Apple EarPods on Android.

How does Android work with Apple's new EarPods? We take the $29 pair for a spin


Apple now has EarPods. For your ear holes. And you know what? They're not half bad, especially considering they're only $29. Actually, they're pretty darn good.

But what about using them on Android devices? Will they curl up their cute little white cables and slink away, their cries of "Noooooooooooooooo!!!" echoing in the distance? Of course not. That'd be, well, crazy.

So how do they sound? And how well do they work? Keep on keepin' on for a few more thoughts.

Here's the way we're looking at these things: They're going to be everywhere soon enough. The EarPods will be included with the new iPhone 5, iPod nano and iPod touch. Separately, they cost just $29. So chances are you're going to run across them, whether you like it or not.

Apple EarPods on Android.Get over the fact that they're Apple's. Get over the fact that if you're using them, folks are going to think you've got an iPhone, buying music from iTunes. These are a damn good pair of $29 EarPods. There's actually some bass to them. Highs come through crisp and clear. Justin Bieber has never sounded so good.

What's more, they actually feel good. Or, at least, they don't feel bad. They don't make us feel like there's a damned Ceti Eel working its way in (or, worse, out). The crazy futuristic design -- three years in the making, Apple will be more than proud to tell anyone who asks -- works. And works well.

Where Android currently loses out is in functionality of the microphone dongle. Pressing the center button will play and pause music, and a couple of quick presses (or one long one) will redial the last number you called. But that's it. The volume controls don't even work. The mic itself does work, though, so at least you can use it for calls.

That's all out of the box, though. Nor is it really surprising. Will we see more functionality in the future? Who knows. (We'd love to see it standard across platforms and products, but we're dreamers like that.) For now, if you're looking for a cheap set of in-ear auditory listening devices, Apple's EarPods aren't a bad buy.

There are 78 comments

dwd3885 says:


bsannes says:

no thanks I'll stick with the earbuds that came with my S3

kara says:

Does anyone else think they are ugly as sin?

DrDoppio says:

not sure about ugly, but they are original as one...

tommydaniel says:

They still don't look like they would stay in your ear any better than the old buds..

gagb1967 says:

IF they are that good, I may give them a try

I will go a head and continue to pretend I'm rich and wear my Beats that came with my Rezound. According to all the rich folks at my gym they are more a fashion accessory then music accessory. I am in their little club, for free! And yes these Apple ones are ugly as sin.

Those original Apple ear buds, and all the ones that were similarly designed, continuously fell out of my ears. They were awful, at least for me. These seem like they would sit int he ear in the same way as the old ones. I'll pass. I'll stick with my Ultimate Ears, and the ones that came with my Galaxy S3. I was pleasantly surprised at how good they are!

HAAS599 says:

Samsung headphones sound really good to me. Honestly, I would never buy a pair of in-ear headphones. If your going to buy some headphones, buy some headphones like noise canceling on-ear ones or something. How much better are these then the ones that came free with your device? $30.00 better? I doubt it.

kstoutdog says:

I'll stick with the beats that came with my rezound... :)

SooksVI says:

These are the headphones that I've used for a couple years now. The same pair of buds that lasted long and never died. Sony doesn't carry them anymore and the price is actually around $60 in a Sony store. I never cared for the look and feel of Apple buds...

l00natic71 says:

I like Sony designs. These are very nice looking.

calbrs04 says:

Only time I use my earphones that came with my now sold 4S is when I facetime my sister on my macbook. Besides that, its Sennheisers for me.

jjrudey says:

The name is awful.

Did he say Justin Beaver never sounded so good? Wtf!!

jfs101 says:

I wonder if the will slip out while lying in bed? any takes Phil.

griftercm says:

I miss my Sony earbuds. They sounded great, but I stopped using them because they lacked a mic and controls.

My question is:

Are there any multibutton remotes (except the pack-in Samsung buds) that work properly on Android?

kpxstar9 says:

klipsch image s4a

amazing quality w/ fully functioning multibutton remote designed for android devices.

E_man says:

S4a has one button, does it not? S4i has three.

briankariu says:

JVC Xtreme Xplode!!! at 20usd on amazon, they make even the klipsch's look like like a joke!!!!

briankariu says:

JVC Xtreme Xplode!!! at 20usd on amazon, they make even the klipsch's look like like a joke!!!!

RickyKemp says:

Denon AHD2Ks + Galaxy S2 + PlayerPro + DSP Pack + FLAC files = best sounding music I ever heard, even compared to my PC.

Robbzilla says:

Yeah, because $300 speakers should be compared to $30 ones...

ryryrose says:

skull candy fmj, havent let me down yet

So.... I'm the only one that thinks they look like sperm?

MrLadoodle says:


Gator352 says:

Yes, and they were designed that way. See, they represent sperm swimming into your ear and imbedding into your brain to make you think the iterd 5 is magical, revolutionary, and down right AMAZING!!!!!

robotaholic says:

I'd rather be deaf than buy anything from Apple. And yes, 29 dollars for ear-buds is ridiculous.

dan4patriots says:

"Justin Bieber has never sounded so good." - Phil you just lost all credibility as an editor

hybrid06339 says:

I won't spend another cent on Apple products because:

They screwed my on warranty repair for an iPod Touch 3 years ago.

Apple wants to kill my OS and phone maker (Android & HTC)

I don't want to make the filthy rich any richer

kennethbring says:

+1. My thoughts exactly. I may have Apple products now, but they're acting like 12 year olds, and they will get no more of my money.

Nit3m4re says:

Yeah I'm glad I got my Macbook Pro when I liked Apple and their attitude towards things, otherwise I'd have a hard time choosing right now what I would get instead. As I don't, I can enjoy knowing I am not going to be purchasing anything from them again, awful attitude towards competition, useless iPhone 5, non removable battery in new MBP's, opting out of their "green ethos" and an iPod that looks like a Lumia. Doesn't sound like the same company anymore?

dan4patriots says:

"I don't want to make the filthy rich any richer" - then you might as well stop using the majority of stuff you own

ps4rh says:

Is there a patent or such on the volume control on wiref headphones? Because it would be awfully handy to have these, but it seems like only Apple devices support them.

eahinrichsen says:

Nope, there are tons of them. I like these a lot:
Try these. I have a set of the a-Jays Four which sound fantastic to me, but these work on just about anything and have the same sounds quality as the Four...

Gekko says:

i love the original Apple iPhone headset and have used it with my old EVO and now my G-Nex and i love it. they're sleek, sound decent, good build quality, durable, comfortable, and inexpensive. for $29 you can't beat them. the OEM Samsung G-Nex headset is awful IMO. two disclaimers - one, this Apple headset is the only Apple product i've ever bought in my life. two, i am not a big audiophile snob - i just listen to Pandora when working out. i will buy these when my current iPhone headset breaks or gets lost.

p.s. can someone tell me where the microphone hole is on the new version? i don't see it on the mic piece.

TenshiNo says:

I know in the version of the Apple headphones that came with my iPod, the mic hole is on the back side of the little control piece.

dougltc says:

Wonder when I will be able to order these from amazon... I want to give them a try

Gekko says:

why not just walk into your local Apple store?

Robbzilla says:

Phil, if you're actually listening to Bieber, you deserve to be teabagged by the holographic ghost of Jobs.


Companies that make blow dryers should sue Apple for the design as they look a lot like... well... blow dryers.

After the first few words I assumed the next would be something pertaining to apple copying the mechanism for blowing so hard...I guess that's what I get for assuming.

Incubus123 says:

NEVER. I will never support crapple

mlacla22 says:

I fail to see how the these deserve a review on an ANDROID website.

The new iphone, maybe. Seeing how the competition stacks up is one thing. But earbu....pods?

C'mon Phil. Save this one for Rene.

Suntan says:

I was interested to know if the volume control would work on my phone. I appreciate that someone checked it with non-apple products. At least now I know it doesn't, which significantly reduces their appeal to me.


vinny jr says:

I use my Beats ear buds that came with HTC Rezound. I use them on both my Rezound and my SGS3. They work fantastic and no thank you Apple.

318sugarhill says:

I don't care for fashion trends or name brands. My beats that came with the rezound sound great. Unfortunately they broke, and the replacements are real ibeats, as in the ones for the the buttons don't work. There is an app in the market that you can use to make them work.....but it takes some time and work to set them up. I don't use headphones often, but when I do, I am hard on them. So for $29 I will probably get a pair if I can get the app to make the buttons work. Sound quality vs price is what's most important....and it sounds like they have it.

NelsonTitua says:

No Thanks! Ill stick to my $100 pair of In-Ear BOSE head phones.. Got them before they were cool to wear!

avifors says:

Someone help me out here? Why is it that no headphones with volume controls work well android phones? It's not just apple's headphones. My klipsch headphones aren't compatible with my Gnex; just the center button. Is this an android limitation?

Oxirane says:

$29 for earbuds is not cheap. Check out Meelectronics, such as these:

So far I've yet to find anything around the $20 price mark that beats them in terms of sound quality.

Loony2nz#AC says:

Oh hell no! I'm not strutting around SF looking like a typical marina/hipster douche promoting my new iPhone that I will never buy.

Sticking with my Klipsch S4A's thank you. not blending in with the sheep no matter how good they might sound. it's the principle of it all.

slider999 says:

Better than regular 50$ in ear headphones?

Small_law says:

I'm shocked that any of the buttons work at all with Android. I thought Apple used some kind of protocol that caused the mic and controls to work only with Apple stuff.

Isaac Witmer says:

Spoiler: the mic *doesn't* work. I had to buy them myself to find out, though If I had done research online, I would have found that few have gotten them to work.

I have no idea what OP did.

jer85008 says:

Thanks for the un-biased review, I was thinking of getting these. I've had such bad luck with earbuds, the Beats that came with my Rezound are OK, but uncomfortable and are very muddy in the low frequency range. Not too worried about the controls, as long as the mic works.

Isaac Witmer says:

Check online. The mic doesn't work. Which sucks, becuase they'd be great headphones otherwise.

bassdelux15 says:

If my Skull Candies ever die on me, i'll think about it

Shadowriver says:

It might be interesting for those who don't follow Apple, they actully produced normal earbuds in the past:

MrJazz says:

What, no proprietary plug on the end?

silverghozt says:

Why in god's name can't android support three button remotes? This is such an annoying android fail. FIX IT GOOGLE. YESTERDAY!

crandrix says:

I've been with Skull Candy for over a year, if they break, I'll get another Skull Candies! I simply love them, the sound is amazing!

google123 says:

Yeah, no. I'll stick with my JVC Marshmallows. Thanks. Those don't look very comfortable at all. No thanks.

encherahim says:

I hate this type of earphone, won't fit my ear hole. Silicone-plug type earphone is the best...

CoryBantic says:

You lost me at "Justin Bieber never sounded so good."

tgrant1975 says:

Thanks but no thanks.. I'll stick with my beats by dre ear buds that came with my htc rezound which are the best I've ever ha.

testingapril says:

There is no possible way that these sound as good as my $10 MeElectronics M9's. Love these things. I've bought 4 or 5 pairs of them, and the sound quality is absolutely top notch.

Kekoh says:

...or you could get a way better deal on Amazon. I have very nice Sennheiser earbuds and they were $23. Why pay for Apple's overpriced mediocre product?

I don't get why this is on AC. Why promote their products?

tkfox007 says:

$30 for something that you could get for $10 or less? Why people continue to happily give Apple so much money for something that is not worth as mush as they're asking is beyond me.

I'll stick with the ear buds that came with my Galaxy Nexus

K1utch829 says:

Ill stick it wit my skullcandy way better then that

Never was a fan of Apple's earbuds. The sound quality isn't good. I must give those EarPods for a test drive.

mcshady1996 says:

Just FYI that the new earpods do not work with the droid razr. the headphone portion works for listening to music, but the microphone does not work and the person on the other end of a call hears a high pitched whine.

for the music portion, they sound pretty good, but thats no good if i cant even take a call.

oh well.

BazzG says:

I'm still looking for a decent pair of headphones for my G3. The stock ones work ok, but I prefer my Sennheiser CX880i that I used with my old iPhone.

As usual, the centre button works but no volume controls.

I will keep looking but as yet, ALL the inline controls I've seen are made for the iSheep.

tschallb says:

Hi Phil,

OK, I am on my second pair of the new Ear pods and they DO NOT work when plugged into an Android device and used to make a phone call. During the Phone Call the Audio stream on the receiver side (Android or iOS device) has what sounds like 12,000 KHz tone playing in the background under the Audio stream and making the call audio unusable.

When used for strictly Audio playing they are fine with all of the caveats listed above when on an Android Device.

Not sure why the interference tone is being played/heard. Tested so far on an S3 and a GNexus and both sets of headphones show the issue. The same headphones when plugged into an iOS device are fine.

Just got them today and loved them so far.

Don't like In-Ear buds (the silicone ones) in general and these from apple beat all of the in-ears i used. Proper bass, no blocking the surrounding too much, no hearing yourself chew your gum ...

But I just tested the tone you were talking about when you call someone and i can confirm that the receiver gets it too. I could live without volume controls, but this sucks. This means, that you can only use them for pure music consumption. The microphone and headset is completely broken on android ... what a shame.

Forgot to mention: Galaxy S3 (I-9305)

Has anyone a good recommendation for NON silicion/in-ear earbuds ? I really liked these by sound/comfort and look.


thepktrckt says:

I can confirm the EarPods don't work in Samsung phones, I tried several and the high pitch sound was present for every model. I am very happy to report they work in my Nexus 4 phone and other LG phones I've tried.

I can't stand the isolating in-earphones, when I talk I feel like I'm underwater. I like a bit of passive sound so that I can hear what is going on around me if needed. I have not found any earphones that come close to the new ear pods in terms of this fit and function.

I'd love to find something different and something that worked like they do on the apple devices. Thus far no luck at all :(

Bucky Real says:

The iPhone Earpods worked great (calls, listening to music, but not all buttons) with my LG Optimus V... just got an LG Optimus Elite and I'm crushed that the mic doesn't work!!! Help

raitsuke says:

It doesn't work with Galaxy S3 either :(