4 Things Your Apple Earpod Headphones Can Do

By | April 12, 2022

From talking on the phone to fast-forwarding music, there are many different tasks you can complete with Apple’s iPhone headphones. The center button makes it easy to control phone calls, music, podcasts, Siri, and more.

All you need to do is learn how to use it effectively, and we’re here to show you.

Control On Your Apple Headphones

Apple’s basic earbuds, also known as EarPods, are white headphones available free of charge for any iPhone, iPad, or iPod. They’re not quite as attractive as a pair of wireless AirPods, but you don’t have to worry about recharging them and they really do give you more control over your audio.

Depending on the device they carry, your Apple headphones connect using either the 3.5mm headphone jack or the Lightning connector. Either way, you can find the headphone controls attached to the cable under the right EarPods.

There are three buttons on the front of the controls:

  • Volume up
  • Volume down
  • Middle button

The volume buttons are pretty simple; use them to adjust the level of whatever sound you’re listening to. On the other hand, the middle button offers many different functions depending on how often you click it and the application you are in.

You may be wondering where is the microphone for your iPhone headphones. On the back of the controls section is a microphone icon, which indicates the built-in microphone. This entire piece hangs at mouth level, making it perfect for taking phone calls, recording memos, or commanding Siri without picking up your iPhone.

Control Phone Calls With Your Headphones

When you look forward to talking on the phone, make your life easier and put your headphones on beforehand. Thanks to the built-in microphone, you can talk hands-free without having to hold iPhone to your mouth.

Here’s how to talk on the phone using your iPhone’s headphones:

  • Answer call: Click the center button when your iPhone rings to answer it.
  • End call: Click the middle button while talking on your iPhone to end the call.
  • Reject call: Hold down the center button while your iPhone rings to send it to voicemail. Make sure to keep holding the center button until you hear two beeps.
  • Put a call on hold: If someone else is calling while you are on the phone, click the middle button to answer the new call and hold your current call.
  • Switch between calls: When you receive many active calls, click the middle button to put your current call on hold and move on to the next.
  • End multiple calls: When you have a lot of active calls, hold down the middle button to end your current call and move on to the next.

Control Music and Video With Your Headphones

When you listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or videos on your device, you can control playback using the center button on your EarPods.

Here’s how to control audio using Apple wired iPhone headphones:

  • Play/Pause: Click the middle button to play or pause music, podcasts, audiobooks, or videos.
  • Skip forward: Double-click the center button to skip to the next song, jump 15 seconds ahead on your podcast or audiobook, or skip to the next chapter in a movie.
  • Fast forward: Double-click and hold the center button to fast-forward your song, podcast, audiobook, or video.
  • Jump back: Triple-click the middle button to jump back to the previous song, jump 15 seconds back in your podcast or audiobook, or go back to the previous chapter in a movie.
  • U-turn: Triple-click and hold the center button to rewind your song, podcast, audiobook, or video.

Activate Siri With Your Headphones

To use “Hey Siri,” You need wireless AirPods or Apple AirPods. But you can still activate Siri manually with the white headphones that came in the box with your device. Thanks to the mic, you can give Siri hands-free commands too.

Here’s how to talk to Siri or Voice Control from your Apple headphones:

  • Activate Siri: Click and hold the center button until you hear two beeps, then start talking to Siri.
  • Disable Siri: Click the middle button to stop talking to Siri.

Camera Control With Your Headphones

Unfortunately, Apple removed this feature in a later software update. In case it ever comes back, here’s how to use it:

  • Take a photo: Open the camera on your device and click the middle button.
  • Start/Stop recording: Open the video camera on your device and click the middle button.

Audio Quality in Apple Headphones

Apple’s wired headphones have received a lot of criticism over the years for their poor sound quality. Considering they come free with most Apple devices, they really aren’t that bad, especially since you get a built-in microphone and extensive control with them.

That said, if sound quality is important to you, there are better wired headphones on the market check out our article on The Best Wired Headphones For You. Many of them offer improved isolation, a more balanced response, and even noise cancellation. But none of them come free with your iPhone.

If you’re looking for wireless headphones, consider Apple’s AirPods or AirPods instead (Read How to Connect AirPods to MacBook, iPhone, PC, or Android). They’re not the cheapest option available and don’t have as many controls as Apple’s wired headphones, but they work like magic with your Apple device.

Use Control of Your Headphones with Other Devices

You are not limited to using the controls on your Apple headphones with the accompanying device. In fact, plug it into any laptop, smartphone or tablet and you can use most of the controls in exactly the same way: adjust volume, pause music, play back and more.

Of course, those with EarPods that use the Lightning connector can only plug them into an Apple mobile device. If you’re looking to upgrade, there are plenty of alternative headphones you might want to consider as an upgrade to the free Apple ones we’ve reviewed previously i.e. Best Beats Headphones For iPhone.