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14 Things You Didn’t Know Your EarPods and AirPods Could Do

These hacks will totally change how you see those EarPods and AirPods.

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Take a picture

When you have the camera app open, hitting either of the volume buttons on your Apple EarPods will snap a picture. Pro tip: Prop up your iPhone and leave your headphones out to get a wider-shot selfie. Check out these other tricks for taking a postcard-perfect picture on your phone.

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airpods and earpods
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Pause your music

You already knew the end buttons on your iPhone EarPods can turn your music volume up and down (right?), but that middle button has its uses, too. Press it once to pause your music; hit it again when you’re ready to listen again, and your song will start back up. Use this trick for these songs science says can help you sleep.

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Time to Relax. Asian Girl in Airpods Listening Music Online on Smartphone, Copy Space

Skip songs

Want to skip a track on your playlist? No need to dig your iPhone out of your pocket to hit “next.” Just press the middle button on your EarPods, and your device will skip to the next song. Find out what your music taste says about your personality.

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Start a song over

You’re completely zoned out and suddenly realize you’ve been missing your favorite song! Hit the middle button three times fast to start the track again from the beginning.

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Handsome bearded businessman is using mobile and airpods, while talking with coworker near window

Play a previous song

Once you’ve gone back to the beginning of that song, quickly do another triple-click on your Apple EarPods to go to the track before. Then use them to listen to the movies with the best soundtracks.

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Side view of a female runner standing on a road in morning. Woman in fitness gear standing on a road listening to music using earphones.
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Get to the right spot in a song

You’ve had this song in your head all day, but really just want to skip ahead to the bass drop. Press the middle button twice, but don’t let go of that second click. The music will fast-forward until you let go. To rewind, give it a triple-click, holding on the third.

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Ask Siri

Got a burning question for Siri? Hold down the middle button and ask away. Your iPhone EarPods have a microphone designed to sit near your mouth, so she’ll be able to “hear” you. And the second generation of wireless AirPods came out in 2019, featuring voice recognition that’s always on. Find out why Siri is female.

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Businessman sitting in a restaurant listening to music while working on a laptop. Smiling man wearing earphones managing business work on laptop sitting in a cafe.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Take a call

If your phone starts ringing while you’re listening to music, press the middle button to answer. Another call while you’re still on the phone? Clicking that same middle button will do the trick. The first caller will be on hold while you talk to the second. And if you lose them, here’s how to find your AirPods.

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young attractive slim woman doing sport exercises on morning sunrise beach in sports wear, healthy lifestyle, listening to music on wireless earphones holding smartphone, smiling happy

Switch between calls

Ready to get back on the phone with that first caller? Hit the center button once to switch back to your original call. Don’t miss these easy ways to lower cell phone data.

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Ignore a call

No worries if you don’t feel like taking that call, like to avoid these common phone scams from unknown numbers. Hold the middle button down for a few seconds to ignore the call. You’ll know it worked when you hear two beeps. Do the same to send a second caller to voicemail when you’re already on the phone.

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Hang up

Once you’re done chatting, just click your Apple EarPods’ middle button once to hang up your call.

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Contemporary young man with airpods and smart casual sitting in cafe and eating dessert for lunch

Use them as a hearing aid

If you sometimes have trouble hearing, your second-gen AirPods might be able to help. Apple added a new feature called Live Listen with iOS12, CNET reports. Place your phone near the person you want to hear. Your AirPods will then pick up the person’s voice. That said, your AirPods can also make you seem rude.

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Young woman in eyeglasses and airpods scrolling in her smartphone through playlist while relaxing in cafe

Listen to tunes with another person

Got a great song you want to share with a friend? You can split your AirPods between two people, almost like sharing headphones, CNET reports. Unfortunately, you can’t have a three-way phone conversation since the AirPods just have one mic.

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Pair them with non-Apple products

If most of your devices aren’t made by Apple, you can still use them with AirPods. The second-gen allows you to pair the AirPods with Android phones, computers, and TVs, according to CNET.

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.