The AirPods are very decent Bluetooth earphones. They are neat and comfortable, making them the perfect companion to your iPhone.
Since their sound quality is way better than what you would get from your TV speakers, pairing them up with a TV is also a logical way to get better audio from your movies without investing in a soundbar, a home theater system, or Bluetooth headphones.
Even though Apple is known to lock down some of its products and restrict what they can work with, the AirPods are luckily open and can pair with any Bluetooth appliance.
Yes, you can pair AirPods to a Bluetooth-capable TV
The pairing will be simple if your TV is Bluetooth capable. Otherwise, you will need a Bluetooth adapter to get this done.
How to Connect Your AirPods to an Apple TV
Pairing your AirPods to an Apple TV is the easiest way to stream audio straight to your favorite earphones. You can connect them through Bluetooth or attach them to the TV via iCloud.
Here is how to connect them via Bluetooth
- Get your AirPods into pairing mode by pressing the pairing button on the case until the white LED starts flashing
- Look for the Remotes and Devices option on the Apple TV settings app
- Select Bluetooth and then ‘other devices’
- You should find your AirPods on the list. Select them to pair and start playing content immediately
How to connect AirPods to Apple TV through iCloud
If your Apple TV and AirPods are on the same Apple ID, you can pair the two automatically. You will find the pods ready to use under the ‘other devices’ sections.
You can make the two be on the same iCloud configuration by:
- Open your AirPods case
- Press and hold the play button on the Apple TV remote until you get a pop-up
- Your AirPods should be on the popup. Select it to start streaming audio through them
Using AirPods with Apple TV gives you access to a bevy of features that would otherwise be unavailable on other TVs. Some of the most notable are:
- Automatic device switching to stream audio from different connected devices
- Control over Siri
- Simpler pairing options
- Ear detection for automatic play and pause
- Freedom to customize AirPods double taps
Pairing AirPods to a Bluetooth-Enabled TV
If your TV already has Bluetooth, you can easily pair it with the AirPods as you would pair them with any other Bluetooth smartphone.
- Press the pairing button behind your AirPods charging case to bring them to pairing mode. The LED indicator should start blinking
- Go to your TV menu and navigate to the connectivity settings, then turn Bluetooth on
- If it is an Android-powered TV, Chromecast with Google TV or a Samsung, you will find the pair option under ‘Remote and other Devices’ section
- On the TV, scan for available devices
- Once your AirPods pop up, click on the pair button
- The pairing should be successful though you might get a request for further permission if you are using an Android TV
ProTip: This procedure applies to all Bluetooth-enabled TVs, whether Samsung TVs or LG TVs. The Bluetooth menu location will vary, but the procedure is the same.
You will not get any double-tap controls on the AirPods and might even have to use the TV remote to adjust the volume. All other proprietary AirPods controls that only work with Apple products will be unavailable.
How to Connect AirPods to a TV Without Bluetooth
Most TVs don’t have Bluetooth. If this is the case, you will need a Bluetooth adapter that plugs into the headphones jack, HDMI or Optical audio out port depending on what your TV has.
You can grab some Bluetooth Audio dongles here
- Plug the Bluetooth adapter to a USB port for power and the Audio jack to the TV
- Put the dongle into pairing mode
- Put the AirPods into pairing mode too by pressing the button on the case until the white LED starts flashing
- Wait for the two devices to locate each other and pair successfully
This can be a bit sketchy since most Bluetooth dongles want to auto pair with the first device they find. It might end up being another Bluetooth device nearby that is in pairing mode and not your AirPods.
Can I Connect My AirPods to a Streaming Device?
Go to the device’s Bluetooth setting with the AirPods in pairing mode to connect them like any other Bluetooth headphones.
Here is an example of how to connect AirPods to Roku
- Pair your AirPods to your phone
- Go to the App Store or Google PlayStore and download the Roku app
- Connect your phone to the same WiFi network as the Roku
- Launch and configure the Roku app and then look for the ‘Headphone’ icon
- Tap on the icon to launch ‘Private Listening.’
- This will stream audio to the AirPods that are already connected to your smartphone.
How to Connect AirPods to Amazon Fire TV
- Navigate to the settings menu and scroll to ‘controls and Bluetooth devices’
- Scroll over the devices already paired to the Fire TV and find the ‘Other Bluetooth Devices’ option at the very bottom
- Put your AirPods into pairing mode by pressing the button at the back of the AirPods case and ensure you see their white LED flashing.
- Click on the ‘Other Bluetooth Devices’ option on the Fire TV stick and wait for it to scan for new devices.
- Once you see your AirPods, click on them to automatically connect them to your Fire TV.
Even though your AirPods will work with any Bluetooth TV, they could be a hassle to pair and only work best with Apple TV.
Third-party earphones from other brands will do the job fine while giving you some controls like volume control, pause, and skip, unlike the Air Pods.
Some notable alternatives include: