How To Pair Your Apple AirPods To Your Mac Laptop

AirPods are among the most popular wireless earphones around the world. They are designed to function seamlessly with all Apple products, including iPhones, iPads, and Mac laptops. When pairing the AirPods with an iPhone, the iPhone automatically senses the presence of the earbuds around and connects. Similarly, setting up the AirPods with an iPad is a fun experience too. However, when it comes to MacBooks, you must take care of certain things, including compatibility and the Apple ID signed in on the MacBook.

AirPod headphones (2nd generation) are compatible with macOS Mojave 10.14.4 or later. Similarly, the AirPods (3rd generation) pair with macOS Monterey or later. As for AirPods Pro (1st generation) and AirPods Pro (2nd generation), the macOS versions that support them are macOS Catalina 10.15.1 or above and macOS Ventura, respectively. Hence, depending on your AirPods model, you need to check whether your MacBook has the required macOS version.

If you purchased a MacBook released in 2022, your device supports the latest macOS Ventura, which can pair with all the AirPods. With that said, let's get to the steps involved in pairing your AirPods with your Mac laptop. Before beginning, ensure that your AirPods are charged and that you know where the physical button on your AirPods is, as we'll use it to enable pairing mode.

Follow these steps to pair AirPods with Mac

As per Apple's official support page, if you've used the same Apple ID on your iPhone and Mac and already set up your AirPods with the iPhone, the AirPods might be ready to use with the Mac. This is because Apple syncs connected devices on other devices signed in to the same Apple ID. 

  1. To check, take out your AirPods from their case and wear them.
  2. Click on the Bluetooth icon in the Control Center and ensure that Bluetooth is on. 
  3. See if your AirPods appear in the list of devices.

If your AirPods don't appear in the list of connected devices, don't worry. You can easily pair your AirPods with your MacBook like any other Bluetooth device. Follow the steps given below to pair your AirPods with your Mac manually.

  1. Open the Bluetooth menu through System Preferences in the Apple menu or through the Control Center. 
  2. Put both earbuds in the charging case and keep the lid open. 
  3. Hold the physical button on your AirPods' charging case until the LED light starts flashing in white. 
  4. Wait for a few seconds before your AirPods appear in the Nearby Devices section. 
  5. Click on Connect towards the right side of the screen. 
  6. Follow any other instructions on the screen and finish the setup. Once done, you can use your AirPods with your Mac. 
  7. If the sound doesn't play from AirPods, open the volume control menu and check whether AirPods are selected as the output device. 

These AirPods settings should be handy

You can change when your AirPods connect to your Mac from the Settings section, especially if you use your AirPods with multiple Apple devices (via Apple). 

  1. In the Apple menu on your Mac, select System Settings and click on Bluetooth in the sidebar.
  2. Spot your AirPods in the list of connected devices and click on the info icon next to them. 
  3. You can select from the two options: connect your AirPods to your Mac automatically or only connect when last connected with the Mac.
  4. If you use AirPods with your iPhone but wish to play a video on your Mac, the AirPods will switch automatically.

If you have the AirPods (3rd generation), the AirPods Pro, or the AirPods Max. In that case, you can enable Spatial Audio for supported apps on your Mac (available on Macs with Apple Silicon). Spatial Audio creates an immersive surround sound profile to elevate your listening experience. 

  1. Connect AirPods to your Mac and wear them. 
  2. Open the Control Centre on your Mac and click on the AirPods icon in the Sound section. Alternatively, hit the AirPods icon in the menu bar at the top of the screen. 
  3. Choose from the available Spatial Audio options.
    1. Off
    2. Fixed
    3. Head Tracked

If you use AirPods Pro or the AirPods Max, you might want to toggle between the noise cancellation modes. 

  1. Repeat steps one and two given for enabling Spatial Audio. 
  2. Select one of the following options
    1. Noise Cancellation
    2. Transparency
    3. Off