Do AirPods Work With Android: What to Expect

Android phone with Airpods (From: Unsplash)
Android phone with Airpods (From: Unsplash)

Discover how AirPods can work on Android devices. Set your expectations straight as this article provides you with all the details.

No one can deny how Airpods affected the headphones industry to date. Since its release in 2016, they continue to set the standard on the convenience and functionality of truly wireless earbuds. And it’s expected to grow more as the number of IOS users also continues to grow with 61% of Americans using Apple products.

But what if you belong to the other 39%? Should you say goodbye to personally experiencing what makes Airpods so popular?

There’s an even greater worry for people who just recently transferred from Apple to Android. A lot of them are asking: What should I do with my $100+ Airpods now?

Worry no more! We’ll answer all your questions on whether or not Airpods can actually work with Android in this article. And teach you everything you need to know about this unlikely pairing.

Android phone with Airpods (From: Unsplash)
Android phone with Airpods (From: Unsplash)

Do AirPods Work With Android?

YES! Unlike what many people think, AirPods do not use a unique technology to power their wireless connectivity. Instead, it merely uses the widely available Bluetooth technology. This means you can connect any Bluetooth-sporting Android device with it.

But this privilege comes with a catch.

Although you can use AirPods on Android, the features will be limited. You won’t be able to enjoy some of the AirPods advanced features intended for iOS users.

Nonetheless, if you’re still eager to get AirPods for your android devices, here’s a guide on how to initiate pairing.

How to Connect AirPods With Android Devices

As mentioned earlier, using AirPods with Android will come with limited functionality. One of those is the Automatic Pairing feature. And because of that, you’ll have to pair the devices manually.

That’s not much of a hassle, though. Manually connecting your AirPods with an Android or non-Apple device is easy. To pair, simply perform the following steps:

  1. On your Android device, access Settings.

    On your Android device, access Settings.
    On your Android device, access Settings.

  2. Choose Device connectivity.

    Choose Device connectivity.
    Connections settings.

  3. Turn on Bluetooth connection by tapping the toggle.

    Turning on Android's Bluetooth
    Turning on Android’s Bluetooth

  4. Open the lid of your AirPods’ charging case. Make sure the earbuds are inside.

    Open AirPods' charging case
    Open AirPods’ charging case

  5. On the back of the case is a setup button. Tap this button until the status light flashes white.

    Turn on AirPods pairing mode
    Turn on AirPods pairing mode

  6. The AirPods should then appear in the listed devices under Bluetooth.

    Select AirPods from list of devices
    Select AirPods from list of devices

  7. To connect, select the AirPods’ name and enjoy your device!

    Android phone connected with AirPods
    Android phone connected with AirPods

What to Expect When You Use AirPods With Android

AirPods are an exciting device that takes the listening experience to a new level of efficiency. Thanks to its Apple-made enhanced software and hardware, iOS users can enjoy tons of cool features.

But, let’s be honest about it. While iOS users’ most common problem with using Airpods is keeping them clean, using AirPods on Android devices won’t be as convenient due to missing features. Now that we’ve established that Airpods do work with Android, here’s a quick discussion on what you should expect.

Let’s get to know which functions will still work and which are left out.

Features that still work

AirPods are not worthless when used with Android. There remain some features that you can enjoy using your Android devices.

Here are some of what you’ll get when you use AirPods with Androids:

Double-tap for pause or play

Even with ‌AirPods‌’ limited functionality on Android, the double-tap feature remains. With it, you have a convenient command to play your music. Simply double-tap on either earbud, and the music will play or pause.

There’ll be no need to reach out to your smartphone to command a simple task.

Moreover, if you want to activate the ‘next and previous track’ gestures, you can customize the AirPods settings. But to do so, you’ll need an iOS device to access this feature.

Solid connectivity and a good range

AirPods’ superior connectivity isn’t lost when used with Androids. The connection made between the two devices is reliable and devoid of disconnection issues plaguing regular earbuds.

Moreover, the Bluetooth range is optimal. You can get up to 33ft (or around 10 meters) away from your audio source when using AirPods.

Features that will NOT work

AirPods are originally designed to complement iOS, forming unique features and functionality. Using a different OS will mean you won’t be able to access these functions.

While Airpods work with Android, the following are AirPods’ features deemed unusable on Android devices.

‌AirPods‌ may have lost some of its best features on Android, but you can still restore some of them by installing Android apps.

No Siri

Siri is Apple’s voice-control virtual assistant with outstanding capabilities. It was designed to elevate the use of Apple devices. Imagine hands-free access to the commands on your device and an AI doing your bidding – that’s what Siri does.

When used with AirPods, it can announce messages via the earbuds. When listening to music, a simple voice command can change songs and adjust speaker loudness.

Sadly, Android phones typically use Google Assistant or Bing. However, these two are not naturally supported by Airpods.

Automatic switch

Apple truly pays high regard for device flexibility and convenience. Its automatic switch function is one of the many proofs. With it, you can swap between the iPhone and other Apple devices in an instant.

So, if you’re tuning in to your iPad and want to shift to your iPhone to answer a call or listen to music, your AirPods will automatically switch devices.

This feature is made possible by device synchronization via your iCloud account. Connecting your AirPods to your iCloud account and pairing them with one device will allow other devices to know that the AirPods are on.

But, this works only with Apple devices.

One-step setup

Pairing devices has never been as easy as the way Apple designed it to be. To pair iOS devices, you only need to open the AirPods case with the earbuds inside and place it near the device. Works like magic!

The one-step setup is for subsequent pairing. Initial pairing may require several simple steps to initiate.

Customizable double-tap

The double-tap feature can command many things. The commands will be according to how you set them up for personal preference. On your iOS device’s setting, customize this function to do one of the following:

  • Access Siri
  • Play and Pause
  • Next and Previous track options

Battery-life check

Apple has the solution for the annoying low battery delayed notification. Most earbuds will only notify you when the batteries are low, leaving you little time to recharge. With AirPods, you can monitor real-time battery status.

This will give you more time to plan the charging schedule for uninterrupted listening.

To do so, you can summon Siri to notify you of the battery life. You can also check battery status from the iPhone’s Today center or Apple watch’s Control Center.

While this feature is not usable from the get-go, you can still access this using a third-party app. More of the details down below.

Single AirPod listening

Freeing up one ear is not a problem for AirPods on iOS. With AirPods, each earbud connects to the device separately. So, each piece can function on its own.

Moreover, this function works in conjunction with AirPods ear detection technology. So when you take one AirPod off your ear, it automatically stops playing. This feature is iOS dependent and won’t work on your Android.

Automatic ear detection

Auto ear detection is one of AirPods’ coolest capabilities. This feature can tell when an earbud is taken off from one ear. The removed earbud will then automatically halt the audio coming from it. But, when you put the earbud back in your ear, the audio resumes playing.

The ear detection also automatically saves battery life when your Airpods are removed from your ears.

It’s tragic not having this capability work for Android phones.

Third-Party Apps to Improve Compatibility

Fortunately, there are third-party apps that Android users can rely on to add more functions to the AirPods.

These apps enhance user comfort. They make it worth giving AirPods a chance on your Android by allowing some originally incompatible features. The following are our recommended apps and what they can do:

AirBattery app

AirBattery app
To give you real-time information regarding your AirPods battery life, you can download the AirBattery app. It will restore the AirPods’ lost battery life checker and will help you plan your charging schedule.

Here’s where you can download the AirBattery app.

Assistant Trigger app

Assistant Trigger app
Assistant Trigger app

Although you can’t access Siri’s functionality on Android, you can have another virtual assistant to work on your AirPods — the Google Assistant. It integrates AirPods’ and Androids’ functionality closely.

Like Siri, you can summon the Google Assistant to perform some tasks like setting up an alarm, play music, and manage your home’s automated devices. And with the AssistantTrigger app, you can access the Google assistant by double-tapping on the AirPods.

To activate this function, download and install the AssistantTrigger app.

Should You Buy AirPods for Your Android Smartphone?

Even with some restored features, there is no denying that AirPods’ efficiency is compromised when paired with Android devices. And AirPods aren’t AirPods without these highly optimized features.

So, instead of forcing AirPods on Androids, why not consider getting wireless earbuds designed for Android devices? By opting for an OS-compatible device, you get to harness the product’s optimum functionality.

To find out more about true wireless Android-compatible earbuds, read this article.

Here are some of the products we’ve tested and have proven to be good AirPods alternatives:

Sony WF-1000XM3

Close look at Sony WF-1000XM3 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Sony WF-1000XM3 (From: Amazon)

Sony WF-1000XM3 are fully customizable earbuds that work optimally on Android phones. Using the Sony Headphones Connect app, you can configure either earbud to perform ‘volume control’ or ‘playback control.’ Simply tap on the earbud for it to do your bidding.

Check out our full review of the Sony WF-1000XM3.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

Close look at Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 (From: Amazon)

If you want the promised noise cancellation of Airpods Pro, why not just go for a pair of truly wireless earbuds with ANC that also works great on Android?

The customizable touch control, active noise cancellation, and long battery life are just 3 of Sennheiser Momentum 2‘s offerings. With this, you can also enjoy a superb sound quality!

Here’s a comprehensive review of Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

Aukey EP-N5

Close look at Aukey EP-N5 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Aukey EP-N5 (From: Amazon)

Whether it is design, controls, battery life, or portability that you’re looking for in wireless earbuds, Aukey EP-N5 has it all.

Why settle for limited functionality when you can go full with a truly wireless device such as Aukey?

For full disclosure on this product’s highs and lows, read this comprehensive Aukey EP-N5 review.

Jabra Elite 65t

Close look at Jabra Elite Active 65t (From: Amazon)
Close look at Jabra Elite Active 65t (From: Amazon)

For earbuds that focus on providing a top-notch user experience, there’s no setting Jabra Elite 65t aside.

One of this brand’s highlights is its asymmetrical earbud control. With it, you can assign different commands to each earbud to better control its functions.

Check out product info about Jabra Elite 65t

Audio Technica ATH-ANC300TW

Close look at Audio Technica ATH-ANC300TW (From: Amazon)
Close look at Audio Technica ATH-ANC300TW (From: Amazon)

Another highly efficient true wireless earbuds with excellent active noise cancellation is this Audio Technica ATH-ANC300TW. Plus, it comes with high-performance sonic quality, too.

It also sports Bluetooth version 5.0 that provides more stable connectivity. The device is also powered by Qualcomm aptX for a lossless audio playback.

To get to know more about this brand, read this Audio Technica ATH-ANC300TW review.

Finally, at a time when we can’t splurge on expensive devices, it would be worth asking: Do I need to get true wireless headphones? What are its benefits?

To help you weigh in before deciding to purchase any of these products, here are the boons and banes of true wireless headphones.


Now that we know that Airpods do work with Android, there’s no need to splurge on new headphones if you already have AirPods on hand. Continue enjoying wireless listening using these devices. There may be a few features omitted, but it works almost just as fine as any Bluetooth headphones.

If a non-working feature is a deal-breaker, though, you can always opt for some Airpods alternative for your Android device.

Have you tried pairing your Airpods with an Android device? Let us know your experience in the comments section below!

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