We all know how well AirPods function within the Apple ecosystem. Since they hit the shelves five years ago, they’ve set the benchmark for ease of use and outstanding functionality if using an Apple device.
But what if you’re not an Apple devotee? Can you listen to AirPods with Android devices? And if so, what kind of experience can you expect?
Fear not. We’ll answer those questions and more in this in-depth guide to AirPods on Android.
Do AirPods Work Well on Android Devices?
Yes, they do. This would be a very short article if they weren’t. Just like any other truly wireless earbuds, AirPods are connected via Bluetooth, as are all Android devices. So whether you’re an Android or iOS user, a connection can be made.
However, the relative experience is a very different one. Apple is not in the business of encouraging people to use products that they don’t make money from. If you do choose to use AirPods on an Android device, there’s a price to pay when it comes to the level of features you’ll have access to.
Before we examine the features, let’s look at the pairing process.
Pairing AirPods to an iOS device for the first time is the most straightforward process in the history of Bluetooth. All you have to do is open the charging case, and voila, a connection is made. This automatic pairing is unavailable to Android users.
When you want to connect AirPods to an Android device, it’s back to the old-school manual pairing process. This is done by turning your phone’s Bluetooth on, opening the AirPod case, and pressing the setup/pairing button on the back of the charging case until the AirPods appear in your phone’s listed devices.
To be honest, as cool as the automatic pairing is, this isn’t too much of a hassle. It only takes an extra few seconds, and you only need to do it once. The next time you want to connect, simply open the AirPods case, enable Bluetooth on your Android device, and you’re done. To break the connection, pop the AirPods back in their case.
AirPod Features Available on Android
So, we know there are some AirPod functions that won’t work with Android devices. But what features do the AirPods retain?
Regardless of the operating system used, AirPods retain the faultless connectivity that they are famed for. Whether you’re at home or in a packed downtown area (next year… maybe), using AirPods on an Android device offers the best connection of any true wireless earbuds on the market.
The range is also exceptional, staying constant up to ten meters away from your device.
When using AirPods on an Apple device, a double tap on one earbud will pause or play whatever you are listening to. And a double tap on the other will launch the Siri voice assistant. Android doesn’t support Siri, so a double tap on that bud won’t do anything. However, double-tapping the earbud to pause or play still works with Android.
Interestingly, if you can find an iOS device to connect to, you can customize the double-tap feature to also play the next or previous track depending on which bud you touch. Once you reconnect to your Android device, the buds will retain the customization you set on the iOS device.
Apple AirPods aren’t exactly renowned for their amazing sound quality. That said, they sound the same regardless of the operating system being used.
Missing Features on Android
There are quite a lot of features unavailable to Android users, and I will cover them here. However, there are some workaround apps available to make up for this. That means if you want to know “Do AirPods Work Well on Android Devices?” the answer is both yes and no. It depends on what features you prioritize.
So long, Siri!
As mentioned already, the Siri voice assistant will no longer be able to help you if using AirPods on an Android device. Apple users could summon Siri with a double-tap and use voice commands to change the volume and select tracks. Siri could also announce messages through the Airpods.
Android phones use Bing or Google Assistant, which the AirPods do not naturally support. However, there is an app you can get called Assistant Trigger. This allows you to launch the Google Assistant with a double or quadruple tap. To set it up properly, you’ll have to splash out the $2 charge at the Google Play store.
If you’re willing to do this, you’ll have the same kind of functionality that Siri provided. Albeit with another battery-draining app running in the background.
When used in the Apple ecosystem, AirPods can seamlessly switch between any apple device you synch to your iCloud account. Here’s a good example.
You might be listening to music from a MacBook when you get a call on your iPhone. If you take the call, the Airpods automatically make the switch, pausing the music and answering the call. End the call, and they’ll jump back to the MacBook.
There is no such compatibility between Android devices. And even if there was, we doubt the AirPods would be designed to help out.
When using an iOS device, you can ask Siri how much power is left in your AirPods or check on your iPhone. Initially, there is no way to check for Android users. However, once again, you can go to Google Play and download the AirBattery app. Here you can check battery status and schedule updates to tell you the amount of charge left.
Optical Ear Detector
One of the best features when using an iOS device is the optical sensor that can detect when an AirPod has been removed from your ear and pause the audio when it happens. Not only is this useful, but it also acts as a battery-saving feature when both buds are removed.
There’s no way around this one which is an inconvenience for Android users.
Need Some Great Earbuds for Apple or Android Devices?
We can help you find what you need. Check out our in-depth Apple Beats Powerbeats Pro Review, our Apple AirPods Pro Review, our TicPods 2 Pro Review, our JLab JBuds Air Sport Review, our Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus Review, and our reviews of the Best AirPods Alternative you can buy in 2021.
You may also enjoy our helpful guides on Samsung Galaxy Buds vs. Apple AirPods, How to clean your AirPods Pro, Apple AirPods vs Powerbeats Pro, AirPods Pro vs Beats Powerbeats Pro, 3 Simple Tips to Keep Airpods From Falling Out, and What are the benefits of Apple’s W1 chip for more useful information.
Do AirPods Work Well on Android Devices? – The Verdict
If you already own a pair of AirPods and have just moved over to an Android device, you can continue using them no problem. Yes, it won’t be as smooth and convenient an experience as using them in their native iOS environment. But if you can live with the loss of a few features, they function reasonably well.
If you don’t already own true wireless earbuds and you’re in the market for an Android suitable pair, we wouldn’t recommend buying AirPods.
There are better options available these days that work in harmony with Android devices, rather than just functioning. Models like the Samsung Galaxy Buds, the Sennheiser Momentum, and the Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds all spring to mind.