How to Connect AirPods to an Apple TV

How to Connect AirPods to an Apple TV

An Apple TV and its remote.


The Apple TV can send audio directly to your AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max wireless headphones, letting you watch videos, play games, or work out with Apple Fitness+ without disturbing anyone else in the room. Here’s how.

airpods paired with an apple id should “just work”

When you pair your AirPods with an iPhone or iPad, iCloud shares that connection with your other paired devices. If you’re signed in to another device with the same apple id, your airpods should “just work” when you try to connect.

Reading: How to connect airpods apple tv

this is also true for apple tv. With your AirPods already paired with your Apple ID, you can use a handy shortcut to connect quickly. however, this only works if you have the airpods case open (so they are awake) or already in your ears. (if you have airpods max, put them in your ears).

Switch to AirPods Quickly by Holding "Play" on Your Remote

To connect quickly, press and hold the play button on your apple tv remote. You should see a list of available wireless devices appear, including your airpods. select these to connect and route audio through your headphones instead of your TV’s speakers or receiver.

To disconnect, simply return to this quick menu by holding play on your remote, then choose “apple tv” instead. this will redirect the audio through the apple tv.

See also: How to Use LED Light Strips Remote Control

related: getting started with apple fitness+

manual pairing of your airpods with apple tv

If you haven’t paired your AirPods yet or are having trouble using the method described above, you can try pairing them manually, just like you would with any other Bluetooth device.

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to do this, go to settings > remote controls and devices > bluetooth. Open the airpods case and press and hold the small white pairing button on the back until the led starts flashing. (with airpods max, take them out of the smart case, then press and hold the noise control button until the status light starts flashing white).

You should now see your airpods appear under the “other devices” heading in the on-screen bluetooth connections list. select this, then choose “connect” to pair your airpods. if all goes well, your airpods are now paired with your apple tv, and the audio will be routed to your headphones instead of the tv speakers or a receiver.

Pair Your AirPods to Your Apple TV Manually

You can now use the quick menu by holding down the play button on your remote to quickly switch between “apple tv” (no headphones) and your airpods, or any other bluetooth devices or smart speakers you’ve connected.

See also: POPTelecom

To unpair your airpods, go back to settings > remote controls and devices > bluetooth and choose your airpods, then select “unpair device” from the menu that appears.

how to control airpods volume on apple tv

Apple TV 4K


When you’re using your AirPods with your Apple TV, you can control the sound volume using the volume controls on your remote. Your AirPods will also work just as they do with an iPhone or other similar device, pausing whatever is playing (whether it’s music or YouTube) on the TV when you remove an AirPod.

how to improve reliability

We tested the original airpods with the w1 chip and a 4th generation apple tv (not 4k) and found performance to be spotty. it’s unclear if interference was the cause, but the audio was patchy at best. thankfully the youtube videos stayed in sync with the audio despite this. Your mileage may vary depending on which AirPods and Apple TV you have, any nearby wireless interference, and the position of your Apple TV relative to your AirPods.

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If you are experiencing similar issues, you can try moving your Apple TV to a position that is more conducive to wireless audio transmission. it seems that placing it behind the TV or in the back of an entertainment unit is a bad idea. apple tv 4k should work better due to its newer system on chip.

more than a streaming box

apple tv can do more than just stream video. you can use it to play games, mirror your macbook screen and listen to music, podcasts or youtube videos privately with wireless headphones.

if you want to master your apple tv, check out the most useful remote tips and tricks to better navigate tvos.

Related: 14 Apple TV Remote Control Tips and Tricks You Should Know

See also: Use your Windows PC as a mobile hotspot

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