There are a lot of different styles and brands of smartphones in the market now. There are Android models, iPhones, LGs, and plenty of others. There are equally many versions and brands of headphones and earbuds. Some of them are wired, while others are Bluetooth-enabled. If you like listening to things like music or podcasts, though, then you’re going to want to select a phone and either headphones or earbuds that work well together. In this article, we’ll be examining the question of whether AirPods work with Android devices.
What are AirPods and What are Android Devices?
So, let’s start out by defining both of these products so that you’ll understand precisely what we mean as we talk about them. AirPods are a product that was designed and brought to market by the Apple Corporation. They’re wireless earbuds that are Bluetooth-enabled. They first came to market in December of 2016, and immediately, they were a huge hit. They’re small enough that they can fit unobtrusively in the ear canal. There are no wires to connect to your smartphone either, which is a distinct upgrade over the prior versions released by both Apple and other companies.
In March of 2019, Apple came out with a much-touted second generation of AirPods, which features hands-free support from Siri, Apple’s voice-activated assistant that comes with the iPhone. You can also purchase an optional wireless charging case when you buy them that come in handy.
As for Android devices, you might have heard that term before, but you’re not quite sure about what it means. Some people hear “Android phone,” and they think that Android is a brand of smartphone. However, that is not actually true. Rather than a specific brand of phone, the term “Android” refers to a mobile operating system. It is based on a slightly modified version of the Linux kernel, as well as other open-source software.
There is a consortium of developers that works on and produces the product known as the Android operating system. The principle member of that group is Google, the search engine giant. When you hear someone talk about owning an Android, you should, therefore, understand that they are not talking about buying a particular brand of phone, like an Apple iPhone. Instead, they are talking about purchasing one of several phone brands and varieties that runs the Android operating system.
Several Samsung models, like the popular Galaxy line, run Android. Because of that, they are sometimes referred to simply as “Androids” or “Android phones.”
What Does Bluetooth-Enabled Mean?
We’ll also take a moment here to explain what we mean when we say that AirPods are Bluetooth devices. Bluetooth refers to a wireless technology standard. It allows for data exchange between mobile and fixed devices over short distances using short-wavelength UHF radio waves. The use of a personal area network is possible when you have an active Bluetooth device.
In other words, Bluetooth capability is what allows wireless devices, like the popular AirPods, to communicate with your cell phone. This connectivity means that you no longer have to worry about untangling those wires for your earphones or earbuds when you want to listen to them along with your smartphone. You can also use Bluetooth connectivity for things like talking on the phone to people, hands-free, while you’re in your vehicle.
If you look at your smartphone, like an iPhone, for instance, you’ll see that there is a button to hit that will allow the device to connect to other Bluetooth-enabled devices, like AirPods. The button has what looks like a “B” on it, for Bluetooth. Once you pair your phone with AirPods or another wireless device, then they can use those UHF radio waves to “talk” to each other.
Is It Possible to Use AirPods with Android Phones?
Now that you understand what we’re talking about when we mention Bluetooth, AirPods, and Androids, let’s get to how they all interact with one another. Let’s say that you own an Android device, like a Samsung Galaxy model. You are in the market for a pair of new headphones. You’re looking at both wired and unwired, Bluetooth-enabled ones. You’ve heard good things about AirPods. You’re not sure, though, about whether devices conceived of and put out by the Apple Corporation are going to work with your Android-enabled smartphone.
The short answer to that question is that AirPods do indeed work with most Android devices, and not just iPhones. There are a few exceptions. What you should do, if you own an Android and you’re thinking about purchasing AirPods to try and use with it, is to go on the website for that Android model and ask the manufacturer. It’s likely they can give you a definitive answer when you either call the help number or Live Chat with them.
More times than not, though, AirPods work fine with Androids, and it makes perfect sense. Apple-designed them that way because the company knew that they would be able to sell more AirPods, and they would make more money from them if they made them versatile with that Bluetooth connective capability.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Using AirPods with an Android Device?
You might also be wondering, though, about whether the AirPods won’t work quite as well with the Android as they would with an Apple-created device like an iPad or an iPhone. As it turns out, that is sometimes true.
While the quality of sound from the AirPods when connected to an Android phone is still pretty good, there is some extra processing power that you’re not getting that is present with an Apple device. That is because there is an audio processing chip in the AirPods that responds only to technology built into Apple devices.
Still, it would be fair to make the blanket statement that the sound quality you get with the AirPods and Android combination is better than with a lot of the wired headphones or earbuds that are on the market these days. Android is a reliable operating system, and AirPods are another one of the many excellent Apple products that exist.
How Do You Connect the AirPods to an Android Device?
To make the connection, but the AirPods in pairing mode. This is done by flipping the case open and holding down the white button toward the rear for three seconds. The AirPods will now be in pairing mode.
Next, you’ll unlock your Android phone and go to the Bluetooth settings. This maneuver will vary according to which Android device you have, but what you’re looking for is that distinct Bluetooth symbol. Make sure that Bluetooth is enabled. Then, look at the options as far as available devices. You should see the AirPods listed. Just click on them and instruct the phone to pair with them. Within a few seconds, it should be accomplished. Now, you can try them out and see what you think of the sound quality.
When you use AirPods with an Android, you still get one of their best features, which is the so-called automatic ear detection. It won’t work with every music app, but if you have something like Spotify, it will. As you take the AirPods out of your ears, the music will stop playing automatically. When you put them back in, the music will resume.
So, as you can see, it is possible to use AirPods with an Android device, and many people do it. You might miss out on a couple of exclusive iOS device features as it relates to the AirPods. Many individuals who have not made the jump to the iPhone, though, still like them. They buy AirPods for their Samsung models or other devices that run the Android operating system.