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Can you pair a single AirPod to a different single AirPod?

AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro (Image credit: iMore)

Can you pair a single AirPod to a different single AirPod?

Best answer: If you lose a single AirPod, you can purchase a new one from Apple. From there, you can pair the new AirPod unit to your existing one. However, the replacement must match the generation of your current AirPod.Don't call it basic: Apple AirPods 2 (opens in new tab) (starting at $159 at Amazon)The best: Apple AirPods Pro (opens in new tab) ($248 at Apple)

Yes, you can

If you can't find one of your regular AirPods, Apple does allow you to order a replacement (opens in new tab) for $69. The company will also sell you a replacement AirPods charging case for $59. Apple also sells the 2019 wireless charging case (opens in new tab) for $79.

A replacement AirPods Pro is $89, while the charging case for this model is also $89.

Apple AirPods vs. Apple AirPods 2

Because the original AirPods and second-generation AirPods use different chips, you can't match one with the other. In other words, a W1-powered AirPod won't work with an H1-powered AirPod 2. When ordering your replacement AirPod through the Apple website, you'll be asked for the serial number, which is located on the original Charging Case that came with your AirPods. With this information, Apple will send you a compatible AirPod unit as a replacement.

Did you really lose it?

Before spending a dime on a new AirPod, try to locate it using the Find My iPhone app for iOS. With the app, you might be able to find the missing earbud as long as you're within Bluetooth range. If that doesn't work, you can think back to the last place you had the AirPods, and maybe you can find the missing one there. At the minimum, by backtracking, you might be able to get close enough to the missing AirPod to activate the Find My iPhone feature.

Pairing

Once you receive your new AirPod, you can pair it with the other by following the regular directions for pairing AirPods to your iPhone. Once completed, you're good to go.

To do this, you must first place both AirPods in the rechargeable case. From there, with the case open, check the status light. It should flash amber. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case for five seconds. The status light should flash white. If it still flashes amber, connect the case to power, close the lid, and wait 10 minutes.

Next, on your iPhone, go to the Home screen. Open the case and hold it next to your phone. You'll see setup animation appear on your iPhone. Tap Connect, then Done. Both AirPods are now paired with your iPhone.

Bryan M Wolfe
Bryan M Wolfe

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.