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How to pair your AirPods with Android, and other Bluetooth devices

Thanks to the "special magic" of the W1 or H1 chip, Apple's AirPods connect automatically to iPhone and, from there, to Apple Watch, and even iPad and Mac via iCloud. To pair with an Android phone or tablet, or Windows PC or tablet, you need to pair manually. The good news is, AirPods can pair with any devices that support Bluetooth headphones. Here's how!

How to pair your AirPods with Android, Windows, or other devices

The procedure for pairing your AirPods with your Android phone or tablet, with your Windows PC or tablet, or with any other device or gaming system, is the same as pairing any set of Bluetooth headphones.

  1. Pick up your AirPods charging case and open it.
  2. Press and hold the pairing button on the back of the case.
  3. Launch the Bluetooth settings on your device.
  4. Select AirPods from the list.
  5. Confirm the pairing.

AirPods vs Android: How Apple's headphones work cross-platform

AirPods are pretty great for iPhone users — but what if you have Android devices in your midst?

I live in an all-Apple household with iPhones, Macs, iPads, and Apple TVs in my home. But I'm not exactly most people.

Many of my friends are in a different bubble: They may like their Macs and iPads, but they also use Android phones on a daily basis. It's easy to see why a product like Apple's AirPods appeals to people completely in Apple's sphere, but it's a harder sell to folks who live between device lines.

So Android Central managing editor Daniel Bader did just that, looking at how Apple's headphones interact with Android phones.

Any AirPods questions?

If you have any other questions about your AirPods, drop them below!

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

9 Comments
  • Can you pair to other devices without unpairing from the Apple devices? Specifically, my situation is that i have a Windows PC at work, so I go between listening to stuff on my iPhone/iPad and my computer. Can I pair them to my iDevices and the PC at the same time, so all I have to do is go to the output menu on whichever device I want and choose the AirPods?
  • This is a solid question. Can we pair to Apple TV, and still be able to open the case and "auto-pair" with our iPhone when away? I don't want to have to re-pair them all of the time. It would be nice if we can have 1 "standard" bluetooth pairing along with the Apple W1 magic.
  • I swear I remember reading back when the airpods were being previewed with the iPhone 7 reviews, that you can pair them with up to 5 "devices", with all of the devices on your iCloud account counting as 1 device. I can't for the life of me find where I read it though, which is starting to make me think I'm just remembering wrong.
  • when pairing airpods with a LG TV via bluetooth there is no way to control volume. Any idea?
  • I just confirmed with Apple Support (Apple TV senior advisor "Austin") that the AirPods cannot be paired with the third generation of Apple TV. This is simply a situation of the third generation hardware not being able to support the AirPods. Because no Apple documentation (technical, support, and marketing) communicates this situation, I requested that the existing pairing documentation clearly differentiate the pairing process by the generation of the Apple TV. Austin said he would communicate this need to the appropriate engineers.
  • Don't worry, that won't happen. Asking an Apple Senior Advisor to do something constructive is a waste of time.
  • I don't think the Apple TV 3 supports any Bluetooth headphones.
  • Is it silly to think that Siri should have the ability to pair with bluetooth devices? Seems like it would be a nice feature but maybe I'm missing something.
  • It seems that the Apple TV and my AirPods was already paired through iCloud, happy times :D