Using AirPods With Multiple Devices

Hardware and Accessories

Hi. I am using an IPhone 6S+, an Apple Watch Series 3 and a pair of Apple Airpods. I believed that the Airpods, given they are set up for Bluetooth on multiple devices, would seamlessly change and provide audio feedback, whichever device the user is working with, however, this is not consistently working. For example, although the Airpods are set up for both my phone and watch, if I move from the phone to the watch, Voiceover does not track and, if I then activate Control Centre, Airplay, Airpods on the watch and subsequently switch back to the phone, Voiceover, on the phone just talks through its speaker. Is anyone else experiencing these problems? Am I doing something, settings wise, which is wrong? Is there a procedure, or workaround, which will make the above process more reliable and seamless? I have also written to Apple Accessibility on this matter.



Submitted by Morgan Watkins on Friday, August 31, 2018

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I own an iPhone 8, an Apple Watch series 3 and Air Pods. I have had the same problem you describe for a very long time.

Although not perfect, here is the work-around that generally succeeds for me. Air Pods usually hook right up to my iPhone. If I want them to switch to my watch, I press down on the crown to force Siri to come up on my watch. This action usually forces the Air Pods to then link to my watch. When I want the Air Pods then to switch back to my iPhone, I hold down the phone's Home button to force Siri to start up on my iPhone and the Air Pods generally go back to my iPhone

Fortunately, I do not have to actually give a Siri command to either my watch or my phone for this to work, most of the time. I have noticed other actions that will force the switch, but this one has proven most useful to me.

Of course, if anyone finds a cleaner way to switch, I would be most grateful to learn that, too.

Good luck,


Submitted by Morgan Watkins on Friday, August 31, 2018

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Oops. I have often used my little Siri trick to switch between watch and iPhone when using Air Pods, but I decided to test it again this morning after I sent my note. And, it did work. Once. Then something got finicky and I could not get the watch and Air Pods to reconnect reasonably easy as described in my first comment. Not sure if I am doing something too early in the day for my tired Air Pods to think, butI need to make sure I have not introduceda new variable that may have made this a bit harder. I will post again if I figure this one out...

Submitted by DPinWI on Friday, August 31, 2018

When at work, I have an iPhone 7 and a Series 3 watch paired to my Plantronics Voyager Edge earpiece. Almost all of the time it seamlessly, if sometimes a little slowly, switches between either the phone or watch as I use them. By slowly, I mean it may take a few seconds, especially if I have just used one device, and now want to switch to the other.

However, every so often, I get exactly the situation described above. For me, I take the following actions. Each step may solve the problem by itself, and if so, I stop there.
First, I power cycle the ear piece.
Toggle blue tooth on my phone.
toggle blue tooth on the watch
And as a last resort, and rarely required, I "forget" the earpiece and repair it with the phone and watch.

One of these steps has, so far, always solved my issue. While it is only a rare issue for me, I find it frustrating enough, especially in the work environment, I have thought about getting some Air Pods, under the assumption I would not have to deal with this. Oh well,...

Submitted by Charlie on Friday, August 31, 2018

@MorganI tried out your suggestions, using SIRI to trigger the switch and this seems to have worked. Thank you. Also, I have reported the overall issue to Apple Accessibility and got an email back from them, saying that Apple is aware of the issue and is looking at it. No commitment though, as to when this might be fixed.

Submitted by DPinWI on Saturday, June 22, 2019

Has this issue been resolved with subsequent iOS and Air Pod updates? i would like to move to the Air Pods, but not if it comes with the risk of losing my ability to seamlessly use my phone and watch.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Sunday, June 23, 2019

We pay money and it does not work well. People got airpods second generation but they never responded about the same issue. We should not have to do what it was suggested because we pay and is not like we got them for free from apple. If those who can see have the same issue, apple be fixing the problem.