Do you have Apple’s AirPods? Do you have an Xbox One gaming console? If so, then how to use AirPods on Xbox One, you may ask? Is it even possible knowing that the Xbox One does not have a Bluetooth feature?
If it is to play online with friends, gaming it up until the late hours of the night, and you don’t want to wake up the whole house or simply to game it up solo, you want to be able to use those sweet earpieces to experience your gaming to the max, with exceptional surround sound.
Given that they are not cheap, you want to be able to use them as much as possible, so why not on your home gaming console?
In this article, I will show how it IS possible to use AirPods on Xbox One. So read on, so that you can learn how to enjoy your gaming the way it was intended, with great audio, coming from great gear, because you cannot afford not to.
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First of all, can you connect Bluetooth headphones to Xbox One?
Unlike their main rival console, Sony’s PlayStation 4, Microsoft did not provide Bluetooth functionality to its Xbox One. Why?
Nowadays, a lot of products including headsets, come with Bluetooth support, as it is wireless and practical.
No wonder it is very popular among the population and everything now comes with Bluetooth, even those blasted robot vacuums.
Simply the fact of not being tethered down and limited to the device’s cable length is liberating enough. I mean, if you are using regular wired headphones plugged into your controller, which is wireless, it isn’t a big deal, you are still technically un-tethered, but still, you get the gist of it. We are in the 21st century, the wireless era, after all.
So why isn’t jumping on the Bluetooth bandwagon? Interestingly enough, it is told that the console’s wireless card does support Bluetooth, but we cannot use this functionality, due to it being disabled. Really?
Luckily, Microsoft has its own wireless technology called “Xbox Wireless”, which allows the console to communicate directly with other devices, such as controllers, headset, or any other accessory, without the usage of an adapter, USB dongle, or anything else of that nature. All those devices need to be “certified” and licensed in order to work with an Xbox console.
This means it limits which hardware can be connected to the console, making sure you use a product with Microsoft’s “seal of approval”.
Unfortunately, in our case, those Apple AirPods are not considered to be compatible with that technology.
So without Bluetooth support, how to use AirPods on Xbox One?
Well, since the Xbox One does “not” have Bluetooth capabilities, then there is no way to connect Airpods to Xbox One directly.
The only way of getting wireless sound is through officially licensed products by Microsoft compatible with Xbox Wireless. Wrong. There is a way.
The only option left that you can get those Airpods to work is through your game controller itself.
We already know that you can get sound from the controller directly by plugging headphones into the 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom of the controller or by using Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter accessory.
So we know that the controller receives audio signals, but how do we channel it to a Bluetooth device? Simple. With the usage of a third-party adapter.
Sure, it is not the solution that you were looking for, having to spend money for some extra hardware, but it works. The only drawback is that usually, those Bluetooth adapters are transmitters only, which means they can only send out a signal, not receive them. Which would mean that you would not be able to use the mic portion of the Airpods.
Knowing this, if you absolutely need to use the mic functionality, an alternate way to chat online with your friends or team would be to use the Xbox App, which you can download on your Android or Apple phone through their respective app store.
How to add Bluetooth to Xbox One?
As mentioned previously, you will need a Bluetooth transmitter plugged into your controller.
There are numerous transmitter options available out there, but I recommend using the “Scosche Flytunes Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter”, as it has better ratings than other similar products. It is easy to carry, due to its compact nature and it comes with a drawstring bag to put it in.
All in all, these little gizmos pretty much look the same, they are small little boxes that you plug in via a 3.5mm phone connector.
The problem with some models is that their connector is located at the end of a small extension cable, which would make the setup a bit awkward as it would be dangling loose underneath your Xbox controller.
Luckily for the product I chose, you have either option to use the provided extension cable or plug it directly into the 3.5mm headphone jack using an integrated prong on the unit.
Price-wise, these are pretty affordable, varying between US$5.00 and US$50.00, and in this case, the Scosche Flytunes retails at US$30.00.
- After making sure that the transmitter is fully charged, press the multifunction button at the back for 3 seconds to turn it on. A blue light will begin to flash.
- Plug the Bluetooth adapter into the headphone port of your Xbox controller using the right auxilary input prong.
- Open the lid of your AirPod case and hold button at the back of the case to enter pairing mode. A flashing white light between the two AirPods will confirm that you are in fact in pairing mode.
- Press and hold the multifunction button on the transmitter for 5 seconds to start searching for your earbuds via Bluetooth connection. Lights will begin the alternate between red and blue, while pairing mode is active.
- Hold the case close to the device so that they easily “find” each other. The case light will turn from white to green after successfully pairing with the unit.
Again, you can only use it to get sound from your game or voice chat, but you cannot use the mic function, as it is not supported by this device.
Note that this would also work for the Nintendo Switch, which also lacks Bluetooth capabilities.
You can also use this product to connect to any other Bluetooth headset so that you are not limited to using it exclusively with the Apple Airpods.
When buying an add-on accessory isn’t an option. Rejoice, there is a way.
How to use AirPods on Xbox One using your Phone
Alternatively, if you really do not want to spend extra money on an additional gadget, I mean why would you, you can use your mobile phone as a “middle man” between the AirPods and your Xbox One console.
Chances are you have the Airpods most likely already synced with your phone.
So all you would have to do is use the Xbox App, access the remote play functionality, by connecting the console to your mobile, set it aside, and play on your TV. You would simply need to keep your phone charged in or turn off the screen, if possible. That way, you can use your AirPods microphone and still be able to voice chat.
Here is a quick video I found about this:Click here to see How to Use AirPods on Xbox One
With either of these two solutions, follow these steps and you are good to go.
Now you know how to use AirPods on Xbox One and are now free of dangling and tangling wires.
So enjoy your gaming with great sound and game on.