How to Connect AirPods to Apple TV.
Connecting AirPods to Apple TV lets you enjoy a personal cinematic experience while watching movies, videos, or listening to music. Since AirPods and Apple TV are hardware devices in the Apple ecosystem, connecting both devices is very easy.
This guide will show you how to connect AirPods to Apple TV, switch between AirPods and other audio devices connected to Apple TV, and what to do if AirPods won’t connect to or connect to Apple TV.
Before You Proceed…
If you set up Apple TV using an iOS device, your AirPods should automatically appear in the Apple TV Bluetooth menu (Settings> Remotes & Devices> Bluetooth> My Devices) after setting up the set-top box. This means your AirPods will automatically connect to Apple TV.
To use AirPods as your primary audio output device, select your AirPods under My Devices and select Connect Device on the next page.
If you have a pair of new AirPods, or your iOS device and Apple TV use different Apple IDs, follow the steps in the next section to connect AirPods to your Apple TV from scratch.
Connect AirPods To Apple TV Manually
Before you can connect your AirPods to your Apple TV, you need to put your AirPods into pairing mode. Place both (left and right) AirPods in the charging case, close and reopen the lid, press and hold the setting button on the case, and wait for the status light to flash white.
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For AirPods Max, press and hold the Noise Control button until the status light flashes white.
After that, go to the Apple TV Bluetooth menu to pair your AirPods.
- Click the gear icon on the Apple TV home page.
If you have a Siri-equipped remote, press and hold the Siri button (labeled microphone) and say “Open Settings.”
- Select Remotes and Devices.
- Select Bluetooth.
- Select your AirPods under Other Devices.
If you don’t find your device in this section, put your AirPods back into pairing mode and wait a few seconds.
When connected to Apple TV, AirPods can control media playback just like they do on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other Apple devices. Double-tapping AirPods (for 1st and 2nd generation), pressing the force sensor (for AirPods Pro), or pressing the digital crown (for AirPods Max) pauses media playback on Apple TV.
Removing any AirPods from your ear pauses audio or video playback as well. Place the AirPods back in your ear to resume playing content on the screen.
Switch Between AirPods and Other Audio Devices in Apple TV
Pairing your AirPods and Apple TV is the first and most important step in using an accessory with a set-top box. After successfully pairing both devices, you can easily switch between AirPods, TV speaker, home theater and other connected audio devices.
- Press and hold the TV button on your Apple TV Siri Remote. This will launch the tvOS Control Center.
- Click the AirPlay icon.
- Select your AirPods under Headphones to make them the preferred / active device for audio output.
AirPods Won’t Connect to Apple TV? Try the Following
Your AirPods may not connect to Apple TV for many reasons. First, closing the AirPods Charging Case during the pairing process may interrupt the connection. You also need to make sure your AirPods are properly charged.
1. Cancel pairing with other Bluetooth devices
Your AirPods may not connect to Apple TV if the streaming device is connected to other Bluetooth devices. Unpair any Bluetooth device (home theater, stereo, or game controller) connected to your Apple TV and try reconnecting your AirPods.
- Go to Settings> Remotes and Devices> Bluetooth and select the connected Bluetooth device.
- Select Unpair Device.
- Select Unpair Device again at the confirmation prompt.
After that, put your AirPods into pairing mode and select AirPods under Other Devices. If the problem persists, try the next troubleshooting solution.
2. Restart your Apple TV
A temporary system crash can crash Apple TV and some of its features. Fortunately, a soft or hard reboot of the system can fix these problems.
You can soft restart your Apple TV from the settings menu or using your remote. Go to Settings> General> System and select Restart under Maintenance.
You can also press and hold the Back and TV buttons on the Siri Remote at the same time until the status light on your Apple TV flashes rapidly. If you have a first-generation Apple TV, press and hold the Menu and TV buttons.
If your AirPods still won’t connect to your Apple TV, unplug the unit from its power source, wait 5-10 seconds, and then plug it back in. This is called a Hard Reboot. Try connecting your AirPods to your Apple TV when it turns back on.
3. Update your Apple TV
Installing the latest tvOS update will fix system-level errors preventing your AirPods from connecting to Apple TV. In addition, AirPods have operating system requirements.
For example, 1st generation AirPods will only work on Apple TVs running tvOS 11 or later. For AirPods (2nd generation), your Apple TV must be running tvOS 12.2 or later. If you have AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, you need an Apple TV with at least tvOS 13.2 or tvOS 14.3, respectively.
You should receive a notification on your TV screen when a new tvOS update arrives for your device. If you don’t receive any notifications, go to Settings> System> Software Update and select Update Software to install the latest tvOS update.
We also recommend turning on the “Update Automatically” option so that Apple TV installs future versions of tvOS in the background as soon as they’re available.
4. Force update your AirPods
Your AirPods – regardless of generation or model – should automatically update via your iPhone. If it doesn’t, force the update manually. Otherwise, you may run into problems when using AirPods or connecting them to other devices.
This AirPods update guide walks you through the steps to check and update AirPods firmware.
5. Reset AirPods
Resetting AirPods to factory defaults can resolve connectivity and performance issues. Make sure your AirPods are charged before resetting.
Place both AirPods in the charging case, close the lid, wait 30 seconds, open the lid again, and press and hold the setting button on the charging case until the status light flashes white.
To reset AirPods Max, press and hold the Noise Control button and Digital Crown until the status light flashes amber.
This will reset your AirPods to factory settings. When the status light is still blinking white / amber, go to the Bluetooth menu on your Apple TV and select AirPods under Other Devices.
Contact Apple Support
Leave a comment below if you have any questions regarding connecting AirPods to Apple TV. If you’re still unable to pair or use AirPods on your Apple TV despite trying to resolve the issues described in the section above, we recommend contacting Apple Support. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Genius Bar to check both AirPods and Apple TV for possible damage or hardware malfunction.
How to Connect AirPods to Apple TV
How to Connect AirPods to Apple TV