Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing situation. If you like the sound of AirPods but aren’t quite ready to go all in on iOS, you can still check out Apple’s earphones and headphones by pairing them with your Android device. Despite the company’s largely closed ecosystem, AirPods do work with Android, letting even non-iOS users get a tiny slice of Apple.
Here’s how to use Apple AirPods with an Android device.
Turn your Android device’s Bluetooth on.
This can be done by opening “Settings” and selecting “Connections,” where you’ll find the option to activate Bluetooth.
Press and hold the button on your AirPods.
If you are pairing AirPods or AirPods Pro, open their charging case but leave the earbuds inside. Then press and hold the round setup button on the back of the case. If you are pairing AirPods Max, press and hold the oval noise control button, found on the top of the right ear cup.
Wait for light to begin flashing.
Keep pressing the button until your AirPods’ status light begins flashing white, which should take about five seconds.
Select your AirPods on your Android device to pair.
Your AirPods should then appear on your Android device’s list of Bluetooth gadgets. Select it to pair.
Using AirPods without an iOS device means you won’t be able to use Apple’s AI voice assistant Siri. But if you just want to listen to your Spotify playlist, or scroll through TikTok without bothering everyone else on the train, Apple AirPods will work just fine with an Android device.