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

Airpods 3 With Case Right Earbud Lying In Front Of Case
(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

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

Best answer: Yes, if you lose a single AirPod, you can purchase a new one from Apple. From there, you can pair the new AirPod unit with your existing one. However, the replacement must be the same generation as your current AirPod.

Yes, you can!

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If you can't find one of your AirPods, Apple allows you to order a single replacement for the AirPods 1, 2, and 3 for $69. A replacement AirPods Pro is available for $89, and you can also order replacement cases starting at $59.

No mixing and matching

Because of design changes and different chips inside each generation of AirPods and AirPods Pro, you can't match one with the other. In other words, a W1-powered AirPod won't work with an H1-powered AirPod 2 or AirPods 3.

When ordering your replacement AirPod through Apple, you'll need to provide the serial number 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, you should check out our guide: How to find lost AirPods with the Find My app. With the Find My app, you might be able to find the missing earbud as long as you're within Bluetooth range or with U1 precision tracking in the latest AirPods models.

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 feature. 

If all else fails and you don't want to go with AirPods for your next earbuds, you can always pick up one of the best AirPods Pro alternatives.

Pairing process

Once you receive your new AirPod, you can pair it with the other by following our guide: How to pair your AirPods with iPhone, Watch, iPad, and Mac.

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 20 minutes.

Next, go to the Home screen on your iPhone and open your AirPods case. You'll see the setup animation appear on your iPhone. Tap Connect, then Done. Both of your AirPods should now be ready to go with your iPhone.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

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.

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