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How to use AirPods on PS5, PS4, or PS3

You can connect your AirPods to your PS5, but it’s not straightforward.

ps5 and white controller with airpods

Quick Answer: The PS5, PS4, and PS3, do not natively support AirPods. To use AirPods on PS5 you will need to either use your TV’s built-in Bluetooth or buy a USB Bluetooth transmitter. The only Bluetooth earbuds compatible with PS5 are specific Sony earbuds like the INZONE Buds.

Apple’s AirPods are some of the most popular wireless earbuds. If you find them as convenient as we do, you may be wondering whether you can connect your AirPods to your PS5 (or PS4 and PS3).

Despite being a next-gen console, the PS5 does not natively support Bluetooth headphones or earbuds. The Xbox Series X also doesn’t natively support AirPods, but there are workarounds to get your AirPods working with your PS5.

If you don’t like wearing a bulky headset, and you don’t want your TV’s audio shaking the foundation of your building while you’re significant other is sleeping, connecting your AirPods could be the solution.

While the Xbox Series X|S uses Xbox Wireless, the PS5 has built-in Bluetooth and has the option to search for nearby Bluetooth devices. PlayStation consoles can detect AirPods under Bluetooth accessories.

But there’s a problem.

When you attempt to connect to a Bluetooth audio device directly from your PS5, you will receive an error that reads “The PS5 doesn’t support Bluetooth audio accessories”.

On that note, certain Sony audio devices can connect to the PS5, PS4, and PS3 via Bluetooth. One notable example is Sony’s latest INZONE Buds. In other words, only other Sony products specifically designed for PS5 are compatible.

But we don’t give up that easily. There are still some ways to use AirPods on PS5. Bear in mind, these are not officially supported methods and you’ll likely experience audio delays or connection issues.

Use your TV’s Bluetooth

open the Bluetooth settings on your Samsung TV
Image: KnowTechie

If your TV supports Bluetooth, you can pair your AirPods to your TV and redirect the PS5 audio to them. Using your TV’s built-in Bluetooth is the easiest way to connect your AirPods to your PS5 because it doesn’t require any third-party adapters or dongles.

Here’s how to pair AirPods to your TV:

  1. Make sure your TV’s Bluetooth is turned on.
  2. Put your AirPods into pairing mode by holding down the white button on the case until the light flashes (make sure the AirPods are in the case and the case is open).
  3. Select your AirPods from the list of Bluetooth devices on your TV.
  4. If needed, switch your TV’s audio output to Bluetooth.
  5. Launch a game on your PS5 to test if the audio is coming through your AirPods.

While it’s pretty straightforward to connect your AirPods to your TV, it’s not without issues. For starters, there will likely be a significant audio delay. You can test this by watching a movie; the audio will be slightly out of sync with the film.

The input delay is usually between 100-300ms, or more, depending on your TV’s Bluetooth capabilities. So, while the audio delay might be acceptable for casual games, we wouldn’t recommend using this method for competitive games that require accurate 3D sound.

If your TV does not support Bluetooth (or you’re gaming on a monitor) there are other methods you can try.

Use a third-party Bluetooth dongle

audiostick bluetooth adapter for nintendo switch
Image: KnowTechie

Luckily, the PS5 makes it easy to use Bluetooth adapters. There are plenty of USB Bluetooth dongles that can transfer the PS5’s audio to your AirPods. These can be hit or miss, depending on the brand.

While there are many variations of these adapters, we recommend sticking to USB-powered dongles because they tend to be more reliable than 3.5mm Bluetooth transmitters.

One recommended product is Skull & Co’s USB-C Bluetooth transmitter. If you opt for a USB-C Bluetooth transmitter, you can use the front-facing USB-C port on your PS5 for the best wireless connection.

For the best experience, we recommend investing in a Bluetooth dongle that supports APTX, a low-latency audio codec for Bluetooth that significantly reduces audio delay. APTX is great for Bluetooth earbuds that support the CODEC because it greatly reduces latency.

How to use AirPods on PS5 with a Bluetooth dongle:

  1. Insert the USB Bluetooth transmitter into an available USB port on your PS5.
  2. Put your AirPods into pairing mode and place them near the PS5.
  3. The two devices should automatically pair.
  4. Test the audio with a game.

Bear in mind, that some USB Bluetooth transmitters have a dedicated button for the pairing function. The button makes it easier to troubleshoot Bluetooth connection issues. For instance, the transmitter might be attempting to pair with another nearby Bluetooth device.

Most Bluetooth transmitters work relatively well on the PS5, PS4, and PS3.

The downsides of using Bluetooth audio with PS5

ps5 with controller and bluetooth symbol
Image: KnowTechie

Besides the possible latency issues (it varies depending on the adapter and AirPod generation), there are a few other downsides you should be aware of.

Most TVs will disable Game Mode when connected to a Bluetooth device. In other words, you might notice a bit of input lag from your TV when using Bluetooth. It’s especially frustrating when your TV introduces input lag on top of Bluetooth’s audio delay.

Another issue with these workarounds is you won’t be able to use your AirPods’ microphone or any other microphone for that matter. For that reason, it’s recommended not to use AirPods for competitive games like Warzone or Call of Duty.

Bear in mind, some Bluetooth adapters support the microphone feature or there may be one built-in to the adapter, but the quality is usually horrible. Your friends won’t appreciate it.

Alternative options

sony 3d pulse headset in white
Image: Sony / KnowTechie

If these methods don’t work for you, the best alternative would be to invest in a pair of earbuds or a wireless headset that is officially supported by the PS5. For example, Sony’s INZONE Earbuds or the PlayStation Pulse Elite headset.

There’s a workaround, but it’s not flawless

So, it is possible to use AirPods with a PS5, PS4, and PS3. The problem is AirPods are not officially supported, meaning you won’t get the best audio experience.

You also have to sift through the sea of low-quality Bluetooth adapters until you find one that works as intended.

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Timothy Gagnon is a freelance writer and tech enthusiast. As a kid, he's always had a fascination with electronics and never passed on the chance to disassemble them. When he's not taking a hammer to his electronics, he can be found playing with his cats or writing about his latest discoveries.

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