In December 2020, AirPods Max introduced the wireless over-the-ear headphone that shares many of the features of the Apple AirPods Pro, but in a more premium package.
If you now have the new Apple headphones, you can use them to listen to music, make phone calls, use Siri, and much more. Continue reading to learn how to set them up and connect them to your devices.
Upgrade your software
If you are setting up your AirPods Max for the first time, make sure the device you want to pair is up to date.
In iOS devices
If you want to use your new AirPods Max with iPhone, iPod, or iPod Touch, make sure you are running iOS 14.3 or later.
To verify that your device’s software is up to date, launch the Settings app, select General -> Software Update, and download any available updates if needed.
To use your new AirPods Max with your Mac, it must run MacOS 11.1 or later. To check if your machine is up-to-date with the latest software, select System Preferences from the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen … and then click Software Update in the Preferences window.
If you find that an update is available for your Mac, click the Update button now to download the software and allow the software to install when prompted.
On Apple TV
To use your new AirPods Max on your Apple TV, it must be running TVOS 14.3 or later. To check if your Apple TV is up to date with the latest software, go to Settings -> System -> Software Updates and select Software Update.
Establish the new AirPods Max on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
Before you start using your new AirPods with your iOS devices, there are a few quick steps you need to do.
1. Unlock your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. If your device is already unlocked, navigate to the home screen.
2. Remove your AirPods Max from their smart case and attach it to your device.
3. Wait until the setup animation appears on your device screen. If you do not see the animation, go to Settings -> Bluetooth and pair AirPods Max with your iOS device. If you do not see the status light flashing on the AirPods Max, try resetting the headphones and repeat the steps above.
4. Tap Connect to pair your AirPods Max with your device or set up features like Hey Siri if you don’t already have one.
5. If you want to experience specific audio before launching it for supported media, tap and see how it works.
6. Press Done.
If you sign in to iCloud, your AirPods Max will be set up automatically with your other devices signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID.
Set up the new AirPods Mac on Mac
If you have your AirPods Max enabled with your iPhone, iPod, or iPod Touch and signed into Mac iCloud with the same Apple ID, your AirPods Max should be ready to use with your Mac. If AirPods are on the Mac, your Mac will display a notification asking if you want to find them and connect with them.
If they do not connect, hold your AirPods Max in your ear, click on the Bluetooth option in the menu bar, or click on Volume Control in the menu bar on your Mac, and then select AirPods Max from the list.
If you still do not see your AirPods Max, follow these steps and attach them manually to your Mac.
1. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu, and then click Bluetooth.
2. Make sure Bluetooth is on, then hold down the volume control button on your AirPods Max until the status light flashes white.
3. Select your AirPods Max in the list of devices, and then click Connect. If the sound from your Mac speakers is still playing, click on the volume control icon in the menu bar and make sure your AirPods Mac is selected as the Air Output Tool.
4. Connect as many new AirPods as possible to Android devices
5. You can use AirPods Max with Android smartphones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
6. You can not use “Hey Siri”, but you can use them to listen and speak and you can use voice cancellation and transparency modes.
To set up your AirPods Max with an Android phone or non-Apple device, make sure Bluetooth is on and follow these steps:
1. On an Android device, go to Settings -> Connections -> Bluetooth.
2. Hold down the volume control button on the AirPods Max until the status light flashes white.
3. Select your AirPods Max when it appears in the list of Bluetooth devices.
You can change how the physical controls work on AirPods Max, including undoing the digital crown volume knob and customizing the volume control button.