Today’s blog is a bit different. I know a lot of my audience likely knows the answer to the question in the headline, but going into the holiday season, there’s a good chance gift givers will be trying to figure out whether buying someone with an Android phone Apple AirPods is a good idea.
So, the question is: do AirPods Pro work with Android devices?
The answer? Yes and no.
Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Pro are, at their heart, Bluetooth earbuds. That means, by default, they work with any device that supports Bluetooth, whether it’s your laptop, tablet, smartphone, PC, or even your smartwatch. This experience lines up with other Bluetooth headphones you can find on the market.
This is the “yes” part of the answer. After you turn them on, AirPods and AirPods Pro work with with any Bluetooth device, giving you a standard listening experience.
But a significant part of the reason to buy AirPods or AirPods Pro is for all the extra features Apple throws in, and this is where we get to the “no” part of my answer.
You see, the AirPods come with Apple’s proprietary H1 chip, allowing them to detect your Apple device and enable a simple pairing process. A similar experience can be found in headphones like the Beats Solo Pros and Powerbeats Pro. The H1 also enables “Hey Siri” detection so that you don’t have to trigger Siri by tapping or squeezing your earbuds.
But if you want to use your AirPods with an Android device, you won’t get either of these features. The latter is pretty obvious since Siri doesn’t work on Google’s OS, but the former is really unfortunate since you’ll have to fumble around with your phone’s Bluetooth settings in order to pair them. The same goes for other non-Apple devices like Windows 10 laptops and Chromebooks.
Luckily, it looks like the AirPods Pro’s Transparency mode and Active Noise Cancellation work when paired to other devices since it’s an earbud-based feature. But in the end, if you wanna take full advantage of your AirPods, you need an Apple device.
Yes, AirPods and AirPods Pro will work with non-Apple phones, laptops, tablets, and smartwatches. Yes, you will hear sound through them. But you won’t get any special features, especially if you go with the standard $159 AirPods. Also worth noting: no AirPods charge over USB-C, the charging port found on virtually every Android phone nowadays. Instead they charge over Lightning, so if you buys these for yourself or for someone else, note that you’ll need to add another cable to your backpack or purse.
(If you don’t wanna charge over Lightning, you can charge wireless which works with any Qi wireless charger.)
There you have it, folks. While AirPods and AirPods Pro will work with any Bluetooth-enabled device, you’ll only enjoy the full experience if you pair them with an Apple device.