Wireless earbuds like the Google Pixel Buds Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM4 are impressive, but when it comes to popularity, Apple’s AirPods reign supreme. Despite not being officially compatible with Android devices, AirPods continue to sell millions of units each quarter.
If you own AirPods or received them as a gift, don’t toss them aside assuming they won’t work with your Android phone. With a few limitations, you can indeed pair and use AirPods with Android. Follow our guide to learn how.
Can you use AirPods or AirPods Pro with Android?
AirPods and AirPods Pro are Bluetooth earbuds that can be paired and used with any Android phone or Bluetooth-enabled device. This means that you can also use them with top Android watches and tablets, making them convenient to use while on the go.
However, it is important to note that since Apple’s earbuds are not officially supported on Android, some features may not be available. For example, checking the battery level or using advanced features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Transparency mode may not be possible.
Additionally, since Siri is not available on Android, users cannot use the voice assistant or switch to Google Assistant. Nevertheless, there are workarounds available to make the user experience better.
It is worth noting that the following AirPods models are compatible with Android:
- AirPods 1
- AirPods 2
- AirPods 3
- AirPods Pro
- AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
- and AirPods Max
How to connect AirPods to an Android phone
To pair your AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max (which cost $549) with an Android device, follow these steps:
1. Open the Settings menu on your Android device.
2. Go to the Bluetooth settings page.
3. Ensure that Bluetooth is turned on and your device is discoverable.
4. Open the charging case of your AirPods or AirPods Pro and press the white button on the back of the carrying case. If you’re trying to pair the AirPods Max, simply take them out of their case.
5. Your AirPods should appear under the Available devices section of your phone’s Bluetooth menu.
6. Tap the name of your AirPods to connect them to your Android device. Confirm the pairing process by tapping Pair from the dialog box that pops up.
Congratulations! You have successfully paired your AirPods with your Android phone. When streaming audio over Bluetooth to the AirPods, Apple uses the AAC codec, which is also supported by Android phones. However, the quality of the audio may differ due to the way the codec is implemented by your device’s manufacturer. It’s worth noting that the AirPods do not support 24-bit audio streaming, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, even when paired with an iPhone.
Before pairing your AirPods with an Android device, make sure they’re not connected to any Apple devices. If they are, disconnect them first by turning off Bluetooth or removing them from the list of paired devices. Then, follow the on-screen instructions to pair your AirPods with your Android device.
How to use AirPods with your Android phone
Apple’s AirPods are known for their excellent integration with Apple devices, and while they do work with Android phones, some features are limited or not available. For instance, the force sensor on the AirPods (3rd gen) or AirPods Pro can be used to control music playback and switch between ANC and Transparency mode. However, these actions are not customizable, and you cannot control or monitor these features directly from your Android phone.
To switch between ANC and Transparency mode, simply long press the force sensor, and you’ll hear a chime when the mode switch happens. Unfortunately, there is no way to control the volume level directly from the earbuds on Android phones. Unlike on iPhones, you cannot use Siri to adjust the volume. Therefore, you’ll need to use your phone to control the volume level.
It’s also worth noting that some key AirPods features like Spatial Audio and automatic device switching are only available when you pair and use them with an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Find My integration, which allows you to track the location of your AirPods if misplaced or stolen, is also not available on Android due to the lack of support for Google’s operating system. Additionally, the AirPods cannot be reverse wirelessly charged using an Android phone due to the difference in charging standards.
Overall, while the AirPods can be used with Android phones, some features may be limited or not available, which is something to keep in mind if you’re considering purchasing them.
Check the battery level of your AirPods from your Android phone
If you’re an Android user with AirPods, you may have noticed that there’s no official way to check their battery level. On iPhones, this is easily done through the Battery Widget or Siri. However, a third-party app called CAPod (via XDA) can solve this problem to some extent. Once you give the app the required permissions, it displays the battery level of each AirPod, the charging case, and the connection strength. Although it’s not an official solution, CAPod provides a workaround for Android users who want to keep tabs on their AirPods’ battery life.
However, if your AirPods do not automatically connect to your Android phone, there’s an easy fix. Simply go to the settings of your AirPods app on your Android phone and enable the Auto connect option. This will ensure that your AirPods automatically connect to your phone whenever they are in range. Additionally, there is also an option to automatically resume music playback every time your AirPods connect to your Android phone, making for a seamless listening experience. With these settings enabled, you can enjoy your AirPods on your Android device without any hassle.
Can you trigger Google Assistant using AirPods on Android?
AirPods have always-on Hey Siri support on iPhones, but this feature is not available on Android devices. Furthermore, there is no official AirPods companion app on Android that allows for customization of settings or the use of a different voice assistant. However, an app called Assistant Trigger can be used as a workaround. This app enables the triggering of Google Assistant through squeezing or double-tapping Apple’s wireless earbuds. Assistant Trigger is compatible with all AirPods models, as well as the Powerbeats Pro.
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Maybe just skip the AirPods and buy something easier?
Although it is possible to use AirPods with an Android device, the overall user experience may not be as seamless as it is with Apple products. Therefore, if you haven’t already invested in AirPods, it may be worthwhile to consider other wireless earbud options that offer better value for money and features.
There are many affordable wireless earbuds available on the market that provide a superior experience on Android devices. By opting for one of these alternatives, you can enjoy features such as noise cancellation, improved sound quality, and longer battery life without breaking the bank. Some of the best cheap wireless earbuds include [list of examples]. Ultimately, the choice of earbuds will depend on your personal preferences and budget, but it’s worth exploring other options before settling on AirPods.