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Guide: Control music with your headphones

Every iPhone comes with a pair of EarPods headphones included, and each set has an in-line mic attached to it that you can use for taking calls – but did you know they can also control your music playback? Well they can! Let’s jump right in.

On the in-line mic, you’ll notice the obvious + and – icons on either end. These, as you may have guessed, control the overall volume of the music. In the middle though, is a third button. It is this one that can be used to control playback.

The middle of the in-line mic hides a button

The middle of the in-line mic is a button that can be used to control playback

1. Play and pause

The most useful control is simply pressing the middle button once to pause or to begin playback again. This can be handy if in a store and need to quickly pause while talking to an assistant without having to pull the headphones out.

Press once to pause or play

Press once to pause and again to play

2. Skip song

At some point, you’re likely to want to skip a song when it comes on. To do so, press the middle button twice in quick succession and the next song will start playing.

Press twice to skip the song

Press twice to skip the song

If you loved the previous song and want to play it again, press the middle button three times in succession instead. However, you must do so within the first three-seconds of the new track, or you will simply jump back to the beginning of that current song.

3. Fast-forward and rewind

Apart from being able to skip tracks you can also fast-forward or rewind. This can be useful when listening to podcasts or educational material and want to move forward a few frames. To fast-forward press the middle button twice but hold down on the second press.

Rewind to a certain bit of a podcast or lecture

Rewind to a certain bit of a podcast or lecture

That’s all there is to it. You’ll also be able to use these controls with other headphones that include an in-line mic, provided they are compatible.