How to Connect Apple AirPods to Any Android Phone
That's right, you can use Apple AirPods (or AirPods Pro) with Android phones. Here's how.
As much as Apple loves to keep its customers stay inside its walled garden, the Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro do work with devices outside the ecosystem. After all, Bluetooth powers both of Apple’s truly wireless earbuds, which is also a universal wireless standard across millions of smart devices, including Android phones. Although Apple uses proprietary technologies for its iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and other devices, wireless protocols like Bluetooth and many of its audio codecs are available on Android and Windows devices too.
In fact, if you are looking for the best TWS earbuds for your Samsung, Xiaomi, Google Pixel, OnePlus, Nokia, or any other Android phone, AirPods remains to be one of the most recommended choices. Obviously, the pairing process may not be as seamless as it’s on Apple’s own devices, but your Android device should still connect to AirPods.
If you plan to buy AirPods or AirPods Pro to use with your Android phone, check out the following instructions in this guide. We have also provided additional instructions to help users pair their AirPods to a Windows PC.
How to connect AirPods to an Android phone?
Unfortunately, the process of pairing AirPods with an Android phone isn’t even close to the magical and seamless pairing experience on iPhones and iPads.
Instead of opening the AirPods case and waiting for a connection prompt to appear, you will need to go with the good old method of pairing the earbuds manually from your Android device’s Bluetooth menu. Here’s how it goes:
- First, open the AirPods case and ensure the AirPods are docked inside.
- Next, press and hold the white button on the rear side of the AirPods case until the small LED indicator starts pulsing white. It means the AirPods are in pairing mode.
- Now swipe down the status bar, then press and hold the Bluetooth QS icon to open the Bluetooth settings menu.
Alternatively, go to the Settings > Connected devices > Connection preferences menu and tap the Bluetooth option. The steps may vary depending on the Android device you use.
- Once you toggle on Bluetooth, go to the pairing menu and let your device scan for available devices. You should be able to choose your AirPods as long as its case is still blinking white.
- When you see the confirmation window, tap the Pair option to allow your Android phone to connect to the AirPods.
With the AirPods now connected to your Android device, you can use them as you would any other Bluetooth earbuds or headphones. The AirPods will disconnect when you put them back in their case and automatically reconnect when taken out.
Connect AirPods to a Windows PC
The process of pairing AirPods with a Windows 10 PC or laptop is mostly the same as Android.
- First, press and hold the white button on the AirPods case until the LED indicator starts flashing white.
- Go to Settings from the Start menu and select Devices on the main Settings screen.
- On the “Bluetooth and other devices” screen, click the Add Bluetooth or another device option, then select Bluetooth in the following window.
- The AirPods or AirPods Pro will appear in the list of available devices as long as it’s in pairing mode. Select it to begin the pairing process.
That’s it! You can now use your AirPods with your Windows PC just like any other wireless audio accessories.
What if you can’t pair your AirPods to your Android device?
There are several reasons your Android device may have a hard time discovering your AirPods. The first thing you should check for is whether the AirPods are auto-connected to another device you use. In that case, turn off Bluetooth on all your other devices before you plan to pair your AirPods to your Android phone or tablet.
Other times, your Android device might be the root of the problem. Turning Bluetooth off and then back on usually fixes the discovery and pairing issues, but we also recommend rebooting your device. Also, ensure to keep your phone and the AirPods within ten meters of each other for the best possible wireless reception.
If the above solutions don’t resolve the issue, chances are your AirPods have run out of battery. Thus, always make sure to keep your AirPods and their case fully charged before usage. All you have to do is put the earbuds back in their case, then connect it to a charger using the Lightning to USB cable supplied in the box. If you have the Wireless Charging Case for the AirPods, you can simply place it atop a Qi-supported wireless charging mat.
If you still can’t connect the AirPods to your device, consider performing a factory reset. The steps below will walk you through the process:
- First, put your AirPods back in their case, close the lid, and then open it after thirty seconds.
- Next, head over to your device’s Bluetooth settings menu.
- Tap the cogwheel icon next to your AirPods, followed by the Forget option.
- After that, press and hold the white button on the AirPods case until the LED indicator starts flashing amber.
- Keep holding the button until the LED blinks white.
Once you perform the steps, you can re-pair your AirPods to your Android device by following the instructions we have provided in the previous section.
Limitations of using AirPods with non-Apple devices
The H1 chip used in the 2nd generation AirPods and AirPods Pro is what enables the seamless pairing process with compatible iPhone, iPad, and MacBook models. Android and Windows devices can’t communicate with the H1 chip in the AirPods, so you will have to stick with the traditional Bluetooth pairing process.
Furthermore, you won’t be able to access some of AirPods’ features when connected to a non-Apple device. It includes the auto-pause feature, which pauses the playback once you take an AirPod out of your ear. You can’t even check your AirPods’ battery levels without using a third-party app like AirBattery on Android.
It’s worth mentioning that you still can control the playback by squeezing the stem or tapping once on either AirPod. If you have an AirPods Pro, you can also press and hold the stem of either AirPod to enable or disable ANC (Active Noise Cancellation).
Another limitation of using AirPods with non-Apple devices is that you won’t be able to use Siri, Apple’s beloved digital voice assistant. When used with an Android device, you can’t even trigger Google Assistant simply because of the closed platform. Additionally, updating your AirPods’ firmware isn’t possible unless you use a compatible iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Mac device.
While not all of AirPods features are available when paired with an Android phone, you do get most of them. Personally, the AirPods and AirPods Pro are two of our favorite TWS earbuds by a long shot. But if you are looking for the best possible experience, consider looking out for similarly priced alternatives that natively support Android devices.
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