AirPods Pro 2 - lost... and found

I bought a friend AirPods Pro 2 for Christmas.

Two days ago he told me he lost the left ear one on the morning train. He apparently fell asleep and his left ear one fell out somewhere.

I sighed and called Apple Support. Loss of AirPods isn’t covered by AppleCare but they told me how to purchase a replacement one via support.

What they didn’t tell me was that Find My knew where it was!

A combination of Apple technology and Japanese honesty saved the day. The Find My app on my friend’s iPhone indicated that the left AirPod had gotten separated and was at Koiwa Station, the neighboring station to ours. He went there on his way home from work yesterday and sure enough someone had found it and turned it in and he has it now and all is well. Pretty amazing I think!

If he hadn’t gone to the station yesterday then today they would have sent it on to Tokyo Station lost and found.

I wonder how that works. It just showed up on the Find My map even though it was nowhere near us.

Now I’m curious about getting AirTags before my U.S. trip in April.


As I understand, Find My uses Ultra Wideband Technology to effectively crowdsource location via a Bluetooth connection to an Apple device, e.g., iPhone, that’s within range of the lost item.

Maybe this will answer your question:


Quite interesting! Thanks.

Everything in the Find My network (including AirTags) works by periodically transmitting small bits of ID data over Bluetooth.

If anybody nearby has an Apple device (iPhone, iPad, etc.) and didn’t explicitly turn off support for Find My, it will send Apple the device’s ID and the phone’s location.

Apple accumulates this data and will present it to you when you use the Find My app to locate your device.

In this case, I would guess that someone working in or near the Lost and Found box at Koiwa station has an iPhone. So it reported the device’s location to Apple. Which you received.


Thanks. I’m impressed at how well it worked.

I had no idea that the individual left & right AirPods could be located by the find-my network. I thought you could only find the case. Of course, it makes sense. They are bluetooh devices, after all. This is really nice to know!


When they were first released, you couldn’t. But the capability was later added. I believe in the iOS 15 time-frame.

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It’s actually the other way around. At least with 1st gen Pros, the case doesn’t have any Bluetooth circuitry so it requires at least one bud inserted into the case to be able to transmit where the case is. In fact, that’s also the reason you only get a case battery read with at least one bud inserted into the case. The 2nd gen doesn’t have this issue since BT circuitry (U1) was added to the case itself.