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Do AirPods Use Data?

Last Updated Mar 21, 2021
Happy women in pink sweater wearing airpods
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For some, their iPhone data is precious. Between phone calls, text messages, and music streaming services, one can go through five gigabytes of data in a single billing cycle. But what about accessories, like the AirPods? Do they use data or need a Wi-Fi connection?

AirPods do not directly use data. They rely on the connection of the device that they are paired with. If your phone, tablet, or computer emit a Bluetooth signal, your AirPods would be able to use that connection to operate.  

By not relying on data, you can use your AirPods anytime, anyplace. Read on to learn more about the benefits of these smart buds and what you can expect from your purchase.

Do Apple AirPods Use Data?

AirPods come with a host of features that do not rely on an internet connection or data. They can automatically connect to certain devices via Bluetooth. This means:

  • You can have your earbuds within 30 to 50 feet of your smartphone. This range can be even wider if you have AirPods Pro.
  • You can find your AirPods if they are actively connected via Bluetooth. You can do this by using the Find My app or by signing into your iCloud account.

Bluetooth does not require data. That means that you can use your AirPods for hours at a time without going over your data plan. Bluetooth comes free with virtually any device. It does not require monthly subscriptions or one-time fees.

AirPod Connected Apps Still Use Data

While your AirPods do not use data on their own, this does not mean that the apps they connect to will not. If you are using a music streaming service, like Spotify or Apple Music, your phone will use data if you are not connected to the internet.

How much data these apps use will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • How often you use an app
  • What you are using the app for (streaming video tends to use more data than streaming music)
  • The quality of the music and videos you are streaming
  • Your phone’s individual configurations
  • Whether you use your phone as a mobile hotspot

Making phone calls also uses data, but while you may use your AirPods to have conversations, the devices themselves will not use data.

Siri and Data Use

One of AirPods’ biggest selling points is that they are able to use Siri to perform hands-free functions. In conjunction with this program, AirPods can:

  • Send text messages
  • Make phone calls
  • Work with HomeKit
  • Check the weather
  • Set timers
  • Schedule meetings

To work, Siri needs an internet connection. If it cannot connect to a router, it will automatically use your data. If you do not want Siri to do this, you can make these changes in your phone’s settings.

Checking Data Usage on Your iPhone

When your billing cycle ends, there does not need to be any surprises about how much data you used that month. You can check how much data you have used and manage your habits from there.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can do this by:

  • Selecting “settings”
  • Pressing “Cellular”
  • Scrolling down to “Cellular Data”

Here, you can get a first-hand look at which apps are using the most data. It will also tell you how much data you have used. If you want, you can prevent certain apps from using data. This means that they will only work if they are connected to a Wi-Fi router.

If you have an Android phone you use your AirPods with, checking your data involves a very similar process to the one listed above. Simply:

  • Go into “Settings”
  • Go into “Network & Internet”
  • Press “Data Usage”

Under where it says “Mobile,” you can see how much data you are using. Again, you can also see what apps are draining your plan.

Limiting Data Use with AirPods

If you are concerned about how much data you are using in a single billing cycle, here are some easy things that you can do to cut corners:

  • Turn off which apps use data
  • Refrain from excessively using apps like Netflix and YouTube (these are data killers)
  • Only using data in special situations, as most businesses offer free Wi-Fi

Turning off location-enabled services does not drain your data enough to turn it off. However, you can do this if you do not want certain apps to use and show your location.

In Summary

In conclusion, AirPods do not use data. However, the apps they use do. You can manage how much data your apps use by going into your phone’s settings.

If you are interested in learning more about how AirPods use Bluetooth technology, you can read more about it here.

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