future of playing eternal hide-and-seek with them just yet. Apple has installed a couple of useful tools that’ll help you find them.
Why You Lose Your AirPods
Both versions of the current AirPods, with their IP54 ratings, are designed to keep the music going while we’re on the go. This means we’re constantly putting them in and out of our ears as we transition between home, work, gym, or wherever else we can find use for them.
Unfortunately, this go-anywhere nature that we love so much is also one of the biggest reasons they’re so easy to lose. The more often we remove them, the greater the chance we’ll walk off and forget where we last placed them.
The ‘Find My’ Feature: Your AirPods’ Lifeline
Fortunately, Apple was kind enough to include its Find My feature, popular in the iPhone, on their AirPods as well. Here’s how to use it on the AirPods you’ve already connected to your trusty iPhone:
Step 1: Setting Up
First things first, if you haven’t already, you’ve got to set up the ‘Find My’ app on your iPhone. It’s like feeding the birds before they can come home, you know? You’ll find it pre-installed on all iPhones.
Step 2: Call in the AirPods
Select ‘Devices’ at the bottom. You should see a list of all your Apple devices, including those elusive AirPods.
Step 3: Start the Search
Found ‘AirPods’ on the list? Tap on that, and the ‘Find My’ app shows you a map with the last known location of your AirPods. Maybe they’re still at the office. Or that coffee shop where you got a latte this morning. Who knows, maybe right there on your couch?
Step 4: Play That Sound
If your map proves unfruitful or you need more help, get the AirPods to play a sound. It’s like calling for your pet to come running – or, well, buzzing. On the AirPods page, press ‘Play Sound.’ If they’re in range and powered, they’ll start emitting a sound that gets gradually louder. Like a beeping Marco Polo game designed to guide you right to them.
Step 5: Use Those Nifty U1 Chips
No luck with the sound? There’s one more step to try. If your iPhone detects your AirPod is just around the corner, you can use the “Find” button. This should give you a more granular approach to finding your AirPods. It works like radar telling you if you’re getting closer to your AirPods. Unlike the map location feature, this method uses the proprietary U1 chips specifically integrated into AirPods, AirTags, and other Apple devices for precise short-range spatial tracking.
Remember, though, the ‘Find My’ app has its limitations. It relies heavily on the AirPods being connected to Bluetooth and having battery power. If they’re dead as a doornail or out of range, then it may be of limited use.
You may also find these articles helpful:
- Why AirPods are crackling, popping, rattling, staticy and ways to fix it
- Apple AirPods Pro Review: one year later
- Beats Studio 3 Vs. AirPods Max
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