If you and a friend want to listen to something together on a Mac, you don’t have to share one set of AirPods.
We all know how awesome it is to listen through our AirPods. But do you know what’s even better? Sharing the listening experience with another person.
If you and a friend each have your AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max with you, follow along to learn how to share audio on a Mac to create an immersive co-listening experience.
AirPods Sharing With Audio MIDI Setup
macOS lacks the Share Audio feature from iOS and iPadOS that enables you to easily share your iPhone’s audio to two sets of AirPods or Beats.
To connect two pairs of AirPods to a MacBook, we’re going to use the built-in Audio MIDI Setup app that lets you play audio through multiple speakers and headphones on a Mac.
Unlike Share Audio which only works for two sets of AirPods or Beats, this Mac setup works for other kinds of audio devices, whether they’re Bluetooth-enabled or not.
How to Connect Two AirPods to a MacBook
You can follow the simple instructions below to connect two pieces of AirPods to the same Mac to share audio with a friend:
- Connect both sets of AirPods or AirPods Pro to your Mac. If you don’t have AirPods, you can pair any other Bluetooth headphones.
- Open a new Finder window, click Applications in the sidebar, and open the Utilities folder. You can also click Utilities in the Finder’s Go menu or press Shift + Command + U.
- In the Utilities folder, launch an app named Audio MIDI Setup. You can also search “Audio MIDI Setup” using Spotlight.
- Click the plus (+) icon in the lower-left corner of the Audio MIDI Setup window and choose the Create Multi-Output Device option from the contextual menu.
- In the right section, tick the boxes next to the two AirPods sets you want to use.
- Click Multi-Output Device in the left list and give your setup a more descriptive name, like “Shared Headphones.”
- Click your renamed audio setup once to select it, then Control-click it again and choose Use This Device For Sound Output from the menu. Alternatively, click the volume icon in the macOS menu bar and select your new audio setup under Output.
Don’t forget to disconnect and unpair the second set of AirPods when done sharing audio.
Are There Separate Volume Sliders?
Although macOS lacks the iPhone’s Share Audio feature, the above method will let you and a friend share audio on the same Mac without limiting yourselves to a single set of AirPods.
Unfortunately, this setup doesn’t provide separate volume sliders for each headphone pair. Adjusting the volume for each set of AirPods is only possible with physical controls on the earbuds, not by dragging the volume slider in the macOS menu bar and Control Center.
Share Audio to Boost Your Listening Experience
While you and your friend can both listen with a single AirPod, sharing two pairs of AirPods creates a compelling shared listening experience, with each person thoroughly enjoying the perks of spatial audio and surround sound that the AirPods offer.
If you have an Apple TV, you can boost your movie nights with native audio sharing, making it a cinch to use multiple sets of AirPods or other headphones. Similar to the iPhone and iPad, Share Audio in tvOS supports controlling the volume and noise cancellation independently.