AirPods are the culmination of fashion and audio and are perhaps the definitive way to enjoy music if you own an Apple device. However, what if you are a fan of the AirPods but own an Android device? This article talks about everything you need to know about the AirPods when paired up with an Android device and whether you should be using the combo in the first place.
Before we get started though, do note that every Android device might have some slight variations in the way they communicate with the AirPods which is common for every Bluetooth device.
Can My AirPods Connect To My Android Phone?
To get that question out of the way, yes, AirPods are just like any other Bluetooth device and they can easily be connected to your Android device. While the process itself isn’t as seamless as it would be on an iOS device, they still work fine for what it’s worth.
However, this begs the question, can the AirPods work with any Bluetooth-enabled device? The short answer is yes, they can! They work fine with your Windows Laptop, Android Device, Smart TV, or even a phone that might not be running Android but still has Bluetooth.
Your mileage though may vary depending on what device you’ve connected to the AirPods. Some features may work on particular devices while others will only work on an iOS Device. Of course, for the most refined experience, Apple’s own is the only way to go for now. However, don’t fret, you can still get an amazing audio-listening experience if that is your primary goal.
What are the Disadvantages of Connecting my AirPods with an Android Phone?
Well, if you are worried about audio quality acting as a hindrance, no worries there. While you won’t get the suite of features that Apple proudly advertises on their website for the AirPods, you will still get the same listening experience provided you do some tinkering.
What sort of tinkering? Apple meticulously equalizes the AirPods so that they perfectly match your ear and audio preferences. Since you aren’t listening on an Apple device, all that data goes to waste. So, for a more refined listening experience, all you need to do is use the built-in equalizer on your phone’s settings or ones offered by the likes of Spotify to get the perfect listening experience.
Other than that, there are some quality of life features that you will be missing out which we’ll be talking about down below.
Does AirPods Pro / Max Noise Cancellation Work With Android?
A special point to note is the fact that your AirPods Pro will retain their noise-cancellation quality no matter what device they are being used with. In fact, you don’t need to be connected to a Bluetooth device at all to get the feeling of all the noise being sucked out of your ears.
This is because the AirPods Pro relies solely on hardware found within the buds themselves. However, you won’t be able to change your Noise Cancellation modes through software as you do on an Apple device.
Instead, you’ll need to hold the stem of your right Airpod Pro and hold it until you hear an audible click allowing you to cycle through the modes. By default, when pairing with an Android phone, Noise Cancellation will be set to on. While you will not notice a difference in the Noise Cancellation being turned on and off from an Apple device, there might be some glitches and hiccups within Tranasperacy mode as some processing seems to be off-loaded to the Apple Device.
Other than that, here are some of the other features you’ll be missing out on:
Access to Voice Assistant: On your iOS / Apple Device, you can use Siri as you would typically and have your appointments scheduled, music played back, and more. However, you won’t be able to do so on your AirPods. You also won’t be able to access Google Assistant as well. This can be a major bummer especially if you use them frequently.
Customization: On an Apple device, you can customize your AirPods to do as you please both with the double-tap and stems on the AirPods Pro. Sadly, you are unable to change these settings on the fly on an Android. There is a workaround though, if you or a friend own an iOS device, you can pair the AirPods on it, customize it to your liking and then use it the same way on your Android device given that you don’t reset it back to its default settings. This can be quite tedious if you don’t have an Apple device handy though.
In-Ear Detection: Apple has integrated a neat little feature with the AirPods that allow them to detect whether they are in your ears and will quickly pause if taken out. However, this feature simply does not work on your Android and your AirPods will keep playing back music whether you have them in your ear or not.
Battery Percentage: On an iPhone, you can either ask Siri for the battery of your case and AirPods or check it yourself manually. Sadly, this isn’t possible on Android. However, some Samsung phones do let you check the battery level of your AirPods on notification bar. But, it isn’t nearly as accurate as it is on an Apple device as it doesn’t provide you with a percentage.
Pairing: Perhaps the biggest fall of them all, pairing is particularly tedious on an Android as you’ll come to know if you keep reading. However, the process is blissful if you own an Apple device. You’ll be greeted with a pop-up that makes connecting extremely easy.
Handoff: Another integral feature that slams you right down into the Apple ecosystem is the ability for your AirPods to seamlessly move through devices depending on which one you are currently using. So, you can, for instance, listen to a music track on your iPhone, open up a YouTube video on your Mac and your AirPods will automatically switch between the devices. Sadly, you won’t be able to use that feature on your Android.
Spatial Audio: Apple’s latest innovation with the AirPods makes its way in Apple Music allowing you to experience the next generation of sound. Sadly, Apple Music is not available on Android and even if it is, Spatial Audio is only supported on Apple Devices which means you won’t be able to enjoy your AirPods Pro to the fullest.
Updates: This might come off to be a bit of a bummer. But, Apple devices tend to get updates OTA (over the air) once a new one is out. Apple AirPods too get a few updates that fix bugs, improve overall performance and even add in new features sometimes. However, if you have an Android, you won’t be able to get these OTA updates. If you do have an Apple device, you can connect it with your AirPods, put them on charge in their case and leave them for a few minutes for your device to update them. You can then connect them to your Android after that. However, once again, this process is extremely tedious and can be impossible if you don’t have access to an Apple device.
How to Connect your AirPods with an Android Device
If you’ve recognized all these caveats and disadvantages but still wish to connect your Android device whether it may be from Samsung, Redmi, LG, One Plus, Xiaomi, or Huawei, here’s what you need to do:
Note: These steps may differ depending on what version of Android you are on.
- Open your Android phone’s Settings
- Now, head on over to Bluetooth, turn it On if it isn’t already
- Once your device is scanning for available connection, open the case on your AirPods or AirPods Pro and press the white circular button behind the case.
- Your case should now enter pairing mode, once it does, tap on the icon and you should be good to go.
How to fix AirPods not Connecting to Android Device?
If you’ve tried the steps mentioned above and are unable to get your AirPods working with your device, there are a few pointers you can take a look at to know that the issue isn’t present on your end:
- Do you have an Apple device nearby? Chances are that your AirPods might be trying to pair up with that device rather than your Android phone. If so, turn off your Apple device’s Bluetooth by heading to Settings -> General -> Bluetooth. Turning it off from your phone’s Control Centre might not always work!
- Have you held the button for a long enough time? Remember, you need to hold the button present at the back of your AirPods for at least 2-3 seconds until the LED indicator starts blinking. If you don’t do that, your headphones won’t enter pairing mode, to begin with.
- Are your AirPods charged? Since you won’t be able to find out whether your case is out of juice or not, your battery might have just drained. Therefore, charge your case for an hour or so before you try pairing again.
- Connected to multiple devices on your Android phone? That might cause some pairing issues between your AirPods and your Android device. For a quick fix, forget all connected devices and then try pairing your AirPods again.
- Is Developer Mode turned on? If so, chances are that you might have messed around with your Bluetooth codec settings at a particular point in time. Turn them off before you try connecting to your AirPods again.
If all these fixes don’t seem to be doing anything, then you might need to reboot your Android device and check whether there might be an issue with the Bluetooth connectivity on your phone. Your last resort would then be to Reset to Factory Default Settings. If that doesn’t seem to work as well, you might just be out of luck.
How To Use AirPods on An Android Device?
Now that you’ve connected your AirPods to your Android device, there are a few workarounds to fixing some of the caveats and disadvantages that we listed above. You can actually improve the compatibility of your Android device with your AirPods by getting a hold of a few nifty applications.
AndroPods is an extremely popular Freemium application used to bring back some features that only Apple users have the fortune of enjoying with their AirPods. Most notably, it brings in a battery level indicator popup emulating the original animation.
Plus, you can also display your battery level in percentage on your notification bar or you can take a look at it anytime by opening the application. If you purchase the Pro version of the app, you can also enable ear detection which suspends and resumes playback depending on whether you have your AirPods on or off.
With the Pro version, you can also invoke your voice assistant by tapping four times on your AirPods. While not extremely intuitive, it does get the job done if you are in a pinch and really need to use your Google Assistant.
To use AndroPods, you’ll need to download the application from the Play Store, connect your AirPods like normal and give the necessary permissions. Beware though, the popups can consume a lot of battery from your phone.
MaterialPods is another free application that allows you to check the battery level on your Android smartphone. Its main advantage is the level of customization it offers as compared to AndroPods. You can change the colour of your notifications with a lot of different changeable UI parameters. However, while featuring a cleaner interface, the app lacks In-Ear Detection and the ability to use a Voice Assistant.
Should I Use AirPods with My Android Phone?
Understanding your own needs is a key metric to answering whether it really is worth it to use AirPods with an Android device. Let’s paint the picture for you, you have AirPods lying around or have a few Apple devices at home, you don’t want to invest in earbuds and you like the quality and fit of the AirPods.
If that’s the case, they are perfect for you! You can update them using your devices at home, can check the battery whenever you need to and you probably won’t mind the lack of a voice assistant.
However, if these are going to be your primary headphones and you have the option of actually buying a new pair for your Android device, there are tons of compelling options that have the same audio fidelity, are better integrated into the Android Ecosystem, and also let you use various sound assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Best AirPods Alternatives for Android and iOS:
While there are tons of options depending on your particular budget, there’s one that stands out especially primarily due to its stellar quality and repute. The Sony WF-1000XM4 (Yes the name is a mouthful) offers best-in-class noise cancellation, great bass, have amazing battery life, and are quite comfortable. Moreover, they can also be used with your Apple devices if needed with the same level of integration that you would expect on Android.
So, if you are someone who has multiple devices, they’re an excellent grab. While they may be a little expensive, they match the price of the AirPods Pro and are arguably better than them in fidelity, battery, and utility as well.
Yes, you are able to use your AirPods with any Android device no matter the brand. However, the amount of features you gain access to is severely limited as compared to you using them natively on an iOS / Apple device. As such, if you are going to be using them, installing a compatibility application is absolutely necessary.
However, if you have the choice, we’d always go for wireless audio solutions like the WF-1000XM4’s simply because they are more integrated.