AirPods are nice wireless earbuds, but especially when used with the rest of Apple’s ecosystem. Still, they are just bluetooth earbuds, so you can connect them to other devices as well.
The H1 or H2 processor in the AirPods can easily communicate with other Apple products, making it very simple to pair them with each other. With non-Apple devices, things are a little different, but the manufacturer’s earbuds – contrary to what some people think – do work with products other than Apple’s.
Pairing AirPods with Android or Windows
To get the AirPods into the right mode to pair them, you just need to press the button on the back of the charging case, while you have the case lid open and the earbuds still in it. With the AirPods Max, you instead have to hold down the button for noise cancellation for a few seconds.
On an Android phone, you then just need to open the settings and bring up the bluetooth menu. Select the AirPods from the menu and you’re ready to go. On a Windows PC, open the settings and select Devices and then Bluetooth and other devices. Then press Add Bluetooth or other device and select the wireless earbuds from the list.
(Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)
Pairing with consoles
You can also pair your AirPods with the Nintendo Switch. To do this, you need to open the system settings on the game console and then scroll all the way down. Here, select Bluetooth audio and then press and hold the button on the case until the light starts flashing. Next, press Pair on the Nintendo Switch. Now your AirPods will appear as an audio option in the menu.
If you want to pair the AirPods with other consoles, such as the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, you’ll need to put in a little more effort. For example, you can use an external device, such as Twelve South’s AirFly. This allows you to play audio on your AirPods from a headphone jack, which can be found on your DualSense controller, for example.