In the old days, if you wanted to share headphone sound with someone else, it meant splitting a pair of wired earbuds, something which required sitting close enough to rub shoulders or leaning at odd angles. Not only was it inconvenient, but it was also a little unhygienic. As explained by Business Insider, ears aren’t the most cleanly of bodily orifices, and sharing earbuds is next door to sharing a toothbrush.
Even with AirPods, you can still share audio by passing over one of your pods to a friend. No one’s going to stop you. Even this method improves on the old method of personal audio sharing by removing the wires, making the whole experience at least a little more convenient. It does nothing, however, to avoid the fact that someone else is shoving your precious tech inside their slimy ear. Luckily — for everyone really — there’s a better way, as long as your friend also has a pair of AirPods or Beats headphones, (via Apple).
On your device, tap the AirPlay icon on your screen. It looks like a triangle with a few concentric circles rising above, or like a sun setting behind a mountain. This option will likely be available on your Now Playing screen, in your Control Center, or right up on your Lock Screen. This AirPlay icon could also be available in your favorite audio app, depending on if the developer of the app integrated said functionality.
Once you’ve tapped the AirPlay icon, select share audio. As long as your friend’s headphones are in range, you should be able to send the audio signal to both of your earbuds, allowing you to listen with a friend without sacrificing the sanctity of your ears.