They aren’t only for iPhones, AirPods. Apple’s wireless earphones provide a Bluetooth connection option as well. Quickly, you’ll be participating in Zoom meetings and listening to podcasts.
With the easy connection of AirPods to Apple products, you can watch your most recent streaming passion on the iPad or listen to podcasts on your iPhone without disturbing those around you.
However, AirPods are not just compatible with Apple products; with the help of Bluetooth, they can also be used with PCs and Android smartphones.
This article will show you how to connect Apple’s true wireless earbuds to PCs and Macs, whether you need to block out your coworkers’ noise or keep that Zoom call confidential.
How Do AirPods Work and What Are They?
The wireless Bluetooth earbuds known as Apple AirPods are made especially to sync with your iPhone and iPad. You can associate AirPods with an Apple TV, but since they are Bluetooth audio devices, you can also use them with practically any other computer or smartphone.
While Apple includes a simple pair of wired earbuds with every iOS device, AirPods offer a number of advantages that you might consider worth upgrading.
How Earbuds Differ From AirPods
Since the debut of the original iPhone in 2007, Apple has always shipped a straightforward set of wired earbuds with every device. If you’ve owned at least one iPhone or iPad, you’ve probably used them. Both earbuds are wired in a Y-connection to an audio connector that plugs into your phone.
Apple removed the conventional headphone jack starting with the iPhone 7, and wired earphones instead use a Lightning port connector. All wired earbuds contain a built-in media controller that lets you play, pause, skip tracks, and change the volume.
The AirPods are unique. They are entirely wireless gadgets that are not interconnected by any wires. Instead, each earpiece has its own Bluetooth radio that you may use to pair with your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
Not only does this eliminate the need for tangled wires, but if you have an iPhone 7 or later, you can use AirPods and charge your phone at the same time using the Lightning port.
Features of AirPods
The original AirPod (introduced in 2016) and the AirPod 2 are the two variations of AirPods that Apple has made available (released in 2019). Despite having the same outward appearance, they differ in some significant ways.
The AirPods 2 are built around the more recent H1 wireless chipset, which Apple claims operates about twice as quickly as the original W1 wireless chip used in the first generation AirPods.
Both AirPods have microphones for phone conversations and using Siri as well as accelerometers to detect gestures. They also have optical sensors to determine whether they are in your ears.
The charging case for the AirPods contains a built-in battery to increase the earpieces’ battery life when they are not plugged into a power source. While the AirPod 2 comes with an optional wireless charging case at an additional cost, the original AirPods case required a cable to charge.
If you let the AirPods fully charge within the charging case, both versions of the device have about the same amount of battery life—more than 24 hours of listening time. The talk duration on a single charge is about three hours instead of two hours with the AirPods 2.
How Do AirPods Function?
Make sure the volume is appropriate for you by connecting your AirPods to your iPhone, iPad, or other device first.
The AirPods are specifically made for the left and right ear due to their form. The stem of each earbud has a little “L” and “R” printed on it in case you need help identifying which is which. They should naturally fit in the notch in your ear after you place them in your ears and point the stem straight down.
The AirPods have no power button. They are ready to use as soon as you enter them since they have accelerometers and optical sensors that allow them to sense when they are in your ear. Additionally, when you remove them, audio will immediately pause.
Your AirPods’ operation depends on the model you have:
• For all AirPod models, double-tapping an earbud answer and ends a call.
· Double-tap either earpiece on the original AirPods to activate Siri. Ask Siri to do things like “play,” “pause,” “lower volume,” “go back to the previous song,” or “skip song” to control the music.
• AirPods 2: double-tap an earbud to skip tracks. Say “Hey Siri” to activate Siri. A double-tap on AirPods can also be configured to perform different actions.
Can AirPods Be Connected to a Laptop?
AirPods are designed with the iPhone in mind, but you can use them with your laptop as well. They integrate well with MacBooks and other Macs, with full control over the active noise cancellation features and an easy battery report right in the Control Center.
You can also connect AirPods to a Windows laptop as long as it supports Bluetooth, but there is no way to activate the active noise cancelling functions from the laptop itself.
How to Attach an AirPod to a Windows Computer
Bluetooth is how your Windows laptop and AirPods communicate, so check sure it is enabled. If Bluetooth isn’t already turned on, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices and turn it on. Additionally, Windows 11 has a Quick Settings option for Bluetooth that can be accessed from the taskbar.
Up top, click Add Bluetooth or other device.
Select Bluetooth from the top of the menu:
Make sure your AirPods are in their case. Flip it open and press the small white button on the back.
Wait until the indicator light turns white.
Your AirPods should show up in the list under Add a Device. Select your AirPods.
When your AirPods connect to your PC, a message will appear to say your AirPods are ready to go.
Your computer should remember your AirPods. The next time you want to connect, look for them in the list of available Bluetooth devices and click to connect if they don’t do so automatically.
If your AirPods fail to connect down the line or you want to remove them from your PC manually, click your AirPods in the Bluetooth & other devices menu, and select Remove device. To add them again, go through the steps above one more time.
How to Connect Your MacBook to Your AirPods
If you have a Mac laptop and your AirPods are already connected on your iPhone, they’ll connect instantly using Apple Handoff. Just open your AirPods case, click the sound control option in the menu bar on the Mac and select AirPods.
If not, open the AirPods lid and press the white button on the rear (or the noise-canceling button on AirPods Max) until the status light starts to flash white. On your Mac, click the Apple menu > System Preferences > Bluetooth and pick your AirPods from the Devices list.
How to Pair AirPods to Your Chromebook
Traditionally, only other Apple products are intended to pair with Apple AirPods. However, other devices, like Chromebooks, can pair with AirPods using the Bluetooth settings on your laptop.
- Have the AirPods and charging case handy, with the AirPods inside.Keep the charging case nearby to recharge the AirPods. Bluetooth connections can drain the battery of any wireless device. AirPods have about five hours of battery life, and the case can add up to 24 hours of additional battery life.
- Select the clock in lower-right corner of the screen to open the system tray menu.
- Select the Bluetooth icon in the tray menu.
- Select the toggle next to Bluetooth if it’s off. Once Bluetooth is on, the Chromebook automatically searches for wireless devices. Select your AirPods from the list of available devices and confirm any prompts that appear.Once connected, the LED light on the AirPods case turns green, and the status in the Chromebook Bluetooth settings says Connected.
- If the AirPods don’t automatically appear on the Chromebook’s Bluetooth list, press and hold the Setup button on the back of the AirPods case until the AirPods are detected.Stay within 20 feet of the Chromebook to maintain the AirPods’ Bluetooth connection.
- The AirPods are now paired with the Chromebook. After they are paired, you can adjust the AirPods volume from the Chromebook.
How to Unplug Apple AirPods from a Chromebook
Turn off Bluetooth on your Chromebook or press and hold the Pair button on the back of your AirPods case to unpair them from your computer.
Connecting AirPods to a PS5
Follow these instructions to connect AirPods to a PS5:
Be sure to charge your AirPods. If your Bluetooth adapter goes into the PS5 controller and consequently uses a battery, check sure it’s charged, too. The PS5 and TV provide power to adapters that plug into them, so they don’t require charging.
- Connect the Bluetooth adapter to your PS5, TV, or controller.
- Start pairing with the Bluetooth adapter. Check the instructions because different devices enter pairing mode in slightly different ways. Typically, a blinking light signifies pairing mode.
- Make sure the AirPods in their charging case, then open the case. Press and hold the case’s button.
- Hold the AirPods case button down until the Bluetooth adapter’s light solidifies. That shows that the adaptor and AirPods have been paired.
- Put your AirPods in your ears. Try using the PS5 to play audio in a game or other activity. The PS5 audio should be audible through your AirPods.
If you’ve followed the steps above and still can’t hear anything from your AirPods, you should check to make sure they’ve paired to your PS5 correctly.
- From the Home screen, select Settings.
- Select Sound.
- Choose Audio Output.
- Select Output Device.
- On the next screen, select your Bluetooth device.
Can You Use AirPods to Chat with Other Gamers on the PS5?
When using AirPods and other Bluetooth headphones with the PS5, there are two significant restrictions.
First, there is typically some latency—also known as delay—between what you hear and what is happening onscreen when using Bluetooth headphones. That’s due to how Bluetooth transfers audio to the headphones. If you need very high performance from your gaming, the audio delay with AirPods may be unbearable.
Second, despite the fact that AirPods contain a microphone (you can use them to answer calls, after all), you can’t use them to communicate with other gamers. You’ll require either headsets designed for the PS5 or a Bluetooth adapter with a microphone that can be plugged into the PlayStation controller for that.
Try Apple’s premium AirPods Max headphones if you want to invest in a deluxe set-up. The AirPods Max and PS5 controller can be linked together using a headphone cable. Just make sure to select the necessary settings for audio output and microphone input.
What You Need for PS5 and AirPods
Since the PS5 is the newest and finest video game console, it might seem difficult to believe, but when you initially purchase it, it doesn’t support Bluetooth audio. This means that without an attachment, you cannot use any Bluetooth headphones—including AirPods—with the PlayStation 5.
Although the PS5 can identify your AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones and does support some Bluetooth devices, the pairing procedure fails at the very end. Epic blunder!
With a Bluetooth audio adaptor that plugs onto the console, you can get around this restriction. Fortunately, Bluetooth adapters are widely available and reasonably priced (starting at $50 or less). Adapters can be plugged into your TV’s USB port, the PS5 controller’s headphone jack, or both. Choose the item that appeals to you the most because they all function the same way.
How to use AirPods for a Zoom Meeting
All you have to do to use AirPods with Zoom is connect them to your device and modify your Zoom settings to do so. The steps in this guide are for a Mac, but the principles apply to Windows and other platforms as well.
The primary distinction is how the AirPods are connected to your device. The Zoom settings remain the same once you’ve done that.
- Start by opening the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and selecting System Preferences.
- Select Bluetooth.
- Put your AirPods in pairing mode by pressing the button on the case.
- When they appear in the Bluetooth settings window, select Connect.
- With your AirPods connected, it’s time to set Zoom to use them. Start by opening Zoom. Starting with this step, the rest of the instructions in this section apply whether you’re on a Mac or Windows. On smartphones and tablets, you don’t need to change Zoom settings—just set your device’s audio output to the AirPods.
- On the main Zoom screen, select the gear icon.
- In the Speaker section, select the drop down and choose your AirPods.
- To confirm that Zoom is sending audio to your AirPods, select Test Speaker. If you hear sound, continue. If not, check the troubleshooting tips later in this article.
- Repeat the process in the Microphone section: select AirPods from the drop down and then choose Test Mic.
- With these steps completed, Zoom will now send audio to the AirPods and listen to the AirPods mic when you speak. You’re ready to join your Zoom call (select Join with Computer Audio when the meeting starts) and enjoy using your AirPods!
How to Fix AirPods and Zoom Issues
Try these troubleshooting steps if you’ve followed the instructions above and are still unable to use AirPods with Zoom or if the connection is active but the audio quality is subpar:
Make sure the correct device is receiving the AirPods. Any type of gadget can be connected to AirPods. Make sure they are connected to the device you are using for the Zoom call if you are having trouble getting Zoom audio to them.
Set the system audio output to the AirPods. Try changing your device’s system audio output to the AirPods if you’re having trouble hearing Zoom audio through your AirPods. When you do this, all audio from your device goes to the AirPods, not just Zoom audio.
On a Mac, choose AirPods by clicking the speaker icon in the upper-left corner. On Windows, pick the speaker icon in the bottom-right > AirPods. Open Control Center on your iPhone or iPad, then long-press the music controls in the top-right area to access AirPods. Start a song on Android, pull down to reveal notifications, tap the circle icon in the music controls, and then connect your AirPods.
Bluetooth can be turned on or off. If Bluetooth isn’t working properly with your AirPods, try turning it off, waiting a few seconds, and then turning it back on. Resetting should fix things.
Re-pair AirPods after disassembly. If your AirPods won’t connect to your device at all, you may need to set them up again. Then, go through the connecting process once more after erasing them from your device’s Bluetooth settings.
Only one of the AirPods works. Unfortunately, this occurs more frequently than we’d like, but if only one AirPod is functioning, follow these steps to restore the other’s functionality.
Why Won’t My AirPods Work With My Laptop?
Your AirPods might already be in use with another device if they won’t pair with your laptop. Additionally, there might be a connection problem. In this instance, you might have your laptop lose the connection and then use one of the aforementioned techniques to reconnect your AirPods.
If you’re having problems connecting your AirPods to a MacBook that uses the same Apple ID as your phone, you should check to make sure handoff is enabled. To achieve that, you can head to System Preferences > General, then make sure to tick the box next to Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.
To connect your AirPods to an Apple TV, place your AirPods in their charging case with the lid open while you’re near the Apple TV. Next, press and hold the charging case’s pairing button until the light flashes white. Then, on your Apple TV, go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth > select your AirPods.
On Apple’s website, a set of AirPods with a charging case runs $159, while AirPods with a wireless charging case costs $199. A set of AirPods Pro retails for $349.
To pair your AirPods with your iPhone or iPad, first, activate Bluetooth on your iOS device. Next, place your AirPods in the case, open the lid, and press and hold the charging case’s pairing button until the light flashes white. Follow the prompts on your iOS device to complete the pairing process.
Charge your AirPods by placing them in their case. If you have a wireless AirPods case, charge the case via a QI-certified charging mat. If you have a regular AirPods case, plug the Lightning cable into your case’s Lightning connector, then plug the other end into a USB charger or port.