Don’t own a gaming headset? Here’s how to connect your Xbox One with your trusty AirPods.
Just like most true wireless earbuds, AirPods use Bluetooth to connect with any device. That’s why it’s easy to assume they can also work seamlessly with the Xbox One.
However, you can’t directly connect AirPods to the Xbox One, as the console does not natively support Bluetooth audio. Instead, it relies on its own proprietary wireless technology—Xbox Wireless.
So, while you can connect AirPods to Xbox One, you’ll have to do so with some workarounds using third-party software or devices. Read on as we go over all the methods you can try below!
How to Connect AirPods to Xbox One via the Xbox App
Since Xbox doesn’t support Bluetooth audio, you can’t connect your AirPods directly to your Xbox One. However, you can link them via the Xbox mobile app.
The Xbox Companion app was originally designed to stream gameplay to mobile devices. This means you can also use it to stream Xbox audio to your device and from there to your AirPods– essentially using your mobile device as an audio passthrough.
Unfortunately, you can’t use the AirPods’ microphone while simultaneously streaming audio using the Xbox App.
Here’s how to connect AirPods to the Xbox One using the Xbox Companion app:
- First, you need to allow your Xbox to connect with the companion app. To do this, press the Xbox button on your Xbox One to open the main menu.
- Go to the Profile & System tab and select Settings.
- Go to Devices & Connections, select Remote features, and check the Enable remote features box. Now, you can connect your Xbox to external devices.
- Connect your AirPods to your phone or tablet and ensure that your audio is streaming to them.
- Open the Xbox Companion App on your phone or tablet and log in with the same Microsoft account you use on your Xbox One.
- Tap on the remote play icon at the top right-hand corner, next to the notifications icon. It looks like an Xbox with lines coming from it. Choose to Remote play on this device.
If this is your first time using the Xbox app, you’ll need to Set up your console before you can stream gameplay audio. Simply follow the onscreen instructions, and you’ll be taken back to the Xbox app home screen.
- Start playing on your Xbox. The gameplay should then stream to your device, including the audio, which should pass through your device and play from your AirPods.This method also works when using AirPods with Xbox Series X or S.
How to Connect AirPods to Xbox One via Bluetooth Adapter
Another option for connecting your AirPods to your Xbox One is via a Bluetooth adapter. You can plug this dongle into your Xbox controller to enable Bluetooth and pair your AirPods.
This option is good if you don’t want to stream through your phone and avoid audio lags. But, it can make using the controller clunky, as the adapter needs to be attached to the bottom and can throw off your balance or interrupt your grip.
The Xbox doesn’t come with a Bluetooth adapter, so you’ll need to buy one separately.
However, if you plan to purchase an adapter, be careful to buy the right kind. For this, you’ll need an adapter with a 3.5mm audio plug, not a USB connector. A good option is the Skull & Co. AudioBox.
Here’s how to use a Bluetooth adapter to connect AirPods to the Xbox One:
- Turn on the Bluetooth adapter.
- Plug the 3.5mm plug into the audio jack on your Xbox controller.
- Put your AirPods in their case and open the lid.
- Press and hold the Setup button on the back of the case until the light flashes white. Now the AirPods are in pairing mode.
- Press the pairing button on the adapter and hold your AirPods close to the controller.
- The light on your AirPods case will change from white to green to indicate that it’s connected.
- Now you can stream your game audio to your AirPods.
How to Use AirPods for Xbox Party Chat
AirPods do have a built-in mic that many people use for audio calls. This begs the question: can you use the AirPod mic for an Xbox party chat?
The answer is yes, but only if you aren’t also using the AirPods for game audio.
You can only use one function of your AirPods at once with your Xbox One. So, you can use them to stream your game audio or to chat with your friends, but not both at the same time.
Here’s how to set up party chat using your AirPods as a microphone:
- Make sure your AirPods are connected to your mobile device and your mic is working.
- Open the Xbox app on your device and make sure you’re signed in with the same account you use on your Xbox.
- Tap on Let’s Play.
- From the icons at the top of the screen, tap on Create a Party. This icon looks like a group of three people and is located next to the Friends icon.
- Choose to Start a Party. The Xbox app might ask for microphone permission if this is your first time using your AirPods mic. You’ll need to allow microphone access before continuing.
- Tap on Party Controls.
- Choose to Change Audio Device.
- From here, you can choose your AirPods from the list.
If you need to have both in-game audio and chat at the same time, you can consider this list of wireless Bluetooth headsets that are compatible with the Xbox One, Series S, and Series X.
Why Can’t You Connect AirPods to Xbox One Directly?
You can’t connect your AirPods directly to the Xbox One because the Xbox uses a proprietary wireless protocol instead of Bluetooth: the Xbox Wireless.
This wireless protocol works on a higher frequency than Bluetooth, resulting in lower latency and better sound quality. However, this makes the Xbox incompatible with Bluetooth devices.
Because of this, Microsoft has launched several gaming headsets that are compatible with Xbox Wireless.
Owning and using Xbox’s own wireless gaming headsets are the best way to enjoy a seamless gameplay experience on your Xbox One, Series S, or Series X console.
However, that is not always possible or the ideal solution for everyone. But now that you know alternative workarounds to connect your AirPods to Xbox One, you can save yourself some money and enjoy using them for gaming.
Which of these methods worked best for you? Or were there other ways you managed to use your AirPods with Xbox? Let us know in the comments below.