AirPods with Apple TV

September 9, 2019 • #

I recently learned that you can pair your AirPods with the Apple TV, which I’ve been using for the last couple of weeks. With two kids sleeping nearby plus noise from the nearby kitchen, it’s impossible to get the volume loud enough to make out dialog in most shows. Because of this we always have the captions on for everything. But this new discovery solves this problem, plus it makes it easy to get up and walk away for a minute without having to pause anything.

This guide shows how to connect to them. Holding down the ⏯ button on the Apple Remote pulls up an output source selector, like what you get with AirPlay dialog menus. My AirPods showed up in there the first time with no Bluetooth pairing required — probably some iCloud account magic happening to bypass that handshake process. After they’re paired, you can use the volume control on either the Siri Remote or even the volume controls on your iPhone inside of the Remote app. Very slick experience.

iOS 13 has support for pairing multiple sets of AirPods to a single device. If this comes to tvOS, it’ll be fantastic for both of us to be able to watch without noise issues.