Can You Mix and Match AirPods?

Can You Mix and Match AirPods?

If you’ve lost one of your AirPods and you’re planning on getting a new pair, or you have another set lying around and you know that you’ll need to start using it soon, you might be wondering if you’re able to connect two different AirPods to one case.

Mix and matching your AirPods is a thought that runs through every AirPod user’s head and it seems like there should be no reason why not.

When your laptop mouse breaks, you’re able to buy a new one and replace it. There should be nothing wrong with mix and matching your AirPods when you’ve lost one of them and want to get it replaced.

Also, if you’re in a home and everyone has AirPods, it’s not uncommon for them to get mixed up so if you’re wondering if it’s possible to connect to one AirPod that wasn’t part of your original set, then you’ve come to the right place.

Can You Mix and Match AirPods?

Yes, you can mix and match your AirPods if you try and use one that wasn’t part of the original set that you bought. Both of your AirPods don’t need to be original in order for you to connect and sync both of them together.

They both use Bluetooth technology and once housed in the same case together, they’ll be recognized as a pair. The same goes for If you’ve replaced your AirPods case – you’ll be able to use them along with your original AirPods, it doesn’t matter if they all came in the same set.

However, the same can’t be said for 1st generation and 2nd generation AirPods. Because the original AirPods and second-generation AirPods use different chips, you can’t mix them together.

The 1st generation AirPods uses a W1-powered AirPod chip and this won’t work with an H1-powered AirPod 2. You can pair up a miss matched 1st generation AirPods with another, the same goes for 2nd generation AirPods, but you can mix and match the two together.

You can buy replacement AirPods when you lose one of them so it makes sense to be able to match AirPods that didn’t originally come together.

If you find one AirPod at home that could be a relative’s one but you’ve lost one of yours, you can use one of theirs with the one you still have when they’re not using it. Then once you’re done you can give it back to them and they’ll be able to use it as well.

How to Mix and Match AirPods

1. Get the AirPods that you would like to mix. This means, that you should identify a working airpod to use, whether it is a replacement or you would like to mix them for other reasons.

2. Open your AirPods case, and put both the AirPods inside. Ensure that the mixed AirPods sit properly where they are required in the case. For this step, it is advisable to ensure that the sides are okay. If you are mixing, it is better to use left and right ones. This will give you a good sound.

3. The next step is to pair the AirPods to your device. Do this step with your case open for you need to see the lights.

4. With your two different AirPods seated in the same case, press and hold the button at the back of the case for a few seconds while looking at your phone screen until the screen pops up a dialog screen with an airpod image.

5. Click the connect button on your iPhone screen and click done to finish the process.

What If You Get the “AirPods Mismatched” Notification?

If your iPhone shows a notification that you have mismatched AirPods, consider pairing one airpod at a time. This means you will remove one of them, pair one, remove it, and pair the next one.

Note: In some cases, you may press the back button and not get the pop-up screen on your phone. If this happens, do not panic. All you have to do is to reset your iPhone. To do this, press and hold the back button on the case for 15 seconds until the light at the center on the inside of the case turns amber orange.

If you’re unable to mix your AirPods due to this notification or for some reason it’s just not working, you can replace them with a set of new generation AirPods pros (view on Amazon) to ensure that you have a reliable set of earphones.

Can You Mix and Match AirPods From Different Generations

No. You cannot mix and match AirPods from different generations. The process will not work. When AirPods are manufactured, they are fitted with different types of chips depending on the generation.

For example, the 2nd generation AirPods will have different chips from the 1st generation ones. This is basically a result of the advancement in technology. Things keep on changing and this happens for AirPods as well. Companies keep developing better chops.

For example, 2nd generation AirPods use H1- chips while the 1st generation ones use W1- chips.

This is something that applies even for the Airpods max and Airpods pro.

So, before you pick a replacement airpod, make sure you check and know their generation. The following are steps to know AirPods generation.

Find the model number on iOS 14.

1. The first step is to connect your AirPods and pair them and ensure the process is complete.

2. Now go to the settings on your iPhone, and open the Bluetooth section.

3. Here, you will see a list of devices and one of them will be your AirPods.

4. Next to the name or listing of your AirPods, there is a button. Tap it and it will display the AirPods model number.


1. Go to Settings on your iPhone.

2. Scroll and click on the “general” option.

3. Go through the menu and open “About my device”

4. Here, scroll and look for the name of your AirPods. Tap on it and the screen will display the model number.

Once you find the model number, the rest is quite easy. If your model number is A1722 or A1523, then that is the 1st generation. This is the generation that was released in 2017.

If your model number is A2032 or A2031, then that is the 2nd generation AirPods. This generation was released in 2019.

If you find your model number is A2084 or A2083, then that is the Airpods Pro generation. These AirPods were released in 2019.

If your model number is A2096, that is the latest generation of Airpods, Airpods Max that was released in 2020.

What Happens If You Mix Airpods?

When you mix AirPods, nothing happens. This means mixing AirPods from different cases and pairing them together. Nothing really happens and you can get them paired in your phone and use them normally as one. They must be of the same generation.

Of course, you have to make sure that they are on the right side for you to get the right sound experience.

However, you cannot mix AirPods of different generations. When you try mixing AirPods of different generations, your iPhone will detect and give you a warning message when you press the back button when pairing. A message will come on your phone screen indicating they are mismatching AirPods. You will not be able to continue with the process.

Can You Mix AirPods with a Different Case?

Yes. You can mix AirPods with a different case. However, the AirPods you would like to use must be of the same generation. Remember that the case is used as a house to charge and initiate pairing for the AirPods. As a result, each generation of AirPods has a unique type of casing specifically designed for that generation.

So, if the AirPods are of the same generation, then mixing their cases will not have a problem. Just as discussed above, you have to check the AirPods and make sure they share a generation and check the cases as well before you can mix them.

How to tell AirPods case generation?

For you to know that the two different AirPods can be mixed, you have to know their generation, and for you to know which case they share, you have to know the case generation. You can find the case generation by looking at the serial number. For some generations, the case will have visible physical differences.


Using AirPods is easy when you know their generation. As a result, when you have several pairs of AirPods in a house or you want to replace them, it is easy to mix and connect them.

Even when you are buying a replacement, ensure that you buy the right generation for them to match and pair. The next time your AirPods mix, or have a problem, you can always bring others from the same generation and keep enjoying.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


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