Sharing your favorite movies, TV shows, and music with friends can be difficult when you have to turn down the TV speakers. This can be the case if you have sleeping children or noisy neighbors. But with two sets of AirPods or Beats headphones, you can just use Share Audio instead.
With Share Audio, you can pair two Apple headphones with an Apple TV 4K, so you and a friend can crank up the volume at any time. Let’s look at how to set it up and customize the experience for each person.
Share Audio Compatibility
It’s important to note that Share Audio is only supported on Apple TV 4K models. If you’re not sure which Apple TV model you have, check out Apple’s Apple TV identification page.
As headphones, you can use any wireless AirPods or Beats headphones. For a detailed list of compatible headphones, see our guide to sharing your iPhone’s audio. Unfortunately, you can’t use Share Audio with third-party headphones.
Audio Split works with any audio coming from your Apple TV. That means Netflix, the Music app, or any screen mirroring content will work from your iPhone’s wireless connection to the TV.
How to pair a second set of headphones with your Apple TV
First, pair the first pair of headphones to your Apple TV as you normally would. Then make sure that the second headphone is turned on and press and hold the TV/Control Center button on the Siri Remote (the button with the TV icon).
When Control Center appears, select it air game icon and then select share audio.
To start pairing your second set of headphones, bring them close to the Apple TV (be sure to open the lid if they’re AirPods). If your headphones are already paired with another device, you may be able to pair them with the Apple TV via a popup on that device.
To complete pairing, select Connect to this Apple TV on the Apple TV if you want it to remember those headphones in the future. choose alternative Temporarily split audio if you pair these headphones for one-time use only.
Now both headphones will be paired to your Apple TV and you can hear whatever you want without using the TV speakers.
How to change the volume for each headphone
One of the greatest aspects of Share Audio is that you can control the volume for each headphone independently. This is a game changer if just one of you wants the sound loud enough to feel like you’re in Jurassic Park.
To change the volume for everyone, just use the volume up or volume down buttons as usual. However, if you want to change the volume for an individual earphone, long-press Choose button on the Apple TV remote. A large volume slider will appear showing each headphone. Simply select the headphones you want to adjust and slide left or right on the remote control to change the volume.
How to select noise reduction modes
If you’re using headphones that support active noise cancellation, like AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, you can easily choose which noise-cancelling mode to use.
To do this with the Siri Remote, press and hold TV/Control Center key to bring up the control center. Then select the headphones Icon at bottom right to bring up noise reduction options. With AirPods Pro and AirPods Max you have the choice between the Out of, transparencyor noise cancellation. You can also swipe to the other connected headphones and adjust the settings for them.
Alternatively, follow Apple’s instructions for Switch the noise canceling modes on your AirPods.
The pros and cons of using Share Audio
Share Audio makes it possible to listen to media at a comfortable volume, no matter what’s going on around you. If you need to crank it up to understand the dialogue in a movie, that’s no problem. This is especially useful if you want to watch TV late at night or if one of you is hard of hearing and needs to hear it louder.
The only downside is that Share Audio doesn’t work with spatial audio and dynamic head tracking. However, the benefits of sharing audio far outweigh the loss of these features. Share Audio is also limited to two headphones, but even pairing two headphones used to be impossible, so it’s a step in the right direction.
Audio sharing is a standout Apple TV feature
Share Audio is one of the best features on the Apple TV. With an Apple TV 4K and compatible Apple headphones, you can always share your favorite media without sacrificing sound. It’s easy to set up, works with third-party apps, and has thoughtful customization options.
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