Apple AirPods have become one of the most widely used and recognized pieces of tech gear in the world. Their sleek design and unique set of features make them instantly stand out among the crowded wireless headset competition. Due to their vast popularity, many gamers often wonder if they can use their AirPods on Xbox One.
You can use AirPods with Xbox One. However, you can’t connect the AirPods directly to the Xbox controller since it doesn’t support Bluetooth. You can download an Xbox app where you can host or join your own party chat and talk to your gaming friends through your iPhone.
I will show you step by step how to set up the Xbox app later in this article.
How Xbox Controllers Communicate
Xbox as a console works a bit differently than the competing PS4, or Nintendo Switch. That is in how the controllers actually communicate with the consoles, and how the consoles themselves receive signals.
Xbox controllers are the central ‘receiver’ for the audio input and output when gaming. The 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom of the controller is how you connect wired headsets, and similarly, the controller itself is how you connect wireless headsets through Bluetooth. What this means is that you have to run everything through the controller in order to make the headset work with your gaming sessions.
Xbox has a very tight-lipped and ‘locked’ down system of allowing devices to connect to the console. The devices themselves need to be able to speak a very specific digital ‘language’ in order for the Xbox One console to be able to communicate with it. In this case, the controller sort of acts as a middle man for connecting the headset to the console. However, this really only works with Xbox certified wireless headsets–ones that can already speak with the Xbox software/hardware.
You can check out some of my recommended headsets for console gaming by checking out this article.
So, why not simply connect your headset to the TV set or sound system? In the case of general headset functionality, connecting to the TV set or the surround sound system could work partially. It would allow you to hear the game audio and could be perfect for those who simply want to enjoy the game experience–such as solo games. However, these third party connections do not allow you to communicate with team members and friends through chat, which is one of the primary reasons gamers buy headsets in the first place.
If your aim is to be able to communicate with your friends or teammates, then you have to connect through the game-specific chat features or the Xbox party chat. Neither of these functions can be accessed through Bluetooth connectivity to your TV or surround sound systems. So with this in mind, competitive or cooperative gameplay with a headset becomes impossible unless you are connecting directly to the controller itself.
So, it’s important to remember that in order to access the chat functionalities of Xbox One gaming, you need to be able to connect your headset to the controller. This then allows you to access the in-game chat features, as well as the Xbox Party Chat.
Can You Connect Bluetooth To Xbox One?
Some console gamers and PC gamers might think that the issue could be solved very simply by just connecting the AirPods to the console itself. With the PS4 and PC, you can simply pair your AirPods to the consoles themselves via the Bluetooth pairing option. This allows you to use your AirPods for gaming almost seamlessly. However, if it were that easy with Xbox One, there wouldn’t need to be an entire article about it.
Unlike the competing console PS4, the Xbox One does not have Bluetooth connectivity. This means that there is no way for you to actually connect any Bluetooth device directly to the console. This leads to a bit of complication when trying to connect your AirPods to your Xbox One.
The only Bluetooth functionality that the Xbox One has is through, you guessed it, the controller. And without an Xbox certified headset, the controller will not communicate with the Xbox One console with just any generic headset–not without a bit of a workaround that is.
Can You Connect To The Xbox One Controller With An Adapter?
The Xbox One controllers have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom of the controller itself. This allows for any wired headset to connect to the Xbox One controllers. You can connect your Skullcandy earphones as easily as you can a Turtle Beach Xbox certified gaming headset, for example.
With this in mind, you can easily see how connecting a headset to your controller with an adapter could be a reasonable solution. Although, with AirPods, it isn’t really that simple. AirPods don’t have a way to connect to a wired adapter. They are completely wireless in the sense that nothing can connect to them except through the charging case–which can’t be used while the headphones are in use. This, of course, makes the use of an adapter a non-starter.
There are some products on the market that will allow you to connect to them via Bluetooth and can be plugged directly into the controller. This is one small workaround, albeit not a great one. These Bluetooth adapters are typically rather bulky and can make gaming difficult, especially for gamers who get a bit more animated with their hand movements during matches. So, no, using an adapter isn’t really a great solution when AirPods are concerned.
So… What can you do? Well, let’s finally dive into the one workaround that works the best when it comes to connecting your AirPods to your Xbox One.
How To Connect Your AirPods To Your Xbox One.
The method below is a great workaround for connecting and using your AirPods with your Xbox One for gaming with friends. Follow these simple steps:
- Connect your Apple AirPods to your iOS or Android device.
- Go to the App Store or Google Play Store and download the ‘Xbox App’.
- Once inside the app, you will need to sign in using your Xbox or Microsoft sign in details.
- After signing in, you can then tap the ‘party’ icon on the top right (the icon that resembles three people together).
- From the ‘party’ icon, you can join or host your own Xbox party chat room.
Here is a video that explains the process:
From the Xbox app, you can add or invite your friends to your own hosted party chat. This allows them to communicate to you through their own consoles, and through your mobile device. This makes gaming with your friends and teammates so much easier, and possible to do with your AirPods.
The Xbox app party chat feature also allows you to chat with and connect to your Xbox One gaming friends anywhere you are. If you cannot be available for your regular gaming sessions, you can still tune in and chat and engage with your friends. Whether you are out running errands, on the train, taking a walk, you name it. This is a great way to use your AirPods to connect to your Xbox One party chat from anywhere.
Now it’s important to note that this workaround only works with Xbox party chat. meaning you will have to be friends on Xbox Live with the people in the chat room. You will need to know their gamertags, and have added them previously in order to invite them to the chat room. However, for gaming with friends, this isn’t an issue and is likely how you would chat anyway. Although it does still pose a problem with those who wish to game with players they have never met before in random pairings and matchmaking.
Apple AirPods are some of the most popular wireless headsets for a reason. They have amazing portability, they are sleek in design, and their sound and voice quality is exceptional. Connecting them to your Xbox One for your gaming sessions with friends is a thought that many have had for these very reasons. Luckily, with this simple workaround, you can make it happen.
Now you can be playing games and chatting simultaneously with your Apple AirPods. Even though it isn’t the most perfect solution, it’s definitely one that gets the job done and gets you more time to game and trash talk with your best friends long into the night.