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If you’re an Apple fan, there’s plenty to love about Apple AirPods. There are currently two generations of AirPods in addition to the Pro and Max versions. Apple devices thrive on seamless interaction within the Apple family of products. However, what if you want to use your AirPods with a non-Apple product, such as a Vizio TV?
Like Sony, Samsung, LG, and others, Apple loves its proprietary hardware and software. This often makes it difficult to pair certain devices to a competitor’s brand. So, what happens when you can’t use your AirPods with your Vizio TV? Fortunately, there are ways around Bluetooth LE so you can still connect your devices together.
Use a Bluetooth Transmitter
Apple AirPods use Bluetooth AAC/SBC. Vizio TVs use Bluetooth LE, and that’s a problem if you want to pair your Apple AirPods.
However, a Bluetooth transmitter is an inexpensive alternative. There are plenty of impressive Bluetooth transmitters on the market, and they’re simple to set up and use with Apple AirPods.
Depending on the transmitter, you’ll plug it into the auxiliary, optical, RCA, or coaxial port on your Vizio. Turn the transmitter on and set your AirPods to pairing mode. Make sure to open your Bluetooth settings on your iPhone and turn off any other active Bluetooth devices before pairing your AirPods.
Connect Your AirPods to Vizio TV Through Apple TV
Running Apple TV to your Vizio and pairing your AirPods to the Apple TV is probably the best method for indirectly using them with a Vizio set.
If you’re all about everything Apple, odds are you have an iPhone, iPad, or other Apple product in your home. Any Apple device that your AirPods are paired with will sync—via iCloud—with all of your other devices automatically, including Apple TV.
If you just bought a new pair of AirPods, the setup is pretty simple:
- Press and hold the button on the back of your AirPods charging case until you see the flashing white light.
- On your Apple TV, navigate to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth. Your AirPods should appear for you to complete the pairing process.
After that, you’re good to use your AirPods with your Vizio TV.
Things to Remember When Connecting AirPods to Vizio TV
You can attempt to pair your AirPods with a Vizio soundbar, and there are plenty of tutorials online that will walk you through the process. However, soundbars are Bluetooth output devices, not input. Sure, plenty of soundbars are connected with HDMI or optical wires, but the soundbar still has to interpret audio from the TV before it produces sound.
With a Bluetooth connection, if it works, you’re essentially doubling the process and will often experience audio lag that’ll make watching TV a frustrating process. Connecting directly to your Vizio could also create lag. Since there is more than one Bluetooth codec, some devices compress and transmit audio faster than others.
If your Vizio and AirPods are using different Bluetooth codecs—which they likely are—there might be noticeable audio lag when you use your AirPods. It’s something to consider if you’re purchasing a new Vizio TV or a pair of Apple AirPods.
Lastly, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals aren’t all that friendly with one another. Technology has done much to remedy that issue, but you may have to sit closer or adjust your router’s position.
There are several big-name competitors out there, which is usually good from the standpoint of consumer purchasing power and choice. However, it also means that universal adaptation of every technological invention is all but impossible. There are workarounds, but you’ll have to find them.
AirPods are, after all, a Bluetooth device, and there are plenty of online tutorials for pairing them with Roku and Fire devices as well. How well will they work? That depends.
Apple has recently released its spatial audio updates with AirPod Pro/Max. Currently, they only work with iPads and iPhones but, you have to assume it’ll spread to Apple TV and beyond at some point.
If your Vizio TV has Bluetooth capability, there’s certainly a chance it’ll pair with your AirPods. If it doesn’t, there are several alternatives. With Bluetooth transmitters, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, and more, you can get your AirPods working with your Vizio TV.
Own a Sony TV? Check out this article to learn how you can connect your AirPods to this smart TV model.