Are AirPods Good For Zoom Calls?

Are you wondering if you can use AirPods for Zoom calls? Is the microphone on AirPods good enough for Zoom calls or is there a better alternative? Let’s take a look.

The problem with using your laptop’s default hardware is the microphone might not be good, and your laptop’s speakers could create an echo or feedback.

AirPods can be a good alternative to your laptop’s microphone and speakers. AirPods are not just for listening to music, they have built-in microphones too.

The good news is AirPods can be connected to any device the supports Bluetooth, including laptops and non-Apple phones.

Are AirPods Good for Zoom Calls?

AirPods are good for Zoom calls because they’re wireless (you’re not restricted by wires), the audio quality is good, and they sit comfortably in your ears.

The downsides to using AirPods for Zoom calls are the microphone quality is not very good.

Another issue is AirPods tend to quickly run out of battery when being used for calls. Most AirPod users report getting an hour of battery at the most when in Zoom calls.

The audio and microphone quality on AirPods is acceptable for Zoom calls but they’re not the best. The audio quality on AirPods is not much better than wired headphones, and the microphone quality leaves much to be desired.

It’s usable for quick meetings, but if you’re the main speaker, I recommend investing in a quality standalone microphone.

The quality of your voice with a standalone microphone will be much better than with AirPods. Your listeners will appreciate it. It’s also possible to use AirPods for audio-only while using an external microphone.

Of course, the quality will vary depending on the version of AirPods you use.

The newer version, AirPods Pro, includes more advanced audio processing techniques, as well as active noise-cancelling for the microphone.

Why AirPods are Good for Zoom Calls:

  • Convenient
  • Wireless
  • Decent audio quality
  • Comfortable

Why AirPods are Not Good for Zoom Calls:

  • Limited battery life (about an hour)
  • Bluetooth connectivity issues
  • Zoom sometimes does not detect AirPods
  • AirPod’s microphone quality is not great

Do AirPods Block Out Background Noise on Zoom?

The microphones on both the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max have active noise-cancelling features that can block out background noise on Zoom.

The original AirPods do not have active noise cancellation. However, Zoom has built-in audio processing that can reduce background noise.

AirPod’s active noise cancellation microphones, combined with Zoom’s audio processing should be enough to block out background noise during Zoom calls.

You could use lower the volume of your microphone in Zoom to further reduce the background noise.

Of course, it depends on the type and volume of the background noise.

How to Connect AirPods to Zoom:

As I mentioned earlier, AirPods connect to devices via Bluetooth. If you have Bluetooth on your laptop, you can use AirPods with it.

How to Pair AirPods to a MacBook:

  1. Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your MacBook (type Bluetooth into the search bar and look for the Bluetooth on/off button)
  2. Open your AirPod’s case, hold the button on the back of the case until the light flashes (enables pairing mode).
  3. On your MacBook, the AirPods should appear in your list of devices in the Bluetooth menu
  4. Click connect to pair the AirPods to your MacBook.

How to Pair AirPods to Windows 10 Laptop:

  1. Enabling pairing mode on your AirPods (open the lid, hold down the back button)
  2. Open the start menu and type “Bluetooth” and select “Bluetooth & other device settings”
  3. Make sure Bluetooth is on. Click on “Add Bluetooth or Other Device”
  4. Select Bluetooth from the type of device.
  5. If your AirPods are discoverable, they will appear on the list of nearby devices.
  6. Select the Airpods and click connect.

AirPods Not Working with Zoom:

If your AirPods are not working with Zoom, here are some potential fixes:

1 – Unpair AirPods from Other Devices

When the AirPods are paired to another device, such as your phone, it can cause problems with Zoom.

Open your phone (or any other device that was paired to the AirPods), open Bluetooth settings, locate AirPods in “My Devices”, and tap on “Forget this Device”.

When the AirPods are disconnected, try to pair them with your laptop or Mac, Zoom should detect them.

2 – Reset the AirPods

To reset AirPods, place them in the case, and hold down the button on the back of the case for 15 seconds.

The light will blink red. After that, start the pairing process again to connect them to your devices. Resetting AirPods can often solve connection issues.

3 – Double Check AirPods are Selected in Zoom

In some cases, even though the AirPods are connected, Zoom will use your laptop’s default speakers and microphone.

To check, open Zoom, locate the Settings menu, click on Preferences, and find the Audio tab. Here you’ll see which devices are in use for the speakers and microphone.

Select your AirPods from the drop-down menu. You can select AirPods as your speakers while using a different microphone.

Important:

There’s a common bug with AirPods and Zoom: when the AirPods microphone is selected in Zoom, no audio comes through.

The solution is to select a different microphone, either your laptop or Mac’s built-in one, or a standalone USB microphone.

The reason this happens seems to be because Bluetooth does not have enough bandwidth to transfer audio and microphone data at the same time.

It’s especially common on the newer version of AirPods, such as the AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max.

The Best Solution:

In my opinion, if you’re going to use AirPods for Zoom calls, I recommend using them only for the audio stream. I suggest buying a good USB external microphone for your Zoom calls because your voice will be much clearer.

If you don’t want to buy a microphone, the built-in microphone on your laptop or Mac is often better than the built-in one on AirPods.

I recommend playing around with the Zoom audio settings, testing the microphone and speakers, until you find a configuration that works for you.

The bottom line is you can use AirPods with Zoom calls, but the quality is not much better than wired headphones.

About S. Santos

I am a tech columnist and blogger by trade, but I'm also an avid tennis player. In my spare time, I enjoy reviewing gadgets and gizmos from the world of tech. A lot has changed in the field since I started out as a writer back in 2009, so it's always exciting to keep up with all that's new. To me, there's nothing quite like getting my hands on a brand-new gadget or piece of software for the first time -- it's like Christmas morning every day!

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