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Do Apple Headphones Work On Xbox? 3 Surprising Facts (2022)

Do Apple Headphones Work On Xbox

Some say Apple headphones work with Xbox.

While others state that you’ll only hear weird sounds.

So it makes you wonder if these devices can really work together or not. 

But, lucky you. You found the right person to finally answer this big question. 

Continue reading to find out:

  • What kind of Apple headphones work with this gaming device. 
  • 3 surprising facts about using Apple headphones on your Xbox. 
  • 9 simple steps to connect wireless headsets to this gaming console. 
  • And this is just the beginning… 

Do Apple headphones work on Xbox?

Apple headphones work on Xbox. That’s because you can plug any headset with a 3.5 mm jack into this gaming console’s controller. However, you can’t use Apple headphones as Xbox microphones. Thus you can only connect them to listen to audio. 

Do all Apple headphones work on Xbox?

Not all Apple headphones work on Xbox. This gaming console can only connect to wired audio devices. That’s because, unlike PlayStations, Xbox models don’t have a Bluetooth function.

So the only Apple headphones that you can use with Xbox are:

  • EarPods with 3.5 mm headphone plug.
  • Apple In-Ear headphones with remote and mic.

And you won’t be able to use these headsets on your gaming console directly:

  • AirPods Pro. 
  • AirPods Max. 
  • AirPods (any generation).
  • EarPods with Lightning Connector.

Fun fact: There’s an easy workaround to connect the Bluetooth headphones from this list to your Xbox. And I’ll talk more about it later in this article. 

Editor’s pick: Do Wireless Headphones Last Longer Than Wired? 5 Scenarios


How to connect Apple headphones to Xbox


To connect your Apple headphones to Xbox, turn ON your gaming console. Then, plug your headphones’ connector into your Xbox controller. Afterward, go to your gaming console’s settings to turn OFF the Headset mic option.

And for more details about this process, here are the… 

5 quick steps to connect Apple headphones to your Xbox

Step 1: Turn ON your Xbox

Ensure that your gaming console is connected to power.

Then, press the power button on the front of your Xbox unit. 

Step 2: Power ON your gaming controller

Power On Your Gaming Controller

Simply press and hold the Guide button on your controller.

Or the icon that looks like the Xbox logo on its middle-top section. 

Once the LED light on your controller turns ON, proceed to the next step. 

Step 3: Connect your headphones to your Xbox

Grap your Apple headphones.

Then, plug its connector into the audio port of your controller.

“Where can I find that slot?”

You’ll see it right below the D-pad or the right analog stick of your controller.

Note: It’ll be on the side of the gaming remote, not the top part where most buttons are. 

Step 4: Tap the Xbox logo on your controller

This will open up the quick access menu of your console.

That said, once a new window appears on the left side of your screen…

Navigate to and select the bottom-left icon on this menu.

This should look like a speaker icon. And it’ll bring you to your Xbox’s Audio & Music settings. 

Note: If you’re using an Xbox One, select the Settings gear icon instead. 

Step 5: Toggle OFF the Headset mic option 

At the top of the new window…

Toggle OFF the Headset mic option.

Then, you should also turn the Mic monitoring levels to 0.

“Why do I need to do this?”

For now, just know that you’ll hear static noises through your Apple headset if you don’t.

Note: I’ll explain this in more detail in the next section. 

So simply turn OFF both options.

And you can start enjoying your Xbox’s audio through your Apple headphones. 


Using Apple headphones on Xbox – 3 surprising facts


#1: You can’t use Apple headphones as Xbox microphones

Many people connect headphones to their Xbox to use them as a microphone.

However, unfortunately, you won’t be able to use your Apple headset this way.

That’s because the brand made an unusual adjustment to their headphone jacks. 

So they’re built differently than most headset models. 

To be specific… 

Apple swapped the grounding and microphone rings on their headphones’ jacks.

“What are those?”

Grab your Apple EarPods or any wired headset for a moment so I can show you what I mean. 

Now, if you look at the connector or jack of the headphones you have…

You’ll find 4 silver rings separated by 3 lines. 

Now, in most standard headphones, from top to bottom, these rings represent:

  1. Left audio.
  2. Right audio.
  3. Mic.
  4. Ground.

However, for Apple headphones, here’s what the 4 rings represent in order:

  1. Left audio.
  2. Right audio.
  3. Ground.
  4. Mic.

As you can see…

The ground and mic sections of Apple headphones are different from standard models.

So this causes a conflict with Xbox settings.

That’s because when you allow your gaming console to use your headphones as a mic…

It’ll start accessing the 3rd ring of your headset’s jack. Since that’s usually where the mic is located.

However, since this part corresponds to the ground of Apple headphones…

Your Xbox ends up recording static sounds instead, and not your voice. 

Moreover, if you turn your gaming console’s mic monitoring level up…

You’ll also hear this buzzing audio through your headphones.

With all that said, it’s clear that you can’t use Apple headphones as Xbox’s mic.

So you should only connect them to your gaming console to listen to your in-game audio. 

Now, if you want more information about this fact, watch this video:

#2: Xbox has its own wireless protocol

I already mentioned this earlier.

But surprisingly, Xbox consoles don’t support Bluetooth

That’s why officially…

You won’t be able to link wireless headphones like your AirPod Max to your Xbox.

However, as you know…

Xbox controllers can still connect to their main console without any wires.

And if you’re wondering why this is the case…

Well, it’s all thanks to Xbox’s own wireless protocol, the Xbox Wireless.

Now, compared to Bluetooth… 

This connection has a much lower latency.

Or in other words, it has less audio and response delay than Bluetooth does. 

Plus, Xbox Wireless also provides much better sound quality. And that’s if you’re using audio devices that are also compatible with this connection. Like this wireless gaming headset from Razer

#3: You can connect wireless Apple headphones to Xbox

I’ve mentioned several times that you can’t connect Bluetooth devices to your Xbox.

But fortunately, with an easy workaround, you’ll be able to.

Note: This process may increase the audio latency of your headphones.

That said, I don’t really recommend using this method if you’re going to play fast-paced games. 

But if you’re still interested in trying this setup, here are the… 

9 simple steps to connect wireless headphones to your Xbox: 

Step 1: Download the Xbox app on your phone

iOS:

  1. Turn ON your iPhone.
  2. Launch the App Store application. 
  3. Tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom-right corner of your screen.
  4. Click the search bar at the top.
  5. Search “Xbox.”
  6. Select the official app from the list.
  7. Tap the blue GET button and follow further instructions.

Note: You may also click here to download the app faster. 

Android:

  1. Turn ON your device.
  2. Go to your phone’s applications.
  3. Tap the Play Store app to launch it.
  4. Click the search bar on your screen.
  5. Type in “Xbox” and search it.
  6. Click the official app’s name and tap Install.

Note: Exact steps will vary depending on your phone’s brand. But you may simply click here to access the app’s download page directly. 

Once you have the application on your phone…

Log into the app using your Xbox account and proceed to the next step. 

Step 2: Turn ON your gaming console

Ensure that its controller is also powered ON.

Then, go to the home screen of your Xbox. 

Step 3: Press the Guide button of your controller

This is the one that looks like the Xbox logo. 

And it’s located at the middle-top part of the controller. 

Once a new window appears on the left part of your screen… 

Step 4: Select Settings

You can find this in the middle part of the pop-up window. 

Step 5: Click Devices & connections

After doing so, you’ll see another list. So from here…

Step 6: Select Remote features

Once you do, proceed to the next step. 

Step 7: Tap Enable remote features

You’ll find this option at the bottom of your screen.

Step 8: Connect your Bluetooth headphones to your mobile device

iOS:

  1. Put your headphones in pairing mode. 
  2. Turn your phone ON.
  3. Go to its Settings app.
  4. Select the Bluetooth option.
  5. Toggle ON Bluetooth.
  6. Select your headphones’ name once it appears at the bottom of your screen. 

Android: 

  1. Ensure that your headphones are in pairing mode.
  2. Open your phone’s Settings app.
  3. From the options, tap Connected devices.
  4. Select Pair new device.
  5. Select your headphones’ name from the list.

Note: Exact steps may vary depending on your phone’s brand.

Step 9: Tap the remote play icon on your Xbox app

Launch the Xbox app on your phone once more.

Then, select the remote play icon at the upper-right corner of your screen.

After doing so… 

You’ll now be able to hear your gaming console’s sounds through your Bluetooth headphones. 

Recommended reading: 5 Real Reasons Why Bluetooth Headphones Are Bad For Gaming

Bonus: The Xbox One’s controller had 200 prototypes 

You can only connect wired headphones to your Xbox through its gaming remote. 

However…

Did you know that Microsoft had to go through and reject 200 prototypes to craft Xbox One’s controller?

See, the company wanted nothing but a perfect and reliable controller.

So it even tested each button on the final version 2 million times to ensure they’d last. 

On average, this equals around 7 years of gameplay. 

So rest assured that your controller wouldn’t fail any sooner, even if you use it daily. Or plug your headphones into it multiple times in a day.