Oculus Go with AirPods

I've been having a blast playing with Oculus Go since it launched, but one thing I'm disappointed in is the lack of support for Bluetooth headphones. I mean, I've got these fantastic AirPods and really want to use them in VR.

There is a way to use AirPods, or any Bluetooth connected headphones, with Oculus Go, even though it doesn't support it natively. You'll need a Bluetooth Audio Transmitter with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

I don't like the idea of taping or otherwise mounting things to my expensive gadgets. After doing a bit of research, I found a number of adapters that don't have lengthy cables attached to them. I chose the Noland Tx 3.5mm Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter Adapter for its features. You can pick one up on Amazon for about $35.

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A note on audio quality when using AirPods with Oculus Go

It wouldn't be fair of me to tell you all about how to pair your AirPods with your Oculus Go without first mentioning that audio quality suffers significantly when using this method.

There is definite and noticeable static as soon as you connect AirPods to your Oculus Go, even before any audio playback starts.

That being said, I didn't notice any audio distortion when using my SteelSeries Artis 3 Bluetooth headphones.

Here's how I got my AirPods to work with Oculus Go.

Disconnect your AirPods from your iPhone before you begin

Oculus Go with AirPods

Though it's not always necessary, it's a good idea to make sure your AirPods aren't going to automatically connect with any nearby devices, even after it goes into pairing mode.

I disconnected my AirPods from my iPhone, but didn't need to disconnect them from my Mac or iPad devices.

Disconnecting your AirPods from your iPhone just make it easier to troubleshoot any issues you'll probably come across when trying to pair them with your Oculus Go.

How to pair your AirPods with a wireless audio transmitter

Oculus Go with AirPods

The first thing you'll want to do is ensure that the wireless transmitter is on and ready to pair with your AirPods.

This is different with different models, but usually a device is in pairing mode when it's status light starts to blink. It might be green, blue, red, or orange, but it usually blinks in a specific pattern to let you know its ready to pair.

The next thing you'll do is press the pairing button on your AirPods' charging case until the status light turns white and starts pulsing. Of course, your AirPods should be in the charging case.

If they've paired correctly, your Bluetooth transmitter will probably stop blinking and either switch to a pulsing light, turn a solid color, or will stop glowing entirely.

Your AirPods status light will also go from blinking white to either orange for charging or green for fully charged.

If everything was done correctly, you can connect the Bluetooth wireless transmitter to your Oculus Go's 3.5mm headphone jack and then put your AirPods in. You'll hear the Oculus Go audio come through the in-ear speakers.

How to pair standard Bluetooth headphones with a wireless audio transmitter

Oculus Go with Bluetooth headphones

It's actually quite a bit easier to pair a standard set of Bluetooth headphones than it is to pair AirPods with a wireless audio transmitter. You don't have to worry about disconnecting from your iPhone or any other issues that seems to come up when trying to pair AirPods with non-Apple gadgets.

The first thing you'll want to do is ensure that the wireless transmitter is on and ready to pair with your Bluetooth headphones.

This is different with different models, but usually a device is in pairing mode when it's status light starts to blink. It might be green, blue, red, or orange, but it usually blinks in a specific pattern to let you know its ready to pair.

The next thing you'll do is press and hold the pairing button on your Bluetooth headphones until they enter pairing mode, too. Similar to the transmitter, pairing mode is usually identified by a blinking status light in blue or some other color. Some headphones also send out an audio beep to help clarify that they are in pairing mode.

The lights on both the transmitter and headphones will switch to their designated status of connected, which could be a pulsing light, a solid glowing light, or will stop glowing entirely.

If everything was done correctly, you can connect the Bluetooth wireless transmitter to your Oculus Go's 3.5mm headphone jack and then put your Bluetooth headphones on. You'll hear the Oculus Go audio come through the headphone speakers.

Troubleshooting AirPod pairing issues with Oculus Go

Oculus Go with AirPods

Pairing your AirPods with an Apple device is a pleasant experience. Pairing your AirPods with anything else can be a real pain if something goes wrong.

The first time I paired my Airpods with my Oculus Go, it worked perfectly. The second and third times, I had a few pairing problems. Here's what I did.

  • Make sure your AirPods are disconnected from your iPhone - As I noted before, this step could make or break a solid pairing. It's not always necessary, but it helps clear the AirPods if there's any problems connecting.
  • Make sure the transmitter is fully charged - If the transmitter's power is low, it might have trouble pairing with your AirPods.
  • Turn the transmitter off and on again - I had to do this a number of times to reset its pairing mode. This actually seems to be the main action that fixed my pairing issues.
  • Reset the AirPods - If you still have issues pairing to the transmitter, you can reset your AirPods so they disconnect from all of your Apple devices by pressing and holding the pairing button for 15 seconds. The status light will turn orange and back to white.
  • Test the transmitter with a standard pair of Bluetooth headphones - Check that your transmitter isn't broken by following the pairing instructions for a standard pair of headphones. If there's a problem, you can send back the transmitter and try a different one.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to pair Bluetooth headphones to your Oculus Go or about my experience with an audio transmitter? Put them in the comments and I'll answer them for you.

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