If you’re part of the Apple ecosystem, you’ll know just how great their AirPods headphones are. As an iPhone user, you really couldn’t ask for a more convenient device; they connect immediately to your iPhone, they have excellent sound quality, and they’re visually stylish, plus they’ve got pretty impressive battery life. It’s fair to say that as a daily driver for your commute, listening to music whenever you like, or checking out the latest podcast, AirPods are pretty much the perfect option if you’re an iOS fanatic (although perhaps not so much if you’re an Android user).
So, with that in mind, if you game a lot on your PlayStation 5, one of the questions you might be asking yourself is whether it’s possible to connect AirPods to PS5. After all, if they make such great daily headphones for your day-to-day life, then why wouldn’t they also make for an excellent headset while you’re gaming with your friends (or, indeed, just a pair of headphones to listen to game audio)? There are many reasons you might want to hook your AirPods up to your PS5, but unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just connecting them and expecting them to work instantaneously.
How to connect AirPods to PS5
First and foremost, you need to know one thing: the PS5 doesn’t actually support Bluetooth audio peripherals out of the box. This might seem like a pretty significant oversight for a modern console, but bear in mind that it’s also true of Microsoft’s Xbox Series console range. That means that you can’t simply put your AirPods into pairing mode and expect your PS5 to automatically detect them and know what to do with them. It’s going to take a little wrangling if you want to hook your AirPods up, so we’d recommend using a wired solution in the first instance. However, if you really want to connect AirPods to PS5, read on.
Get a Bluetooth adapter
You won’t be able to connect AirPods to PS5 without a Bluetooth adapter. As such, you’ll need to pick one up. Be sure that the adapter you’re picking up is the right one, as a garden-variety PC Bluetooth adapter won’t add any special functionality to your device. Many of the best options for connecting AirPods to PS5 come complete with a USB dongle and a 3.5mm jack adapter for your PS5 DualSense socket, meaning you’ll have to connect two components before your AirPods are usable. Just ensure you’ve picked up the right one, because using the wrong adapter can cause serious headaches later down the line.
Pair your device via the adapter
First, put your adapter into its Pairing mode. You’ll know how to do this by reading your device’s instruction manual (although it will sometimes be obvious just from looking at the adapter). Once it’s in pairing mode, put your AirPods into pairing mode as well, then connect them to your adapter. This is done by holding down the AirPods’ case button until the adapter indicates they’re connected. Be sure not to connect your AirPods directly to the PS5, because if you do, the console won’t recognise them and will stop you from hooking them up. That’s it – your headphones are connected!
I can’t hear any sound – what’s going on?
Sometimes, you might connect your AirPods to your PS5 and then not be able to hear any sound. This could be because your console hasn’t set the headphones as the audio output source, so you’ll need to rectify this before you proceed. Here’s how to do that.
- Head to your PS5’s Settings menu
- Once there, go to Sound, then pick Audio Output
- Switch the Output Device setting from whatever it’s currently on to your Bluetooth device
- If this doesn’t work, try your Accessories menu instead
Should I connect AirPods to PS5?
Although we’ve outlined a procedure for linking your AirPods with your PS5, there are a few reasons you may not want to do so. Using these headphones with the console is more of a workaround than a native connection, so there are a couple of problems which may prove fatal for your gaming experience.
- You can’t use your microphone. Because your AirPods are hooked up to a Bluetooth adapter and not to the PS5, it’s not really recognising them as a bona fide audio device, so it doesn’t understand what you want to use them for. As a result, you won’t be able to use the AirPods as a replacement headset for your console.
- You may notice some audio delay. Using this setup introduces some lag into the mix, and your PS5 isn’t able to compensate for this lag as many other devices might. As a result, you’re going to notice some audio delay when you play games, and depending on your personal preferences, this audio delay may be completely unacceptable for you.
What can I do about these issues?
Unfortunately, there really isn’t much you can do about either of these problems, as they’re endemic to the fact that you’re not connecting an authorised device. You can see a list of officially compatible PS5 wireless headsets right here, but the list is a lot smaller than you might think, so many third-party devices – including those by respected manufacturers like Apple, as well as audio companies like Sennheiser or Bose – aren’t supported. However, Apple’s AirPods Max headset does have a Lightning connector, which you can then hook up to your DualSense by way of a 3.5mm to Lightning adapter, so all is not lost!