How to share music with other AirPods or Powerbeats Pro headphones on iOS 13

first generation airpods
Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Apple’s annual mobile OS update for 2019 is iOS 13, and it’s every bit the upgrade we were hoping it would be. There’s no shortage of amazing new features in iOS 13, and the list runs from huge additions like Dark Mode, to smaller changes like adding profile pictures to iMessage. But there’s one new option that’s tailor-made for music-lovers — the ability to easily share a music stream from a single device between two pairs of AirPods or PowerBeats Pro.

This new feature means you can listen to the same music stream on two different pairs of Bluetooth headphones — which means you no longer need to pass someone else one of your AirPods if they have their own pair. Here’s how to hygienically share music in iOS 13.

Which devices support iOS 13’s music-sharing?

There’s a caveat here though. As shown with the original exclusivity of Animojis and Memojis, Apple can be exclusive with new features, and this music-sharing is no different. At the moment, you’re limited to sharing your music with only the following devices:

On the plus side, Apple has been a little more generous with phones and tablets that support sending the stream. Eligible devices include:

  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2017 & 2018)
  • iPad Pro 11
  • iPad Pro 10.5
  • iPad (2017 & 2018)
  • iPad Air (2019)
  • iPad Mini (2019)
  • iPod Touch (2019)

So, as long as you have either a pair of AirPods or PowerBeats Pro, and one of the Apple tablets or phones listed above, you’re good to go.

How share music between two pairs of AirPods or PowerBeats Pro headphones

Apple’s never been fond of making complex processes, so getting this new feature to work is easy.

You’ll need to pair the new pair of headphones to your device before you can send music to it. Pairing a friend’s set of AirPods or PowerBeat Pro is the same as pairing your own, but just in case you’ve forgotten how to do it, here’s how to do it:

  • Place the guest pair of AirPods or PowerBeats Pro in their charging case.
  • Open your Settings app and tap on the Bluetooth menu.
  • Hold the pairing button on the back of the charging case.
  • Tap the other set of headphones when they appear under Other Devices.

That’s it — that’s all you need to do. You can make sure everything is set up correctly by turning on both your own and the guest set of headphones and ensuring both show up as Connected in the device list. When you’re ready to start playing music, just make sure both sets are connected. You should also be able to see both sets of headphones in your AirPlay settings, where you’ll also be able to set separate volumes for each pair.

What happened to the tapping method?

everything apple announced at wwdc 2019 airpods

During this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple showed off this new feature by showing two iPhones bumping together to initiate music-sharing between paired AirPods. What happened to that? Well, it’s probably still on the way. We’re still currently in the public beta of iOS 13, which means some features may not have been added yet. We’re sure this is a feature Apple will be adding before the main release, but it’s just not here yet. When it does arrive, we’ll be sure to give you the low down on this method too.


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