As an Android user, you may be wondering if you can use AirPods with your device. The short answer is yes, AirPods can connect to Android phones and tablets. However, there are some caveats to be aware of.
In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about using AirPods with Android, including how to connect them, what features you lose compared to using them with an iPhone, and some better alternatives designed for Android.
How AirPods Connect to Android Devices
The key reason AirPods are compatible with Android is because they use Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly. Bluetooth allows the AirPods to work with any device that supports the wireless standard, which includes all Android phones and tablets.
So if your Android device has Bluetooth connectivity, you can pair and connect AirPods to it just like any other Bluetooth headphones or earbuds.
Here are the steps to connect AirPods to an Android phone or tablet:
- On your Android device, open the Settings app and go to the Connected Devices section. Tap on Pair New Device.
- Putting your Android device into Pairing Mode allows it to discover the AirPods.
- For the original AirPods, open the charging case with the AirPods inside and press and hold the small setup button on the back of the case for a few seconds until the status light starts rapidly flashing white.
- For AirPods Pro, open the case and press and hold the button on the back until the light flashes.
- For AirPods Max, press and hold the noise control button for a few seconds until it goes into pairing mode.
- The flashing light indicates the AirPods are now discoverable via Bluetooth.
- On your Android’s Bluetooth menu, select the option for your AirPods when they show up in the list of available devices.
- Tap on the AirPods again in the list to connect them to your Android phone or tablet.
And that’s it! The AirPods should now be connected and ready to use with your Android device.
What You Lose Using AirPods with Android
While AirPods do work with Android, you miss out on several key features that you get when using AirPods with an iPhone.
Here are some of the main downsides to consider when using AirPods with Android devices:
- No automatic pairing – On iPhone, just open the AirPods case nearby and they instantly connect. With Android, you have to manually pair each time.
- No Siri support – You lose the ability to say “Hey Siri” to activate the voice assistant on iOS. Siri doesn’t work on Android.
- Can’t customize tap controls – On iPhone you can configure what double tapping the AirPods does. No customization on Android.
- No automatic ear detection – AirPods on iPhone can detect when you remove one from your ear and automatically pause playback. Doesn’t work on Android.
- No seamless checking battery life – You have to go dig into Bluetooth settings rather than seeing it conveniently on iPhone.
Overall, the experience using AirPods with Android is a bit degraded compared to iPhone. You lose a number of convenient features that Apple has optimized them for.
Apps to Improve AirPods on Android
While you miss out on some native integration, there are Android apps you can use to help improve the AirPods experience:
- Assistant Trigger – Enables Google Assistant activation via AirPods tap gestures.
- AndroPods – Provides battery level popups for AirPods and charging case. Also adds back automatic ear detection.
- AirBattery – Another app for battery status popups and notifications.
These apps help add back some of the missing functionality like quick battery checking and Google Assistant support. They optimize AirPods for Android better than the out of the box experience.
Superior AirPods Alternatives for Android
Given the compromises when using AirPods with Android, you may want to consider getting wireless earbuds that are designed primarily for Android instead.
Here are some better AirPods alternatives for Android users:
- Google Pixel Buds – Google’s own wireless earbuds integrate Google Assistant and other Android-specific features.
- Samsung Galaxy Buds – Optimized for Samsung phones with better Android integration.
- Jabra Elite Active 75t – Feature-packed earbuds made for both Android and iPhone. Better sound quality.
- Anker Soundcore Liberty Air – Budget AirPods alternative with excellent sound that works great with Android.
These options provide a more seamless experience with native Android support. You also typically get better audio performance for the same price or less than AirPods.
Instead of compromising with AirPods, get wireless earbuds built from the ground up for Android.
To sum up, yes AirPods can connect to and be used with Android smartphones and tablets. Since they rely on universal Bluetooth technology, AirPods will work with any Bluetooth-capable Android device.
However, the experience is not as smooth and seamless as you get with an iPhone. You miss out on thoughtful integrations Apple has designed specifically for their own ecosystem.
While there are some Band-Aid solutions in the form of Android apps to help improve the experience, AirPods are not the ideal wireless listening solution for dedicated Android users.
You’ll have an overall better time with earbuds designed primarily for Android integration. But in a pinch, AirPods will work fine for listening to audio and taking calls on your Android phone or tablet. Just don’t expect the full Apple-tailored experience.
Hopefully this gave you a good overview of what you can expect when trying to connect AirPods to Android devices. Let me know if you have any other questions!