Apple’s AirPods have quickly become one of the most popular Bluetooth listening devices. Versatile and conveniently designed, they can be used for a range of audio-based applications, like phone calls, enjoying music, or watching videos.
Are AirPods good for gaming?
Although Airpods are not specifically designed for this gaming, AirPods are very capable of being used for gaming. They produce impressive sound quality, are highly comfortable and mobile, and the inbuilt microphone allows gamers to communicate clearly with each other.
If you’re thinking about using AirPods for gaming, there are some additional considerations you’ll need to make.
Like all headphones and earbuds, AirPods have strengths and weaknesses which impact their suitability for gaming, streaming, and other similar activities.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything that you need to be aware of to determine whether AirPods are a good choice for gamers.
Can You Use AirPods for Gaming?
AirPods are compatible with several gaming consoles and platforms. Although this is not the primary function that they’re designed for, they are versatile enough to perform to a good standard when used for gaming purposes.
To use your AirPods for gaming, the only requirement is Bluetooth connectivity. Providing your gaming console is able to connect to external Bluetooth devices, using your AirPods should be fairly straightforward.
Depending on the platform that you use for gaming, it may be more or less difficult to use your AirPods for this purpose. As they are manufactured by Apple, AirPods are designed to work flawlessly with Macs, iPhones, and iPads.
Nonetheless, AirPods can also be used with non-apple devices, albeit with reduced functionality. This is because many of the features that AirPods include rely on Apple’s apps, such as voice control using Siri.
- The good news is, there’s no reason that your AirPods shouldn’t work effectively no matter which gaming platform or console you use.
Do AirPods Work as Headsets?
To determine whether AirPods work as headsets, we need to examine the differences between gaming headsets and regular headphones. AirPods are technically earbuds, which are similar to headphones but with slightly contrasting designs.
The main difference between headsets for gaming and regular headphones or earbuds is that the former has a built-in microphone while the latter is simply designed for audio playback.
Therefore, if you were to use a regular set of headphones for gaming, you’d also need to use an external microphone so that you could communicate with fellow gamers as well as be able to hear their voices.
If you solely used headphones, you’d be able to hear audio but your voice would not be audible to other gamers.
- AirPods and headsets share one key quality which makes them suitable for gaming – they both have an inbuilt microphone.
Gaming headsets include a microphone because they must be able to transmit the user’s voice through the console or computer, but AirPods have this feature for a different reason.
Apple’s AirPods are designed to be used predominantly with iPhones, iPads, or MAC computers. They therefore must have the ability to playback audio from music or videos, and also to output audio to make phone calls, voice recordings, or participate in video calls.
To carry out the aforementioned tasks, the AirPods need an inbuilt microphone. This is where they differ from conventional headphones or earbuds, which only can play audio back rather than also capturing it or transmitting it through the device.
- The combination of speakers for outputting audio and a microphone for capturing it makes AirPods a suitable choice for gaming.
In this respect, they are very similar to headsets designed specifically for this purpose.
Of course, there are some differences in the designs of AirPods and conventional gaming headsets. This includes their size, speaker and microphone specifications, and other technical capabilities. Putting these differences aside, AirPods can indeed be used for gaming.
Check out this YouTube video that reviews AirPods for gaming.
Do AirPods Work With PC, Xbox, and PS4?
The ease with which you’ll be able to use AirPods for gaming depends on your chosen platform or console. As you’ll probably know, Macs are not very good for gaming, as they lack the hardware power that state-of-the-art games need to run successfully.
The popular platforms for gaming include:
|Xbox One||iPhone||PS4||Linux PC|
|Xbox Series X||iPad||PS5||Android Devices|
Windows and Linux PCs are very popular amongst gamers.
Windows is considered the best operating system for gaming because it generally performs better for this purpose.
Users can also easily upgrade components like the graphics card to improve the performance of their Windows computer.
Although AirPods are most compatible with Apple-made devices, they can easily be used for gaming on the Windows operating system.
To connect your AirPods to Windows, follow these simple steps:
- Ensure that your AirPods are charged
- On your Windows PC, open the “Settings” tab. You can do this by typing “Settings” into the search bar, or by locating it manually from the start menu
- Open the “Devices” tab, then find the menu for “Bluetooth & other devices”
- Turn on Bluetooth by clicking the button, so that it turns blue
- Click on “Add Bluetooth or another device” then press down the button on the back of your AirPods for a few seconds
- When the light on your AirPods case blinks white, look for them to appear in the available devices list on your Windows PC
- Select them from the menu and they should connect
Connecting your AirPods to Xbox or Playstation is also possible, but is slightly more complicated than using them with a PC. Firstly, to use your AirPods for gaming on an Xbox, you’ll need to download the Xbox app on your smartphone.
After pairing the AirPods with your phone, you’ll need to open the Xbox app and log into your Xbox Live account.
Next, you need to find the “social” tab, and either join an existing part with other gamers or start a new party and add other people to it.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to hear both the audio from the game and your Xbox party’s audio at the same time, so you’ll need to choose between the two.
Connecting your AirPods to a PS4 or PS5 requires you to purchase an external Bluetooth device. This device is essential if you want to hook the AirPods up to the Playstation and use them for gaming.
Is The AirPods Headset Mic Any Good?
It would be unrealistic to expect the AirPods microphone to perform to the level of a larger microphone, like a studio condenser.
Nevertheless, the microphone included in AirPods has been praised by many users for its clarity and reliability, especially when you consider its size.
One of the reasons that the AirPods microphone works well is because it is fixed firmly in place within the earbuds, which prevents it from moving around when being used.
This creates a more consistent capture of your voice, which is required for gaming, and making calls.
- If you’re wondering whether the AirPod’s inbuilt microphone is good enough for your gaming needs, the answer is yes, but many other options arguably will perform better when used for this purpose.
Using AirPods for Streaming
Another popular topic of debate amongst AirPods users is whether they are suitable for streaming. In recent years, platforms like Twitch have exploded in popularity, with gamers and live streamers using them to broadcast live content.
Specifically-designed streaming headsets are by far the most reliable option, but AirPods can also be useful.
However, it’s advised to avoid using AirPods for the microphone when live streaming, as it is likely to be below the standard required for this.
Furthermore, the AirPods can be used for monitoring when streaming. This means that the microphone is disabled, and the AirPods simply playback the audio that is being recorded so that you can monitor the levels, and other aspects of how it sounds.
Most streamers prefer to use a good quality vocal microphone, as this ensures that their voice can be audibly heard by their listeners. The Blue Yeti is a popular choice for PC gamers, but there are many other good options to choose from.
Do AirPods lag when used for gaming?
In most cases, AirPods won’t lag enough for there to be a noticeable delay when you use them for gaming on a PC, mobile, or another device. However, the further away they are from the console or device, the more chance there is of them lagging.
Do AirPods support aptX?
Many audiophiles recommend aptX to reduce latency and maintain audio quality. Unfortunately, aptX is not supported on AirPods, but this shouldn’t negatively affect their performance too much as they still use 24-bit audio signal processing.
Are wireless headsets good for gaming?
When it comes to gaming headsets, there are arguments for and against both wired and wireless options.
Wireless headsets are conveniently designed and more mobile, but their wired equivalents tend to produce less latency and in some cases boast a superior connection quality that is more reliable.
Can Reset Airpods Be Tracked?
I have written a dedicated article on this subject. You can read it here.