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Can You Use Apple Headphones as a Mic on PC?

Apple and Windows are one of the all-time great rivalries like Coke and Pepsi, Nike and Reebok, or McDonald’s and Burger King. However, Apple is well known for its products being perfectly optimized to seamlessly connect.

If you already own an iOS or macOS device, you’ll probably already be aware that only genuine Apple accessories perform correctly with them. But what about the other way around? What if you want to use an Apple accessory with a Windows PC?

Can You Use Apple Headphones as a Mic on PC? To answer that, I’ve taken a look at Apple headphones to see if they will work as a mic on a PC. 

Well, Can You?

I’m pleased to report that, yes, you can use Apple headphones as a mic on a PC. But don’t worry, I’m not just going to leave it there. I’m also going to take you through exactly how to connect different types of Apple headphones to a Windows PC.

Here’s some good news…

There are different types of Apple headphones, both wireless and wired. Connecting either type isn’t as simple as it would be connecting to an iOS or macOS device. Next, I will take you through step-by-step how to connect both AirPods, followed by wired Apple headphones.

Connecting AirPods to a Windows PC

Connecting AirPods to a Windows PC

Apple first released its AirPods in September of 2017 and was one of the first truly wireless headphones. Not only do they connect wirelessly to your device using Bluetooth technology both left and right headphones aren’t tethered together either.

Another innovation Apple introduced with their AirPods was simplifying the pairing process. When they are activated within range of a compatible Apple device, the connection procedure activates automatically for added simplicity.

If your PC doesn’t have Bluetooth capability, there is a simple and affordable way to add Bluetooth using a USB port. So, here are a few excellent options…

Techkey – Low-Profile USB Bluetooth Dongle

This compact dongle from Techkey plugs directly into your PC’s USB port and is completely plug and play. By adding this device, you can then enjoy a stable and reliable Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connection on your laptop or desktop PC.

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple has since released a second generation of the AirPods, along with the AirPods Pro that I’ve included here as an example. They feature a wireless charging case, longer battery life, improved audio, and fantastic active noise-canceling technology.

The built-in microphone also provides noise cancellation, which makes them a great option to use as a mic on your Windows PC. Especially when in Zoom meetings, making Skype calls, recording voice memos, or even speech-to-text.

How to pair AirPods to Windows 10…

The first step to using AirPods with a Windows PC is pairing them like you would with any other Bluetooth device. Here is the step-by-step guide on how to complete this process.

  • Click on the [Windows] icon in the bottom left corner of the screen, or press the Windows key on your keyboard.
  • Open up the [Settings] application from the menu that pops open.
  • Within the settings window, select [Devices].
  • Make sure you are on the [Bluetooth & other devices] page.
  • Ensure the toggle switch for [Bluetooth] is set to [On].
  • Click [Add Bluetooth or other device].
  • In the [Add device] window click on [Bluetooth].
  • Make sure your AirPods are in their case and open the lid.
  • Press and hold the button on the back of the case until the status light starts pulsing white, then release the button.
  • Your AirPods should then appear in the [Add a device] window.
  • Click on your Airpods in the list to connect.

You should now know how to pair AirPods to a Windows PC. While you can probably hear audio from the earpieces, sometimes the microphone feature doesn’t work correctly. There is a way to fix this issue, and here are the steps:

  • Right-click on the [Volume] icon in the bottom right corner of your screen.
  • A menu will pop up with a list of connected devices.
  • Click on your [Airpods].
  • A window will then open with information about your AirPods.
  • Under the section about your AirPods microphone, click on [Properties].
  • Select the [Driver] tab towards the top of the window.
  • Click on the box [Update Driver].

This should now resolve any issues that were preventing your AirPod’s microphone from operating correctly. 

Connecting Wired Apple Headphones to a Windows PC

Connecting Wired Apple Headphones to a Windows PC

This is usually a much more simple process than connecting wireless headphones. Often by simply plugging them into the 3.5mm audio port on your laptop or desktop PC, you’ll be ready to go. 

But there are some issues you might encounter, so let’s cover them to give a complete answer to the question, “Can You Use Apple Headphones as a Mic on PC?”

KooPao – 3.5 mm Headphone and Mic Splitter Cable

More commonly found on desktop PCs are separate ports for the headphones and microphone. The KooPao splitter cable allows you to use headsets like Apple wired headphones that only use a single connection.

Plug the pink male connection into the microphone port and the green male connection into the speaker port. A female connection at the other end of the cable then allows you to plug in your headphones using a single port.

Adjusting your PC’s settings…

If you’ve plugged in your Apple wired headphones and they’re still not operating, you might need to adjust some software settings. Here are the steps on how to configure a PC to work with Apple headphones.

  • Right-click on the [Volume] icon in the bottom right corner of your screen.
  • Click on [Playback Devices].
  • Within the list, locate your AirPods. They might be showing up as “Speakers” and not labeled correctly.
  • Click on [Set Default].

Need Great Headphones?

We can help with that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones Under $100, the Best Bluetooth Headphones Under $100, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Headphones with Microphone, and the Best Lightweight Headphones you can buy in 2021.

You may also like our detailed reviews of the Best Bluetooth Headphones for Commuting, the Best Headphones Under $200, the Best Podcast Headphones, the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Best Headphones Under $20, and the Best Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad currently on the market.

Can You Use Apple Headphones as a Mic on PC? – Conclusion

There you have it. You should now be able to use wireless or wired Apple headphones with your laptop or desktop PC. Even though there are a few more steps involved, they are fairly straightforward and shouldn’t take too much time.

Now you can enjoy your Apple headphones, including the microphone function with even more devices, making them much more versatile.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Jennifer Bell

Jennifer is a freelance writer from Montana. She holds a BA in Creative Writing and English, as well as an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Games and Simulation Design.

Her passions include guitar, bass, ukulele, and piano, as well as a range of classical instruments she has been playing since at school. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, yoga, eating well, and spending time with her two cats, Rocky and Jasper.

Jennifer enjoys writing articles on all types of musical instruments and is always extending her understanding and appreciation of music. She also writes science fiction and fantasy short stories for various websites and hopes to get her first book published in the very near future.

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