At long last, Apple is coming out of its shell. A company notorious for its strict embrace of an enclosed family of products—Apple-to-Apple only—is taking a few peeks at the outside world. Apple HomeKit and Airplay 2 are significant steps towards interconnectivity. Still, with Bluetooth 5.0 as the standard for most new smart TVs, will the Apple AirPods work with LG?
In most cases, you should be able to connect the devices. However, you may not be able to use certain features on your AirPods, such as volume control. And, if your LG TV cannot pair with your AirPods, there are other options available.
Connecting AirPods to LG TV Through Apple TV
By Apple TV, we mean the physical Apple TV device, such as the Apple TV 4K. Downloading the Apple TV app to your LG Smart TV doesn’t give you the connection advantages of the hardware version.
Pairing your AirPods to Apple TV is the single best way to get the most from your audio experience:
- Start by placing your AirPods in pairing mode.
- On the Apple TV, go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth.
- When your AirPods appear, select them with Connect Device.
That’s it. Now you will have full control over your AirPods without worrying about competing settings getting in the way.
As a side note, Apple’s HomePod—and any other smart speakers that connect to your TV—won’t work with AirPods or any other truly wireless headphone options. So while you may be able to connect your AirPods to smart speakers, it won’t work when the speaker is connected to your TV for audio.
Connecting AirPods to LG TV Through Roku
Sure, it’s an added expense but, if your LG Smart TV just isn’t playing nice with your Apple AirPods, consider a Roku Streaming Stick. This is a tidy little workaround that Roku calls “private listening.”
- Once your Roku is inserted into an HDMI port, download the app on your iPhone.
- Once your AirPods are connected to your phone, launch the Roku app, and select Headphones. That’s it.
When you’re ready to drop the audio connection, simply place your AirPods back in the case, or select Headphones again in the Roku app.
Keep in mind, this is only a streaming solution. Whatever you stream through the Roku Streaming Stick, it will transfer the audio to your AirPods. Until they develop an HD antenna directly embedded in the Roku Stick, or the same with cable, live TV isn’t an option.
Connecting AirPods to LG TV Through Fire TV
Of course, Amazon has its own streaming stick/cube because it’s Amazon. Fortunately for you, that’s another option for connecting your AirPods. Unfortunately—like the Roku Streaming Stick—you won’t be able to listen to live TV. Also, Amazon doesn’t give you the option of using your AirPods to adjust the volume. You’ll have to do that with the Fire TV remote and a whole bunch of finagling.
To pair your AirPods with the Fire TV, make sure you’re in pairing mode. Then:
- On the Fire TV, select Settings > Controllers and Bluetooth Devices > Other Bluetooth Devices.
- Once you see your AirPods on the drop-down menu, select them to pair.
The bad part about using the Amazon Fire TV Cube or Stick is that AirPods don’t have physical volume buttons, which don’t compute with Fire TV. So, you’ll have to do some additional meddling or throw up your hands and get a Roku Stick.
You may also need to download an app called Precise Volume, then sideload it. You’ll have to jump through quite a few hoops to get it done, but if you’re dedicated to listening with your AirPods, it’s the only way forward using Fire TV.
Most of your modern smart TV sets are shipping with the latest version of Bluetooth. This bodes well for Apple enthusiasts. On the flip side, not every Bluetooth headset is created equal. Apple has always tended sleek, high-end, and glamorous tech, and they’re obsessed with eschewing physical buttons in favor of touch controls. Sometimes that creates an issue—such as with the Fire TV.
Ironically, Apple’s primary smartphone competitor, Samsung, is completely on board with Apple’s latest streaming and connection moves. Like Samsung, LG is joining the party as well—including major updates of older smart TV models to accommodate Apple.
That being said, you may occasionally have an issue with LG smart TVs as well, depending on the model and year. However, LG TVs are generally compatible with Apple AirPods, and connecting your AirPods with LG TVs is a simple process.