On the Apple side of the world, there are a few great options to choose from when it comes to truly-wireless headphones. First, you have the standard AirPods, with the AirPods Pro providing things like Active Noise Cancellation and a unique design. Apple even upped the ante with the recently-announced AirPods Max for those who want an over-the-ear listening experience.
We’ve seen other phone makers, such as Google and Samsung, release headphones that are primarily meant to be paired with their phones. Samsung has the Galaxy Buds Live and Galaxy Buds+, while Google has the Pixel Buds. Google has actually released two iterations of the Buds, but the first generation has largely been tossed aside as these features a wire that went around your neck. The new Pixel Buds are the AirPods equivalent for Pixel owners.
But what if you just decided to switch over to Team iPhone and still have your Pixel Buds? Can you still use those with your new iPhone? Or are you kind of left to pick up a pair of AirPods.
How to pair Pixel Buds with iPhone
Luckily, you are able to use the Pixel Buds with the iPhone, regardless of which version you have. Instead of being able to take advantage of Google’s Fast Pair technology, you’ll have to use the Pixel Buds like any other Bluetooth device.
If you want to pair your Pixel Buds with iPhone, here are the steps you’ll need to take.
- Place your Pixel Buds (with case) next to your iPhone.
- Open the case.
- Press and hold the pairing button on the back of the charging case.
- Continue to hold until the LED indicator on the front will begin to blink.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap Bluetooth.
- Under Other Devices, tap the Pixel Buds from the list.
What do you miss out on when using an iPhone?
Once your Pixel Buds are paired, you’ll be able to use them just like you would any other pair of Bluetooth headphones. However, there are a few Android-only features that you will miss out on.
Adaptive Sound is a pretty awesome feature available with the Pixel Buds. This will automatically optimize the volume of your headphones based on your environment. For example, if you’re in a noisy office or coffeeshop, the sound will automatically get louder. Meanwhile, being in the quiet of your own home results in lower volumes. All of this is to ensure that any potential hearing loss is avoided.
Google Assistant / Siri activation
When it comes to the Pixel family of smartphones, there is a lot of focus around having quick access to Google Assistant. While you won’t be able to trigger “Hey Google” with just your voice on an iPhone, you would normally be able to with the Pixel Buds paired to an Android phone. Since the iPhone uses Siri, some may think that the touch and hold gesture on the Pixel Buds would invoke Apple’s Smart Assistant, but that’s another feature that you’ll miss out on.
Using the Pixel Buds Touch Gestures
Not all hope is lost when it comes to pairing the Pixel Buds with iPhone. Just about all of the same gestures that you could use with an Android phone paired to these headphones will continue to work on the iPhone. Here’s a quick-list of what gestures will work and what actions they perform.
- Tap Once
- Play / Pause / Answer Calls
- Double Tap
- Next song / End Call
- Triple Tap
- Previous song
- Swipe Forward
- Turn Volume Up
- Swipe Backward
- Turn Volume Down
Truth be told, if you want the most cohesive experience, you would be better off getting a pair of AirPods for your iPhone. But if you enjoy the design and sound quality of the Pixel Buds, these are pretty good earbuds to use with the iPhone.