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Do You Need Both AirPods to Connect?

If you’re like me, you’ve been frustrated with the process of trying to get your AirPods to sync up with your devices. I’ve done some research, tried out some tips and tricks, and figured out how to get my own AirPods to connect without needing both of them. In this post, I’ll share what I’ve learned and the solutions that I discovered.

It’s possible to continue using a single AirPod that’s already paired to a device, but setting up the initial connection from scratch requires a set of two. However, it doesn’t have to be the original set. Any borrowed AirPod can do the trick.

Two synced AirPods are needed to connect to a device for the first time
It is possible to borrow a matching pod for initial setup
Resetting the AirPods before connecting can help
Apple’s Find My service can be used to track down lost AirPods
You can buy a replacement AirPod (left or right) to pair with your existing one

Why Do You Need Both AirPods to Connect?

It might sound inconvenient to be unable to connect a solitary AirPod directly, especially when you consider how often Apple users lose them during runs.

However, it’s all about making that initial connection. The way it’s programmed to go means that you need the default setup: a valid device, a charging case, and two AirPods.

That first connection is actually between the case and the iPhone.

So, if your AirPods are already paired before you lose one side, the other one and the case should be good to go on the same device. It’ll even automatically shift to mono mode to help smoothen out the experience.

That’s, of course, till you want to switch phones.

Then, you’ll need to break the ongoing connection, which is as easy as a few clicks. It’s the new pairing that’s challenging.

How to Connect One AirPod Without the Other Side

If you want to use an unpaired solitary AirPod, you can try mimicking the setup with a borrowed earpiece.

Here’s how:

  1. Find a Matching AirPod to Borrow

Look within your friends and family to see if anyone can lend you an AirPod for this trick. You’ll only need it for the first connection, which should only take a few minutes. Then they can have it back.

Just keep in mind that it has to be the exact model as the solitary one left in your case. If you’re trying to pair two AirPods of different generations, you’ll have trouble with the process.

Obviously, you also need to borrow the earpiece that complements the pod you have. So, if you’ve lost the right one, that’s the side you need to take from your friend.

  1. Put the Pair in Your Case

Now, you should have two similar Airpods. For the most part, you don’t have to worry about mixing them up since they’re different sides, but you can mark yours with a sticker for good measure.

Then, you can put both pods in your case. This part is critical since the initial pairing is all about the case!

  1. Sync the Pair

Before connecting the AirPod pair to your phone, you’ll need to reset them. After all, your friend probably has them already set up to their own device, which is No-Bueno for our little trick here.

If you’re unsure how to do that, try opening the lid and pressing the setup button until the yellow flashing changes to white. This should take 5-10 seconds.

  1. Connect the Pair to Your Device

To connect the new pair to your iPhone, you only need to open up the case and put it next to your device.

It should detect the case automatically and initiate a setup wizard for you to follow. So, there isn’t much technical effort to be done on your part here. It’s literally just a couple of clicks!

Once that’s done, both Airpods should be connected to your device and functioning properly.

  1. Return the Borrowed AirPod

All that’s left to do now is to hand the borrowed pod to its owner. After that, they’ll need to re-sync it with the other one in their case and pair it to their own devices once again.

However, by the end of this step, they should have their set back to how it was. On the other hand, you’ll have a solitary AirPod in your case that’s successfully connected to your iPhone.

The tough part is that you’ll need to repeat these steps whenever you want to pair to a new device.

Alternative Solutions for a Case With One AirPod

If the borrowing trick seems like too much of a hassle, you can try one of these options:

Get a Replacement

You don’t have to buy the whole thing once again. Instead, you can order one AirPod (left or right) to go with your uneven setup.

Find the Lost AirPod

If you think the missing AirPod could be somewhere around the house or a nearby spot, you can use Apple’s Find My service to track it down.

Wrap Up

So, do you need both AirPods to connect?

Unfortunately, you need two synced AirPods to connect to a device for the first time. After that, you can continue using one side on its own.

The good news is that you can easily borrow a matching pod for the initial setup if you don’t want to get a replacement!