How to hear incoming messages through AirPods on iPhone or iPad

When you’re on the go, you can let Siri read your incoming messages with your Apple AirPods. You can even reply to these messages without touching your iPhone. Here is how.

First, you need that

For Siri to announce messages through your AirPods or headphones, you must be running iOS 13.2 or later (on the iPhone) or iPadOS 13.2 or later (on the iPad). You will also need one of the following earbuds or headphones:

  • AirPods (2nd generation)
  • AirPods Pro
  • AirPods Max
  • Powerbeats
  • Powerbeats Pro
  • Beats Solo Pro

It is likely that Apple’s yet-to-be-released future headphones and wireless devices will continue to support this feature.

How to Use Your AirPods and AirPods Pro: The Complete Guide

How Announce Messages Using Siri Works

When Announce Messages with Siri is turned on, Siri will read new incoming messages (both text messages and iMessages) from your AirPods (when you are wearing them) and when your device screen is locked.

Siri will make a tone first, then announce the sender’s name, and finally read the message. If the message is too long, Siri asks if you want to read the entire message.

To reply to a message, just say “Reply” followed by your message. Siri will then read your message to you and ask if you can send it. Confirm to send the message.

To turn on Announce Messages with Siri

To enable the “Announce Messages with Siri” feature, first make sure that your AirPods are paired with your iPhone or iPad and connected to your device.

Next, open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.

In Settings, tap Notifications.

Select Notifications from Settings

Tap Announce Messages Using Siri.

Go to the Announce Messages Using Siri section

On the next page, tap the switch next to Announce Messages Using Siri to turn it on.

Turn on Announce Messages Using Siri

You will now hear incoming messages announced by Siri.

While we’re in the “Announce Messages Using Siri” section, you can also turn on the Reply Without Acknowledgment feature if you want to reply a little faster. This allows Siri to send replies without having to reread the message first.

Activate responses without confirmation

Thereafter, close Settings and done.

If you’d like to turn off Announce Messages with Siri later, go to Settings> Notifications> Announce Messages with Siri again and turn off Announce Messages with Siri.

How to avoid incoming message spam from Siri

By default, the Announce Messages with Siri feature announces new messages from everyone. If you are getting a lot of spam messages, this is not a good idea.

To change this, open Settings and navigate to Notifications> Announce Messages from Siri and tap “Messages”.

Choose Messages

Scroll down until you see the “Announce Messages From” section. Tap a selection other than Everyone (such as Favorites, Recent, or Contacts) in the list based on your personal preferences.

Choose Favorites

When you’re done, exit out of settings. From now on, the incoming messages that Siri announces will be filtered based on the selection you made.

How to quickly toggle Announce Messages with Siri

Apple allows you to quickly toggle Announce Messages with Siri on or off using a shortcut in Control Center, but you’ll need to add it first. Open the settings on your iPhone or iPad and tap on “Control Center”.

Select Control Center from Settings

Scroll down and find the “More Controls” list. Tap the plus sign (“+”) next to Announce Messages Using Siri.

Adding announcement messages to the control center

Exit Settings. Next, open the Control Center. If you’re using an iPhone with a Home button, swipe up from the bottom center of the screen. On an iPhone without a home button, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen.

How to use Control Center on your iPhone or iPad

How to launch Control Center on an iPhone

When Control Center appears, tap the Announce Messages button (which looks like a rounded square with sound waves) to quickly turn Announce Messages with Siri on or to turn it off for a day.

In the Control Center, tap the Announce Messages button

This way, you can always turn off the voice speaking from your headphones with a swipe and tap.

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