There’s nothing like wireless audio freedom, especially when it comes to gaming with a console or PC across the room, where it’s far enough that wired headphones make for an uncomfortable experience.
The portability of AirPods, AirPods 2, Powerbeats Pro, and AirPods Pro makes wireless listening and chat even easier thanks to their sleek, compact and lightweight designs.
But are the Airpods Pro good for gaming?
The AirPods Pro are designed primarily for mobile gaming and Mac gaming applications, with very little to no latency between visual and audio performance. For the gaming PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4, listening wirelessly through the AirPods Pro is possible by connecting a USB bluetooth dongle and some change in the menu settings.
Although the AirPods Pro are not originally intended for console or PC gaming audio, their sheer wireless convenience makes connecting your buds to these platforms a strong must-do.
Read on below as I go into more detail on how the AirPods Pro are good for gaming, which platforms work right out the box, and how a simple added accessory can let you connect the AirPods Pro to almost any other gaming device.
Can You Use AirPods Pro For Gaming?
So before we get in to the specifics on how exactly we can get the AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro to connect properly to the platforms that need some tinkering, I should mention about what the AirPods Pro can connect to for gaming use right out of the box.
When using a smartphone, such as an iPhone 11 or Samsung Galaxy S10 for gaming, the AirPods Pro and Powerbeats Pro will work right away. No additional accessories or menu setting modifications needed.
This is because the AirPods Pro are designed to connect with devices that are Bluetooth-enabled. For iOS powered devices like the iPad Pro and iPhone 11, connecting to the AirPods Pro is seamless. Open the case, pop out an earbud (or both!) and watch as the magical tab appears from the bottom of your iOS mobile device as it immediately recognizes and pairs with your AirPods Pro.
Android smartphones and tablets, on the other hand, need just one more step in order for the AirPods Pro to connect to them.
Find the pairing button on back of the AirPods Pro case, then push and hold it until it enters pairing mode. Pairing mode will be indicated by a flashing light located on the front of the case.
Once you’re in pairing mode, open the bluetooth menu on your Android device and select the AirPods Pro as the desired earbuds that you want to connect to. A sound in either earbud (if you have one currently in your ear) should confirm with a tone that the two are paired successfully.
With your iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone paired to your AirPods Pro, you’ll be all set to start gaming straight away, with crisp audio and chat capabilities.
Macbooks, Microsoft-powered laptops, Mac desktops, and gaming PCs that have bluetooth built in will also be able to connect to the AirPods Pro right out of the box without any hold backs.
Just like for the Android smartphone, all you need to do is enter pairing mode using the button on the AirPods case, find them through your PC or Mac gaming devices’ bluetooth menu, and voila! you’re all set for the ultimate in wireless listening.
Now let’s quickly go into how AirPods Pro can work with the gaming platforms that haven’t been mentioned yet: including the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and gaming laptops and PCs that don’t have bluetooth built-in.
Since these gaming platforms don’t have a headphone bluetooth module built right in to them, we need to introduce an accessory that allows the AirPods Pro to connect to them wirelessly.
Thankfully, as long as there is an unused USB port located on them, which there for sure are on the PlayStation, Nintendo, and almost definitely for the PCs, you can connect an external USB bluetooth dongle that now brings the wireless capability to those devices.
Let’s go in to the specifics of each gaming unit and see how we can make them able to connect with the AirPods Pro using a USB bluetooth dongle.
What Is The AirPods Pro Gaming Latency?
AirPods Pro and Powerbeats Pro that are wirelessly connected to an iOS device, such as an iPhone 11 or iPad Pro, should have very little, if any, latency in audio with respect to the visuals on the screen.
In some rare cases users may experience some gaming latency through their AirPods Pro, usually through faster-paced titles that demand more juice from iOS in order to perform.
If you experience significant gaming latency from your AirPods Pro, simply unpair and re-pair them from your iPhone or iPad and see if that fixed the latency issue.
If that still didn’t eliminate the latency, make sure the distance between your AirPods and the iOS device are not too far away. Anywhere within 30 feet ensures peak performance from these buds.
Also, check the battery life of each Airpod. If you tend to use them one at a time in each ear and forget to charge either one, it can sometimes affect the performance of their connection to a device, especially if the battery is extremely low. Make sure your AirPods Pro both have adequate battery life for the lowest gaming latency.
For laptops and gaming PCs with bluetooth, users may experience some gaming latency for a few reasons.
First, the AirPods Pro is designed to work with devices that support Bluetooth 5.0. If the device you are listening to it through has an older version of Bluetooth, the more there is a chance that there will be some noticeable gaming latency.
Second, since bluetooth in itself is a wireless signal, any additional wireless signals that are bouncing around it, say a wireless keyboard, mouse, printer, etc. can interfere with the gaming performance of the audio connection between a PC and AirPods Pro. The more wireless accessories are nearby, the higher the chance that there will be some gaming latency with the AirPods.
Can You Hookup AirPods Pro To Xbox One?
There are actually two answers to this question depending on how you primarily choose to use your headphones for gaming on the Xbox One.
- I actually just use my headphones for talking and listening through chat.
- I want to hear everything including the game’s audio through the console and online chat
If the answer you are looking for falls in to request number one, the workaround to get AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro to connect to the Xbox One actually isn’t through the console itself.
Instead, pair the AirPods Pro with an Android or iOS device and download the Xbox app. From there, sign in with the Microsoft account that’s attached to the Xbox One you are currently playing and find the party you want to chat with.
Once you find the desired chat, you will then be able to listen and talk to your party wirelessly with AirPods Pro while gaming on your Xbox One.
Now for number two.
If you want to listen to game and online chat audio wirelessly, you unfortunately will not be able to with the AirPods Pro, even with a USB bluetooth dongle accessory.
Even though the Xbox One supports bluetooth, it’s not compatible with wireless audio devices to connect to it like the AirPods, AirPods 2, or AirPods Pro. It’s only intended for connecting game controllers.
So what’s the possible workaround for this built-in bluetooth set back?
I recently wrote an article here that tries to solve the problem of how many gaming headsets on the market are only compatible with one gaming platform, but not any others.
However, one unit that came across as a clear winner was the SteelSeries Arctis 3 All-Platform Gaming Headset, and made connecting to the Xbox One controller and console a real breeze.
Yes, it’s not truly wireless like the AirPods, but the cable that connects to a wireless controller is very thin (and to be honest, you don’t even notice it’s there after a while). It also support not just game and chat audio, but also has a built in mic that lets you talk with your party too.
For its extreme versatility and affordability, with literally zero gaming latency, these headphones are a hands down champion when it comes to a portable, reliable listening experience with the Xbox One.
You can read more about the SteelSeries Arctis 3 headset and check its current price over here at Amazon.
Can You Use AirPods Pro With PlayStation 4?
The PlayStation 4 also has a built in bluetooth module, but its intended purpose is to connect DualShock controllers wirelessly.
However, you still might be able to use the built-in bluetooth module on the PlayStation to also connect with the AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro with varying degrees of success.
- To see if you can connect the AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro to PlayStation 4, go into the PlayStation menu Settings > Devices > Bluetooth Devices.
- While in this menu you will see a list of bluetooth devices that are currently connected to your PlayStation 4, like DualShock controllers.
- Now open the top lid of the AirPods Pro case, then push and hold the pairing button (also on the case) until it enters pairing mode. Pairing mode is signaled by the flashing light on the front of the case.
- Look back on the bluetooth devices menu and see if your AirPods Pro shows up as an option you can connect to.
- Once they are selected, they’re now good for gaming.
The reason I mention that this may work is because it does not connect with 100% success.
Depending on the AirPods model and PlayStation 4 model (Pro, slim, regular, etc.) you may or may not see them pop up as an audio option on the bluetooth devices menu.
If that is the case, you can purchase a USB bluetooth dongle and connect your AirPods Pro through that module. I recommend this one from Avantree that’s designed to work with the PS4 and any bluetooth wireless speaker or headphone.
Once you have a USB bluetooth dongle, you can now use it with the PlayStation 4 and pair it with your AirPods Pro to get that portable wireless audio experience. Here’s how to do that:
- Simply plug in the Avantree USB bluetooth dongle into an unused USB port on your PlayStation 4.
- Pull up the devices menu, and select the preferred audio output as the Avantree dongle.
- On the USB dongle itself you will find a small button that enters pairing mode.
- Push the pairing mode button on the USB dongle and the AirPods Pro, found on the back of the case, and pair the two devices.
- Once they are connected, the AirPods are good for gaming on the PlayStation 4.
Tip: Gaming latency and volume should be fine on the AirPods Pro, but if you experience an issue with the quality of audio from the microphone, be sure to turn it down a bit using the mic level adjustment on the PlayStation 4 menu. Since the mic is closer to the user then normally is with others, the gain may be set too high by default. Double check your mic levels before gaming.
You can read more about the Avantree USB Bluetooth dongle and check its current price right here on Amazon.
Can The Airpods Pro Be Used With Nintendo Switch?
Im proud to report that the AirPods Pro and Powerbeats Pro can be paired with the Nintendo Switch for sheer wireless listening, with one extra accessory needed to do so.
The Nintendo Switch doesn’t have bluetooth headset support right out of the box, but with the addition of a USB-C adapter, you can connect your AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro almost instantly and use them for gaming.
So how exactly do we connect the AirPods Pro to the Nintendo Switch?
First, I highly recommend the HomeSpot Bluetooth 5.0 USB-C Audio Adapter, as it is the only quality unit that is designed specifically for the Nintendo Switch and can connect up to two bluetooth headphones simultaneously with almost zero gaming latency.
Once you have the HomeSpot or other USB-C Bluetooth adapter, here’s how to pair your AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro to Nintendo Switch:
- Plug the adapter into the Switch’s USB-C port
- Pop open the lid on the AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro case and push and hold the pairing button on the front.
- With the Switch nearby, push and hold the pairing button on the HomeSpot USB-C adapter.
- A green light should appear on the adapter once a successful connection is established between the AirPods Pro and the Switch.
- Adjust volume using the toggle switch on the Nintendo device.
I’ve found the connection to be extremely stable with the HomeSpot adapter and absolutely no noticeable gaming latency through my AirPods Pro.
Can I Use AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro with Gaming Mac or PC?
Newer Macs, MacBooks, and gaming PCs have bluetooth support already built in that can connect AirPods Pro and Powerbeats Pro wirelessly.
If you own one of these devices, you should have no issues pairing your AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro. Here’s how to pair with a Mac or PC with bluetooth support:
- Turn on and pull up the bluetooth devices menu from the settings in the Windows or Mac operating system
- With the AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro nearby, pop open the case lid.
- Push and hold the pairing button on the back of the AirPods Pro case under the signal light starts flashing. This signifies that it’s in pairing mode.
- Find and locate your AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro as an option on the devices menu on your PC or Mac and select the desired one for listening.
- Once connected, the AirPods light will indicate that the pair is established and a tone will sound if an earbud is currently in your ear.
- You’re AirPods Pro are good for gaming
If you are gaming with a gaming PC or Mac that does not already support bluetooth right out of the box, there’s one more step that’s needed in order to establish a connection with your AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro. Here’s how to turn your gaming machine into a bluetooth capable one.
First, find an unused USB port anywhere on your PC or Mac. You’ll need to plug in a USB bluetooth adapter, such as the Avantree USB Bluetooth dongle, which I highly recommend.
The Avantree delivers a strong low-latency bluetooth signal that’s specifically designed to work with Macs and PCs. Here’s how to connect it with your gaming rig and start listening with a paired AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro:
- Plug in the Avantree USB Bluetooth dongle into an unused USB port located on you Mac or PC.
- When the dongle is plugged in, press and hold its pairing button until it enters pairing mode.
- With the AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro nearby, pop open the lid.
- Push and hold the pairing button, found on the back of the case, until it enters pairing mode. This is indicated by a flashing status light on the front.
- The light should turn solid once a connection has been established with the Avantree bluetooth adapter.
- Return to your Mac or PC and go into the audio output settings menu.
- Find the USB adapter as an option for audio output and select it.
- Your AirPods Pro are now good for gaming.
With the AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro successfully paired, you should now be able to not only listen to your game audio, but also chat with your party online with almost no gaming latency.
Tip: Before gaming, be sure to check the mic level from your AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro. If the gain is set too high by default, the quality of the audio from your mic may become distorted or cut out. If that’s the case, decrease the mic input level until the audio falls within the correct range.
You can read more about the Avantree USB Bluetooth Adapter and check its current price right here on Amazon.
These Are The Helpful Products Mentioned In This Article:
- Airpods Pro (here on Amazon): With noise cancellation, a sleek profile design, and a longer-lasting battery, the newest member of the Apple AirPods family are a great set of buds for anyone that wants to tune out the world and focus on their gaming without any of the extra bulk.
- Avantree USB Bluetooth Audio Adapter (here on Amazon): Perfect for pairing your AirPods Pro to a Mac, PC, or PS4. This adapter requires no software and has sweet audio quality without any gaming latency.
- HomeSpot Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Adapter For Nintendo Switch (here on Amazon): Designed specifically for connecting your Nintendo Switch to any bluetooth earbuds, seamlessly pair your AirPods Pro with ease through this USB-C bluetooth adapter that’s barely noticeable, all powered by crisp aptX low gaming latency tech and dual simultaneous connectivity.