How to Use AirPods with Apple TV

Apr 30, 2024 - 2 Comments

Use AirPods with Apple TV

One of the many handy features and capabilities of AirPods is that they can be used with an Apple TV. This is perfect for situations where you’re in a shared environment or house and want to watch something on TV without disturbing others who are nearby, and there are many other obvious uses of this capability as well.

There are a few different ways to get your AirPods working with Apple TV, and they’re all super simple, so we’re going to cover three particular approaches; two that are quick and easy for any AirPods that are already paired with an iPhone that will be using the same Apple ID as the Apple TV, and a third approach which pairs the AirPods directly to any Apple TV. These tricks will work with any compatible Apple TV or set of AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max.

It’s essential to understand that we’re specifically talking about using AirPods with an Apple TV that is connected to a TV, though if you don’t have an Apple TV connected to a television then you can still go about connecting AirPods to a smart TV via Bluetooth with these instructions instead, but that’s a different method. Again, this is specifically about using AirPods with an Apple TV.

How to Connect AirPods to Apple TV the Easy Way

The absolute simplest way to connect your AirPods to Apple TV is available pretty much right away if you’re already using AirPods with an iPhone, which is the most likely scenario for most Apple TV users. Assuming your AirPods are already connected and paired with your iPhone and the Apple TV uses the same Apple ID, all you need to do is this:

  1. Turn on the TV and Apple TV
  2. Put in your AirPods
  3. In a moment, you should see a notification on the screen about AirPods being detected nearby, then just press the TV icon / Control Center button on the Apple TV remote to immediately connect the AirPods to the Apple TV

It’s really that simple and seamless, as most things are when you’re within the Apple ecosystem and using various apple devices.

But what if you missed the notification about the AirPods being nearby? No big deal, you can manually initiate the same connection process.

Connecting AirPods to Apple TV Manually

If you missed the AirPods detection notification on Apple TV, simply do the following:

  1. Make sure Apple TV is powered on
  2. Put the AirPods in your ears if you have not done so already
  3. Press and hold the TV icon / Control Center button on the Apple TV remote
  4. Choose your AirPods from the available speaker/headphones list

This trick should work with any set of AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max, that are already paired with an iPhone using the same Apple ID.

If you haven’t paired AirPods with any other Apple device before, or if it’s someone else’s AirPods or Apple TV, you can use the next method to pair AirPods directly to any Apple TV.

How to Pair AirPods to Any Apple TV

You can also manually pair AirPods to an Apple TV at any time, this is helpful if either of the above tricks are not working, or if you’re not using an iPhone, or if you’re using someone else’s AirPods or Apple TV:

  1. Remove AirPods from your ears and put them in their case, and then close the case
  2. Turn on the TV and Apple TV if you haven’t done so already
  3. Press the TV icon / Control Center button on the remote
  4. Go to Settings
  5. Scroll down and choose “Remotes and Devices” and then select Bluetooth
  6. Open your AirPods / AirPods Pro case, then press and hold the button on the back of the case for 5 seconds until the light flashes white (for AirPods Max there is no case, so press the hardware button for 5 seconds until the light flashes)
  7. In a moment you’ll see AirPods available under the Bluetooth Devices section of Apple TV, where you can select them to pair with the Apple TV

This method uses AirPods and Bluetooth on the Apple TV to connect to one another and pair, and it’s really quite simple.

If you do not have an Apple TV, that does not mean you can’t use AirPods with the TV. As long as the TV is a Smart TV with Bluetooth capabilities, as many are nowadays, you can connect AirPods directly to the Smart TV by using the Bluetooth connection controls on the TV itself. That process is a little different depending on the TV manufacturer and interface, but it’s overall pretty simple and intuitive as well.

Do you use AirPods with an Apple TV? Do you pair directly, or use the seamless transitions from another Apple device like an iPhone? Tell us about your use cases, and how you use the two together, or any other feedback that is related, in the comments below.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Apple TV, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Macdonald Peter says:

    If someone who is hard of hearing connects their Airpods to the Apple TV or Smart TV can others in the room have normal audio at the same time?

  2. Thanks says:

    I use AirPods with Apple TV often so others at the house don’t hear the stuff.

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