Dave, my Dad gave me his old pair of Apple AirPods Pro and I’d like to use them with my Google Pixel Android phone. Is that possible? How do I pair them?
First off, kudos to your Dad for being generous; Apple AirPods Pro are pretty darn sweet, even the first generation. The killer feature? Really good Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), coupled with very nice sound and long battery life, along with an industry leading charging case. Couple that with your Pixel phone, and you should be livin’ the good life while taking phone calls and listening to your favorite music. If you can get ’em to pair, that is.
Like many Bluetooth devices, the AirPods Pro try to remember their previous pairings, so you’re going to want to ensure that your Dad’s forgotten the unit from his own phone and computer. That’s done with Settings > Bluetooth > AirPods Pro > Forget. Then you’ll need to switch the AirPods into pairing mode, which is a bit tricky. Finally, pair them with your Android phone just as you would any other pair of earbuds, headphones, or a speaker. Let’s do it!
PUT AIRPODS PRO IN PAIRING MODE
As with everything Apple, the AirPods Pro have a lot of smarts in the design, smarts that we now have to sidestep. To get them into pairing mode, you’ll want to have the earbuds in the case and open the lid. If you see a solid green light on the front, you’ve got a problem as they’ve established a pairing connection with a nearby device. Track it down and delete it. What you want to see is a slowly flashing amber light on the front of the case.
Now look at the back of the AirPods Pro case to find the button hidden thereon (see pic, below). Push and hold it for a few seconds until the front light switches to a slowly blinking white light.
Once you see the blinking white light on the front (the side opposite to the button, shown above) you’re ready to proceed.
BLUETOOTH PAIRING MODE IN ANDROID
To get into the spot in the Bluetooth settings where you can add a new device, go into Settings on your phone.
You’ll want to choose the second option here: “Connected devices“. That will then bring up a list of all devices that your phone has ever paired with via Bluetooth, in order of connection time:
Above it is the link you seek: “Pair new device“. Tap on it and over a few seconds it should list every device it can see that’s in a pairing state. For me, the AirPods Pro are one of three:
Given that I’m sitting in a Starbucks as I type this in, the presence of a Soundbar is a bit intriguing, but that’s not our task. Tap on “AirPods Pro” to proceed.
NOTE: If you aren’t seeing the AirPods Pro after a few seconds, double check it’s in slow-flashing-white pairing mode. If not, open the lid and push that button again.
PAIRING AND USING AIRPODS PRO WITH ANDROID
At this point it’s easy to proceed: Just tap on “AirPods Pro”. I will note that I had to do this twice for it to work, the first time flashing up a “bad pairing PIN” for a fraction of a second. If you have to tap twice, no worries, as long as it works! You’ll know if you see this prompt:
If you’re going to use it for phone calls, I encourage you to check the box adjacent to “Allow access to your contacts and call history”. If not, you can safely omit this (or add it later). Tap on “Pair” to proceed.
Now it’s just another Bluetooth device on your Android phone or tablet. Not too difficult once you know how to get the AirPods to go back to pairing mode.
To confirm, I’ll listen to some Spotify…
Notice at the very bottom it confirms it’s playing the music through “AirPods Pro”. Mission accomplished. Enjoy!
Pro Tip: There are lots of ways to manage your Android devices and ensure the best possible experience. Learn more by checking out my extensive Android help area while you’re here too!