Do AirPods Work Well on Android Devices?

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Original poster
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Though designed for the iPhone, Apple's AirPods are also compatible with Android smartphones and tablets, so you can take advantage of Apple's wire-free tech even if you're an Android user or have both Android and Apple devices.

You do, of course, lose some bells and whistles like Apple's unique AirPods pairing features. AirPods do, however, work like any other Bluetooth headphones on an Android device, and there are ways to restore at least some of their functionality through Android apps.


AirPod Features That Don't Work on Android (Out of the Box)

When paired with an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac, the AirPods offer a rich set of features thanks to the W1 wireless chip in the first generation version or the H1 chip in the AirPods 2, the accelerometer and other sensors, and deep integration with Apple's devices.

Here's a list of AirPods features you lose out on when using the AirPods with Android:

[*]Siri. On iPhone, you can tap to access Siri for doing things like changing songs, adjusting volume, or just asking simple questions. If you have AirPods 2, you can also use "Hey Siri" to activate Siri.
[*]Customizing Double Tap. In the Settings app on an iOS device, you can change what the double tap gesture does. Options include accessing Siri, Play/Pause, Next Track, and Previous Track.
[*]Automatic switching. AirPods are linked to an iCloud account for Apple users, which allows them to easily switch between using the AirPods with an iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac.
[*]Simple setup. Pairing with an iOS device only requires opening the case near said device and following the quick setup steps.
[*]Checking AirPods battery. On the iPhone and Apple Watch, you can ask Siri about the AirPods battery life or check it from the Today center on iPhone or the Control Center on Apple Watch. Luckily, there is a way to replace this functionality on Android with the AirBattery app or Assistant Trigger.
[*]Automatic ear detection. On iPhone, when you remove an AirPod from your ear, it pauses whatever you're listening to until you put the AirPod back into your ear.
[*]Single AirPod listening. Listening to music with a single AirPod is limited to iOS devices because it uses ear detection functionality. On Android, you need to have both AirPods out of the case for them to connect.

AirPod Features That Work on Android

Out of the box, AirPods functionality on Android is quite limited, but the double tap feature works. When you double tap on one of the AirPods, it will play or pause the music. If you've customized your AirPods using an iOS device, next track and previous track gestures will also work, but Siri won't, nor will "Hey Siri" on AirPods 2 as that requires an Apple device.

One additional benefit to AirPods on Android -- Bluetooth connectivity distance. AirPods generally have a much longer Bluetooth range than other Bluetooth-enabled headphones, and this is true on both Android and iOS.

AirPods lose the rest of their unique functionality on Android, but there are a few Android apps that are designed to restore some of it, adding to what you can do with AirPods on Android.

How to Add Back Lost AirPod Functionality

AirBattery - AirBattery adds a feature that lets you see the charge level of your AirPods. It includes battery levels for the left AirPod, right AirPod, and charging case, much like the battery interface on iOS devices. It also has an experimental ear detection feature when used with Spotify, which can pause music when you remove an AirPod.

AssistantTrigger - AssistantTrigger also lets you see the battery level of your AirPods, and it also says it adds ear detection features. Most notably, it can be used to change the tap gestures, letting you set up Google Assistant to be triggered with a double tap.

How to Pair AirPods to an Android Smartphone

AirPods pair to an Android smartphone like any other Bluetooth device, but you there are some specific steps to follow.
  1. Open up the AirPods case.
  2. Go to the Bluetooth settings on your Android device.
  3. On the AirPods case, hold the pairing button at the back.
  4. Look for AirPods in the list of Bluetooth accessories and then tap the "Pair" button.
After tapping "Pair," the AirPods should successfully connect to your Android device.

Do AirPods Work on Android?

Even if you use Android devices exclusively, the AirPods are a great wire-free earbud option that outperform many other Bluetooth earbuds available for Android devices. If you have both Android and iOS devices, AirPods are a no brainer because you'll be able to use them on both devices with few tradeoffs if you download the appropriate Android apps.

Even without many of the bells and whistles available on iOS devices, AirPods have some attractive features that may appeal to Android users, though there are wire-free Android specific options like the Galaxy Buds and the Pixel Buds that Android users might want to look at.

Many AirPods users find them to be quite comfortable and stable in the ears, with little risk of them falling out, and the battery life is absolutely appealing. AirPods have a charging case that provides 24 hours of battery life in a portable, compact form factor. The case is also easy to charge, so long as you have a Lightning cable.

There's one major reason that you might want to avoid AirPods on Android, and that's audio quality. The Sound Guys outline the poor performance of AAC on Android compared to an iPhone, suggesting you might get degraded streaming on Android because of the way Android handles Bluetooth codecs.

Article Link: Do AirPods Work Well on Android Devices?
 
Last edited:

MDF314159265

macrumors 6502
Sep 4, 2010
300
701
Temecula, CA
AirPods are hit & miss with the peloton tablet (which runs android). They connect 100% of the time, but sometimes max volume is like 25% of AirPods capacity, other times 100%.
I don’t know why this happens - it just randomly decides when to go full volume and when to not to.
I no longer un-pair from the peloton lest the next connection be at the lower volume. My airpods have become a dedicated accessory to my peloton.
 

Quu

macrumors 68030
Apr 2, 2007
2,751
4,302
I use mine a lot with my Windows PC which is a desktop computer, not an Apple Mac but just a generic self-build using an Asus motherboard. They work really well on that with Windows 10, I use them all the time for gaming. The fancy features don't work like taking one out to pause music etc but the sound quality and battery life are normal just like when using them with my Mac or iPhone.

Just thought I'd mention it for the curious. But make sure your device has Bluetooth 4.0 or higher, they don't work well on my older PC that only has Bluetooth 2.1
 

gixxerfool

macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2008
1,041
679
When I first got my AirPods pairing was nothing more than opening the case. It was so simple. For some reason that changed when I recently paired them to my 2018 iPad Pro which required me to press the button on the case. I’m not sure when this changed.
 

spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Aug 1, 2010
3,465
3,704
AirPods are hit & miss with the peloton tablet (which runs android). They connect 100% of the time, but sometimes max volume is like 25% of AirPods capacity, other times 100%.
I don’t know why this happens - it just randomly decides when to go full volume and when to not to.
I no longer un-pair from the peloton lest the next connection be at the lower volume. My airpods have become a dedicated accessory to my peloton.
Side note—do you like the Peloton? I want one so bad.
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68030
Dec 31, 2007
2,905
2,380
Milwaukee Area
The old circular profile Apple headphones fit and stayed in my ears perfectly. The newer iPhone 4 era parabolic shape only fits in my right ear and pops out of my left ear immediately. I was pretty bummed out when they made the airpods based on that fixed shape, instead of a more form-fitting soft polymer interface. So I wait and see.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,874
31,172
I actually didn’t know the AirPods would operate on an android device. I think the most convenient thing about the AirPods, is how seamlessly they pair with the iPhone and they’re ready for use. And I like that it does show you the charging level indicator for the AirPods and the battery case separately. Still one of my favorite products from Apple when they launched in December 2016.
 

PLondon

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2015
100
53
I use mine all the time with my Pixel 3XL and also with a PixelBook and the Huawei Mate book X Pro as well as my Macs, iPad and iPhones. It works great with all of them.

Of course no one would ever miss Siri and you can actually get apps to use Google assistant if you want to. One more added advantage is that you can use just one headphone without it auto pausing like it does on the iPhone I use just one all the time for phonecalls so that's an important feature for me.

I can highly recommend them for any Android users.
 

Romeo_Nightfall

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2018
543
597
Vienna
I actually didn’t know the AirPods would operate on an android device. I think the most convenient thing about the AirPods, is how seamlessly they pair with the iPhone and they’re ready for use. And I like that it does show you the charging level indicator for the AirPods and the battery case separately. Still one of my favorite products from Apple when they launched in December 2016.
Pairing from Bluetooth devices is nearly always easy and seamless. Push pair on AirPod case select on phone, that’s it! Not necessary to build such a story about it
 

csurfr

macrumors 68020
Dec 7, 2016
2,298
1,683
Seattle, WA
Pairing from Bluetooth devices is nearly always easy and seamless. Push pair on AirPod case select on phone, that’s it! Not necessary to build such a story about it
You would think so! See my post above. That was the main reason I picked up the Pixel Buds.

Though I have to say, having google assistant read your messages to you is pretty great.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,874
31,172
Pairing from Bluetooth devices is nearly always easy and seamless
No, it’s not. That’s what made the AirPods so unique, all you have to do, is open the lid and your iPhone pairs with them instaneously. As the other member they quoted you, the AirPods would _not_even pair with the Pixel 3 XL properly.
 

robjulo

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2010
1,270
2,055
Oh good lord, pairing is not difficult with any speaker or headphones. The W1 chip adds ever so slightly easier pairing, and in my experience is often buggy (experience with multiple Beats X headphones with multiple phones)

No, it’s not. That’s what made the AirPods so unique, all you have to do, is open the lid and your iPhone pairs with them instaneously. As the other member they quoted you, the AirPods would _not_even pair with the Pixel 3 XL properly.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,874
31,172
Oh good lord, pairing is not difficult with any speaker or headphones.
No one said it was difficult. Other smart phones just require are not as seamless. For the record, it’s been discussed how the Bluetooth connects to the smart phone, not the speaker to the Bluetooth device.
 

joueboy

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2008
1,575
1,515
I’m a rich Android user I gotta have the AirPods. You poor people cannot afford an AirPod yet you use iPhone disgusting!
 

burgman

macrumors 68000
Sep 24, 2013
1,990
1,418
Pairing from Bluetooth devices is nearly always easy and seamless. Push pair on AirPod case select on phone, that’s it! Not necessary to build such a story about it
Look how much of your precious time you wasted by reacting then posting vs just scrolling right on by.
 

robjulo

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2010
1,270
2,055
I have no idea what you are talking about with the last sentence. My point was, any bluetooth headphones, speaker, takes barely any effort to connect. The W1 chip causes as many problems as it fixes (many times I've had to reboot the headphones or reboot the phone to get it to connect).



No one said it was difficult. Other smart phones just require are not as seamless. For the record, it’s been discussed how the Bluetooth connects to the smart phone, not the speaker to the Bluetooth device.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2012
1,343
2,049
Interesting...my AirPods would pair with a note 9 that I had a while back, but not with my pixel 3 XL.
Total supposition, but if its like that for all Pixel 3's I wouldn't be surprised if Google did something to block Airpods.

On the Pixel 3's Google made their phones only charge on the Qi wireless standard at 5 watts and not higher even though there's nothing to going faster (heck Apple charges at 7.5 watts). To get a higher charge rate you have to buy Google's special expensive wireless charger. Just a scummy move on their part - so I wouldn't be surprised if the same dbag at Google who made that decision was like "Yeah lets not let it work with Airpods, so they can buy ours...". Since both items are accessories, and ultimately overseen by the same guy/gal, this isn't a huge stretch.
 

mrow

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2009
320
389
The old circular profile Apple headphones fit and stayed in my ears perfectly. The newer iPhone 4 era parabolic shape only fits in my right ear and pops out of my left ear immediately. I was pretty bummed out when they made the airpods based on that fixed shape, instead of a more form-fitting soft polymer interface. So I wait and see.
There a bunch of tutorials out there on cutting to fit some of those foam earbud covers so they fit on people with larger ears. You could try it out for just one of your ears.
 
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MDF314159265

macrumors 6502
Sep 4, 2010
300
701
Temecula, CA
Side note—do you like the Peloton? I want one so bad.
Short answer - absolutely.
It's convenient, it's motivational (with paid monthly programming, of course), it is quick to yield results (depending on your lifestyle/discipline/diet), and relatively low-impact.
I've had other equipment, such as a treadmill, squat-rack/bench combo, & the usual free-weights, bands, what-have-you's - but no other piece of equipment has gotten as much use and certainly hasn't had the impact the Peloton has.

For the ugly truth though - if you want one, you surely know the price. Upfront cost of the bike, plus monthly subscription; although they now offer monthly payments of both bike and subscription wrapped into one price. For my household, it's perfect though - cheaper than two adult gym memberships. One bike can have at least two accounts, and I believe far more (4-6?).

I will say this too: discipline. It's easy to get hooked on getting on the bike, but you have to have discipline to push yourself. And when you find that you're pushing yourself harder and harder, you'll also find that you're hungrier than you were before you had the bike. Have discipline to not over eat - at least to not over eat the wrong things.

There are many, many positive things I could say about it, but I'll leave it at that. And you can use your AirPods with it. ;)
 

xpusostomos

macrumors newbie
Jan 28, 2014
6
1
A lot of misinformation here. Automatic switching is not a thing. Apple put the switch function in a convenient place, but Android is about as convenient. Also I listen with one airpod on Android all the time. Not sure what you're on about. The only genuine downside is airbattery, the Android app has to be restarted all the time, so ear detection ends up not always working, which isn't the end of the world.
[doublepost=1547373888][/doublepost]
When I first got my AirPods pairing was nothing more than opening the case. It was so simple. For some reason that changed when I recently paired them to my 2018 iPad Pro which required me to press the button on the case. I’m not sure when this changed.
Are you signed into iCloud on both devices? You're supposed to swipe up the screen and select the airport from the Play controls
[doublepost=1547374033][/doublepost]
I actually didn’t know the AirPods would operate on an android device. I think the most convenient thing about the AirPods, is how seamlessly they pair with the iPhone and they’re ready for use. And I like that it does show you the charging level indicator for the AirPods and the battery case separately. Still one of my favorite products from Apple when they launched in December 2016.
Once you pair the first time, it's just as easy with Android, even if you want to switch devices.
[doublepost=1547374139][/doublepost]
I have no idea what you are talking about with the last sentence. My point was, any bluetooth headphones, speaker, takes barely any effort to connect. The W1 chip causes as many problems as it fixes (many times I've had to reboot the headphones or reboot the phone to get it to connect).
I've got 3 different W1 headphones, and zero problems in Android. (Airpod, beats X and beats studio)
 
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spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Aug 1, 2010
3,465
3,704
Short answer - absolutely.
It's convenient, it's motivational (with paid monthly programming, of course), it is quick to yield results (depending on your lifestyle/discipline/diet), and relatively low-impact.
I've had other equipment, such as a treadmill, squat-rack/bench combo, & the usual free-weights, bands, what-have-you's - but no other piece of equipment has gotten as much use and certainly hasn't had the impact the Peloton has.

For the ugly truth though - if you want one, you surely know the price. Upfront cost of the bike, plus monthly subscription; although they now offer monthly payments of both bike and subscription wrapped into one price. For my household, it's perfect though - cheaper than two adult gym memberships. One bike can have at least two accounts, and I believe far more (4-6?).

I will say this too: discipline. It's easy to get hooked on getting on the bike, but you have to have discipline to push yourself. And when you find that you're pushing yourself harder and harder, you'll also find that you're hungrier than you were before you had the bike. Have discipline to not over eat - at least to not over eat the wrong things.

There are many, many positive things I could say about it, but I'll leave it at that. And you can use your AirPods with it. ;)
Thanks for the info! I stay in good shape and am really into biking for cardio, so I would love to have one of these.
 
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SBlue1

macrumors 65816
Oct 17, 2008
1,453
1,622
Oh good lord, pairing is not difficult with any speaker or headphones. The W1 chip adds ever so slightly easier pairing, and in my experience is often buggy (experience with multiple Beats X headphones with multiple phones)
Cant get them to work with my Huawei M2 tablet. Maybe my company which gave me the tablet blocked BT though.
 

BC2009

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2009
1,927
233
The old circular profile Apple headphones fit and stayed in my ears perfectly. The newer iPhone 4 era parabolic shape only fits in my right ear and pops out of my left ear immediately. I was pretty bummed out when they made the airpods based on that fixed shape, instead of a more form-fitting soft polymer interface. So I wait and see.
If you have a pair of “ear pods” that you don’t use, cut off the wires and see if they stay in your ear. EarPods never worked well for me, but AirPods do stay in my ears. The weight of the dangling wire swinging around made all the difference.
 

PLondon

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2015
100
53
Total supposition, but if its like that for all Pixel 3's I wouldn't be surprised if Google did something to block Airpods.

On the Pixel 3's Google made their phones only charge on the Qi wireless standard at 5 watts and not higher even though there's nothing to going faster (heck Apple charges at 7.5 watts). To get a higher charge rate you have to buy Google's special expensive wireless charger. Just a scummy move on their part - so I wouldn't be surprised if the same dbag at Google who made that decision was like "Yeah lets not let it work with Airpods, so they can buy ours...". Since both items are accessories, and ultimately overseen by the same guy/gal, this isn't a huge stretch.
The airpods works absolutely fine with Google Pixel 3XL so that's a no story. I use mine all the time.

With regards to the wireless charger, I think you are looking at it the wrong way. Google offers class leading 10W charging with its own brand Pixel stand ,which is brilliant by the way offering lots of smarts as soon as you dock your phone, and any other approved chargers. Anker and others make approved wireless chargers. All other Wireless chargers charge at 5 W this is to protect battery life as there are so many brands out there making dodgy chargers.

I personally think £69 is ok for the Pixel stand, it offers very fast charging has the perfect angle for sitting on your bedside table / office desk. Also you can customize lots of functions for each stand with regards to wake up / alarms / mute etc. Check the Google store and you'll see what I mean.