How do I switch off Siri on the Apple AirPods?

Apple AirPods and Charging Case
Siri silenced: stop Apple's assistant on your AirPods

The Apple AirPods, like them or loathe them, are ingenious pieces of technology but can you switch off Siri? Is it always listening and how is Siri activated manually? We investigate the answer for each AirPods model.

AirPods (1st & 2nd Generation)

The earliest generations of AirPods have no listening option, so Siri can only be activated manually. However, out-of-the-box, the ability to double tap them to perform various functions is limited – the default is always to activate Siri. Hidden away in your settings, though, you can switch off Siri on the Apple AirPods and do something more useful instead:

Time needed: 5 minutes

How to switch off Siri on AirPods

  1. Open up the AirPods settings

    Whilst your AirPods are connected to your phone, head into Settings > Bluetooth on your iPhone.

  2. You should find your AirPods listed – tap the “information” icon to the right of their name.
  3. Change the Double Tap Settings

    Half-way down is a section named “Double-tap AirPod”. There are settings for both left and right AirPods, and tapping on either of these will allow you to change it to any of the following: Siri, Play/pause, Next track, Previous track or Off.

  4. Changing other settings

    There are additional settings for the AirPods that can be changed from this screen:
    Name – in case you don’t like the default name assigned to your AirPods
    Automatic Ear Detection – as soon as the AirPods are placed in your ears, your phone will attempt to re-route any audio to them. Switch this off to prevent this from happening automatically
    Microphone – use this to specify which AirPod microphone is used. You can choose between: Automatically Switch AirPods (this is the default), Always Left AirPod and Always Right AirPod

AirPods (3rd Generation), AirPods Pro & AirPods Max

More recent versions of the AirPods, including the latest generation of the cheapest AirPods model, can activate Siri by voice or touch. However, they provide no option to switch either off.

To activate Siri by touch, press and hold the Force Sensor on either AirPod or, for AirPods Max, press down and hold the Digital Crown instead.

Now read this: How can I unlock my Mac with my Apple Watch?

About the author

David Artiss

Works for Automattic Inc., the company behind WordPress.com and Tumblr. Tech geek, international speaker and occasional PC Pro podcaster. Lover of Lego and video games.

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