Can Apple AirPods connect to Android?

Discover how the Apple AirPods pair with Android devices, their limitations, and alternative wireless earbud options for optimal performance on Android.

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Android and Apple AirPods

AirPods have taken the world by storm with their simple setup, great audio quality and naturally smooth performance with Apple devices. Lots of Android users love the look and functionality of AirPods too but are unsure if their non-iPhone will support them just as well.

This guide will take a look at how AirPods pair up with Android smartphones and tablets. We'll check out what works seamlessly, where they fall a little short, and provide some alternatives to make the most of the TWS experience on Android.

Yes, Android users can use Apple AirPods with their devices

While AirPods were specifically created by Apple to synergize with their iPhone and other iOS-powered devices, it is certainly possible for them to pair with Android smartphones as well. The regular AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max all use Bluetooth to pair with phones, tablets, and computers - it doesn't matter if it's Apple or Android.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) MagSafe Charger | Vijay Sales

Some people think "AirPods = iPhone only" but that's not true. As long as the device has Bluetooth, any AirPods can sync up and play all your music, calls, movies, whatever. Apple made them work universally with Bluetooth so you're not limited to just iPhones.

Limitations of AirPods

While AirPods absolutely work with Android phones. But there are a few things they can't do as well as when paired to an iPhone.

No Talking to Siri

The first thing they will miss out on with Android is the ability to use Siri. If you've used AirPods with an iPhone before, you know Siri is built right in - you can ask her to play music, make calls, get directions and more using just your voice. But Siri is an Apple thing, so she doesn't work with Android. You'll have to use your phone's voice assistant instead of talking to Siri through your AirPods.

No Pausing When You Take One Out

Another missing feature is the auto pausing when you take an AirPod out. While originally intended for use with Apple's iPhone line of smartphones, the AirPods contain sensors that are able to recognize when they have been inserted into the ear canal. This allows any audio playback to automatically pause once one of the AirPods buds has been removed from the ear.

But Android doesn't have that same direct connection, so the audio will keep playing even if you take an AirPod out. You'll have to manually pause it yourself instead of it doing it automatically.

No Tap Controls

When paired with an iPhone, you can tap twice on the AirPods to do useful things like change songs, pause/play, or trigger Siri. Unfortunately, those tap commands don't translate over to Android pairing. The taps require the deeper Apple software/hardware connection that just isn't present with Android devices.

Guide to connect your AirPods with Android

1.  First go into the settings menu and select the connections section.

2. Next, you'll want to turn on your Bluetooth. Go ahead and tap on the Bluetooth.

3. You'll want to make sure the AirPods themselves are safely tucked inside the charging case. Locate the small button on the rear of the case and press/hold it until the indicator light shifts to a steady white hue. Activating this button will initiate the pairing mode functionality.

4. Once that's done, go to your phone's Bluetooth settings. Here you'll see them in available devices. Select them to start the linking process.

5. You'll see a prompt asking you to confirm the connection - select it.

6. After a brief moment, you'll see the Airpods now listed as one of your paired Bluetooth devices! You're all set to go wireless.

Other Options for Android users

For those who may find certain constraints of using AirPods with an Android device irritating, it is worth noting that several other wireless earbud manufacturers have created options primarily designed for optimal performance on the Android mobile platform. Brands like Samsung, Google, Sony, and Jabra have models that work seamlessly with Android the way AirPods do with iPhones.

A few popular ones to consider include

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

  • Google Pixel Buds Pro

  • Sony WF-1000XM5

  • Jabra Elite 10

These were designed for Android from the start, so you'll get things like active noise cancellation, wireless charging, and easy access to Google Assistant directly from the buds.

In summary, while key features like Siri commands, automatic pausing, and gesture controls will be missing. But basic sound quality works adequately, and with some adjustments the experience can be improved.

However, if the compatibility limitations prove too frustrating, considering earbuds designed specifically for Android may provide a more integrated solution. These alternatives are more likely to take full advantage of an Android device's capabilities right out of the box. A natively supported option could deliver smoother performance overall versus the semi-compatible AirPods pairing.

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