The Apple AirPods offer a convenient and effective solution to wireless audio and are compatible with many devices that support Bluetooth. However, that’s the issue when trying to connect them to a PS4 or PS4 Pro. Since the console doesn’t natively support Bluetooth audio, syncing AirPods to it isn’t as easy as you’d expect.
Luckily, there are third-party products you can use to get the two to pair together. We’ll walk you through the process in this guide.
If you simply try to sync your AirPods to the PS4, the system won’t detect the earbuds since it doesn’t support Bluetooth audio. That’s where third-party receivers or dongles come into play. You’ll notice that even the Sony-branded Silver, Gold, and Platinum headsets still require the use of a dongle, so it’s not unusual to have to use one for other Bluetooth headphones, as well.
For those who are looking for an inexpensive option, we recommend the TP-Link USB Bluetooth Adapter, which is available on Amazon for $7.99. It’s specifically branded for PS4, so there are fewer risks of compatibility issues. Though, most USB Bluetooth dongles/receivers will work. It’s important to keep in mind, this dongle will only support audio. If you want to be able to talk and use your AirPods as a mic, we recommend the Gam3Gear USB receiver with an AUX 3.5mm plug. It’s available on Amazon for around $17.99.
A handful of users online have claimed to be able to pair AirPods without a USB receiver, but we were unable to replicate this — and the overwhelming majority of users are in agreement. Unless a patch rolls out that circumvents this, you must have a USB receiver to pair Bluetooth headphones to a PS4.
Pairing AirPods to the receiver
Once you’ve got your receiver, plug it into the PS4. Depending on the dongle you have, it may have some sort of light on it to indicate it’s turned on. There should be a sync button on it, so press it and then open up your AirPod case and press the button on the back of it to get the two paired. Some USB dongles will have a flashing light to indicate that it’s syncing, which will stop after it’s properly synced. If you’ve got an AUX 3.5mm plug (like the one that comes with the Game3Gear dongle, listed above), insert it into your controller now.
After the AirPods and receiver are paired, head to Settings within your PS4, followed by Devices, and then Audio Devices. From here, go to Input Devices and make sure it’s set to Headset Connected to Controller. The Output Device should be set to USB Headphones (USB Audio Device). Finally, make sure you set the output to Headphones to All Audio, if you’d like. You’ll now be able to use AirPods with your PS4.
If you don’t plan on using a mic and just want in-game audio, follow the same steps, but stop once you’ve configured the Output Device settings. Note that some USB receivers might work differently, but all have the same basic format of syncing to Bluetooth headphones.