So you have tried many different wireless headsets with your Android device, but also haven’t found which ones work the way you want. Or maybe you just can’t find the sound quality you’re looking for in a pair of speakers.
Suffice to say, you’ve heard that Apple AirPods are really good because they give you the sound quality you want, if not better. But will it actually work with your Android smartphone?
Since their release in late 2016, AirPods have become the most popular headphones on the market. Along with the trend of phones losing headphone jacks, this is a convenient way to listen to music on your iPhone or iPad.
However, do AirPods work with Android? What if you’ve switched from iOS to Android or want to use Apple headphones on your Android tablet? We’ll show you how to connect AirPods to Android and what they can offer on this platform.
Can AirPods connect to an Android device?
Briefly: Yes You can use AirPods on Android. As they are only Bluetooth earphones, AirPods work with other Samsung and Android devices. AirPods are compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device, and that includes most Windows laptops and some smart TVs.
It’s the same with Apple’s overhauled wireless headphones: you’ll be happy to know that the AirPods Pro also work well on Android.
How to Connect AirPods to Android Phone
It’s easy to pair AirPods with your Android device or anything else that supports Bluetooth. Follow these steps:
- On Android, open Settings -> Connected devices -> Pair new device. This will put your phone into pairing mode.
- Place the AirPods in the charging case and make sure the case is open.
- Press and hold the small button on the back of the AirPods case for a few seconds. Once you are ready to pair, the light will start flashing (inside or on the front of the case, depending on your model).
- You should see an entry for AirPods in the Bluetooth pairing list on Android. Tap it to pair your AirPods with Android.
That’s all you need to do to get your AirPods to work with Android. Now you can use it like any other wireless earphone.
To set it up with your PC, see How to use Bluetooth devices in Windows 10.
Disadvantages of using AirPods with Android
Although AirPods are definitely compatible with Android, Apple mainly manufactures them for Apple devices. Because of this, you will lose many useful features if you use them on non-Apple platforms.
You’ve already encountered one of the drawbacks: the pairing process. Thanks to a special chip in the case, connecting AirPods to your iPhone or iPad is as easy as opening the case, bringing the device closer and pressing Relate. Plus, once done, your AirPods are automatically ready to use with other devices linked to your Apple ID.
Here are some other AirPods features that don’t work on Android:
- Access to Siri: As you’d expect, there’s no Siri on Android to control music or ask questions. You also cannot access the Google Assistant with it.
- Customizable double-click functions: On the iPhone, you can change what can be done by double-clicking on the speaker. Shortcuts including skip songs, summon Siri and play/pause. It doesn’t work on Android, so you’re stuck with a double tap for play and pause only.
- If you have an iPhone/iPad or a Mac, you can customize this feature there and then use it with your Android device. However, this is a big hurdle for those who don’t have Apple devices.
- Discovery of the ear: When used with Apple devices, AirPods detect when you’ve taken them out of your ear and pause music until you put them back on.
- Easy battery check: When you connect AirPods to Android, you can’t ask Siri about battery life or easily check your phone’s charge percentage. Some versions of Android show the battery life of connected Bluetooth devices, but it won’t tell you if the speakers are at different levels of charge or what percentage of the battery is in the case.
Improve AirPods Compatibility on Android with Apps
Although some of the AirPods’ best features aren’t available on Android by default, clever developers have made up for a few of them. You can add more functionality to your AirPods with just a few Android apps.
The best-known app for making AirPods work better on Android is AirBattery. This free app lets you check the battery level of each earbud and charging case. Show details when you call them. You can also check anytime by opening the app.
As a bonus, the app has an experimental in-ear detection feature. It only works with Spotify, but it’s worth a try if you use that service. The option to upgrade to the Pro version of AirBattery for $1 adds additional features, such as an automatic update notification with the current battery level of your AirPods.
While not perfect, this app makes the experience of using AirPods with Android much better. If that’s not what you were hoping for, check out a similar option called Trigger Wizard. Offers the ability to detect the position of the in-ear headphones and double tap to use the Google Assistant.
Download: AirBattery for Android (Free and Pro version available)
Download: Assistant Trigger for Android (Free and Pro version available)
The best AirPods alternatives for Android
As we discussed, using AirPods with the iPhone is a great experience that ties the two devices together. When used with Android, the functionality of AirPods is reduced to a pair of standard Bluetooth headphones.
If you don’t already own a pair of AirPods and plan to use the headphones primarily with your Android devices, we recommend looking into the best AirPod alternatives.
There are other wireless headphones available at different price points, which means you can get a great set for a much cheaper price, or a better quality pair with better sound. Plus, many of them support Google or Alexa, so you won’t miss the presence of a wireless assistant.
Can AirPods work with Android? Yes, with some caveats
Now you know all about using AirPods with Android (or any other Bluetooth device). Although the experience isn’t as smooth as on iOS or macOS, you can still enjoy many of the benefits of popular Apple headphones on Android.
As mentioned, however, AirPods aren’t your best option if you don’t own any Apple device. You should consider buying a product that better integrates with the platforms you use.