Can you use AirPods with the Xbox One?
You can't use Bluetooth headphones with the Xbox One
You may have thought that since the newer Xbox One controllers have Bluetooth connectivity, you might be able to use your AirPods with the console, but that isn't the case. The controller doesn't connect to the console using Bluetooth, although it does use it to connect to a Windows 10 PC.
Controllers and headsets use other means to connect to the console. Microsoft has a locked-down system for connecting wirelessly to the Xbox One, so Xbox Wireless has to be certified in a headset by Microsoft, adding an extra variable to choosing one to buy. It also means you just can't use any device with the Xbox One.
All this means that you simply can't use your AirPods to game on your Xbox One. They're OK to use on a Windows PC, assuming you have Bluetooth connectivity in your machine, but not the Xbox. There's also no way to use AirPods wired, so there's no other option for connecting.
Party chat with friends over mobile
While you can't use your AirPods with the console to hear game audio and party chat, you can at least enjoy the latter on your mobile device or PC.
The Xbox app on iOS and Android has party chat functionality built in, and since you can connect AirPods to either platform, you can use them for a little wire-free, on the go chat. It's naturally the best experience on iOS, with the AirPods designed to work seamlessly with iPhone and iPad.
It's not the perfect scenario, but if you like to catch up with your gaming buddies over Xbox Live this way, it's at least a solid option.
Get a good wireless headset instead
Any pair of wired headphones or wired headset with a microphone can be used with the Xbox One. But if you were wondering if you could use your AirPods you're probably looking for a wireless option.
A good, Xbox Wireless certified headset is the way to go, and right now the best choice for that is the LucidSound LS35X.
Windows Central's Xbox Editor, Jez Corden, is a particular fan:
They're a little pricey, but you can't really do better right now. Games will sound great, you'll hear your buddies with crystal clarity, and you'll sound pretty good to them as well.
Cable-free and incredible sound
The LS35X is comfortable, sounds amazing, has solid battery life, and is the wireless headset to get right now for Xbox fans.
AirPods still impressive
You might not be able to use AirPods with your Xbox to game, but they're still a remarkable pair of headphones, particularly if you use an iPhone or iPad.
Paired with Apple's own hardware, you get ultimate convenience, a surprisingly high-quality sound given their size, and thanks to the latest revisions, built-in "Hey Siri" support and wireless charging.
Definitely still get a pair if you've been tempted, just know you can't use them with the Xbox One.
Great headphones, but not for Xbox
The AirPods are truly excellent headphones for music, podcasts, taking calls, even using mobile Xbox party chat. Buy them and love them, just know you can't use them with your Xbox.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine