I broke my Pixel a few weeks ago and have been using an old iPhone since then.

I was hoping to hold out until the new Pixel comes out, but I couldn’t hold out and got a new Pixel this week which I’ve now cut over to.

The one thing I am going to miss about the iPhone was the Airpods that I got when I went back to iPhone.

The Airpods are the best wireless headphones I’ve ever used, by a wide margin.

I am going to miss them.

I am going to find the closest bluetooth version of them I can for my new Pixel.

If anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears.

No pun intended.


Comments (Archived):

  1. surya

    Why not use the Airpods w/the pixel? They work as regular bluetooth for non-apple devices

    1. fredwilson

      i didn’t know that was an option. i will give that a try

      1. OurielOhayon

        Pairing will be painful and integration is not as tight and seamless. Coming from the iphone you will be frustrated

        1. static

          1) Open the Bluetooth settings screen on the device you’re going to use your AirPods with.2) With the AirPods in the charging case, open the lid.3) On the back of the case is a small button, press and hold it for a few seconds.4) Once the indicator light between the earbuds begins blinking white, let go.5) The AirPods will show up in the pairing menu on your device, select them and follow any prompts.

  2. SubstrateUndertow

    “Apple Watch” ?:-)

  3. Noah Lackstein

    I use AirPods with my Pixel and they work great. You’ve got to pair them like a regular bluetooth device though, by opening the case with the pods inside and holding down the button on the back, then connecting to them from the bluetooth settings on the Pixel.

    1. fredwilson


  4. JimHirshfield

    “I am all ears”OMG! Now you’re speaking my language.

    1. Girish Mehta

      He’s been hearing you all this time.

    1. fredwilson

      i’m glad i wrote this post. learned something new today

  5. William Mougayar

    Would have been a good window to try out a Xiaomi 🙂

    1. kenberger

      oneplus 5 (or whatever # they’re at) seems super nice.I’m headed to Shenzhen this winter where I’ll see lots of 2018 stuff, btw 😉

      1. William Mougayar

        I need a new one. Minimum 6.5 inch screen. There is no going back to smaller

        1. kenberger

          i’ll gladly go back to smaller. Nexus 6P was always a pain even though i i’m 6’2 and have big, bass player hands. My chief use case is heavy travel and jumping constantly between car and scooter shares, where big phones don’t fit as well.Huawei P10 and galaxy S8 did ok, but neither support Project Fi well, which my case also loves. Hoping Pixel 2 (regular) fits the bill, release is this week.

  6. kenberger

    Understood that the following is scarcely replacement, not pocketable, etc, but:I am head over heels for the Sony MDX-1000x’s…kicks ass over Bose Quiet Comfort, especially with the touch gestures you can do on the right cup (talk to the flight attendant, skip a track, volume, etc)

    1. LE

      Thanks Ken I actually have a need for those at night when I am on laptop.But I have to say that marketing wise there is no comparison between a name like “MDX-1000x” and ‘Airpods’.Airpods easy to remember and memorable.The other, well let’s see if I remember it later tonight.

      1. kenberger

        …but you are making my point, my friend:i have been a tech gadget geek since age 13. Quite used to expecting to ride a constant–and super-annoying–wave of products that would never cut it on the red carpet and might not necessarily leave a legacy (although the sony headphones happen to be sexy, name notwithstanding).for example: I remember wearing an Archos arm band grotesque looking MP3 player to the gym in the years before the iPod.I don’t give a sh*t what the things are called. If they rock, they rock… at least until the next product which is always out within weeks 😉

        1. LE

          Hah! It’s you that is making my point Ken!!i have been a tech gadget geek since age 13.And make no doubt about it what things are called does matter and help with adoption and memorability.That said obviously you can sometimes defy gravity and yes a truly great product can be called ‘mudd’ (as in ‘his name was mudd’) and still take off. Actually ‘mudd’ would be a good name so I take that back.So yes a sucky or mediocre product will not win based on a good name. A good name provides added lift and benefit. It’s lazy to not give a product a good name.

          1. kenberger

            “With a name like Smuckers, it’s got to be good!”SNL did iterations on this in their brilliant sketch in the 70s:…I was actually in a band with the temp name “painful rectal itch”, taken from this sketch!

          2. LE

            Wow and here are some others (including yours …. not that I didn’t believe you truth being stranger than fiction):…With respect to product (or band and hair salon names) I guess I should say ‘memorable’ and distinct. No doubt that ‘painful rectal itch’ is memorable. Good one.

  7. LE

    Look at the actual product benefits that Apple has built into the airpods. I’ve highlighted real vs. advertising fluff (which is typically what you will read with most products):Whenever you pull your AirPods out of the charging case, they instantly turn on and connect to your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac.(1) Audio automatically plays as soon as you put them in your ears and pauses when you take them out. To adjust the volume, change the song, make a call, or even get directions, just double-tap to activate Siri. Driven by the custom Apple W1 chip, AirPods use optical sensors and a motion accelerometer to detect when they’re in your ears. Whether you’re using both AirPods or just one, the W1 chip automatically routes the audio and engages the microphone. And when you’re on a call or talking to Siri, an additional accelerometer works with beamforming microphones to filter out background noise and focus on the sound of your voice.This is the same type of usability focus that has caused the massive change since the iphone release in 2007. Prior to that cellphones were like tv remote controls. This took not only engineering talent (which quite frankly any large company can buy) but also a focus on things that matter to non computer types who want an easy and good experience without thinking.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Ah, phased array antenna!

  8. John Pepper

    I carried Pixel and iPhone 7+ together for last 5 months (attempt at separating work and personal #fail). Until last week, that is, when I got the iPhone 8+ and put the Pixel (which I never fell in love with despite best efforts) in the EBay drawer. The AirPods are only one of many reasons why I continue to stick with Apple (though the AirPods did work on my Pixel when I tried).

  9. Nicha Ratana

    Hey Fred, I’m a GM on the Pixel 2 and confirm that they work with the P1 (as well as the soon-to-be-available P2 — thanks for keeping an eye out!) 🙂 I’m an avid Airpods user as well — and they’re by far my favorite piece of competitor HW we’ve played w/ in years. Nicha

    1. fredwilson

      i wished i could have held out for the P2.

  10. Dan G

    any recommendations for best wireless headphone below $50? lol

    1. Jeff J

      The sound isnt great yet in that price range. Buy JayBirds X2 on sale around 90 bucks

      1. creative group

        Jeff J:the entire conversation regarding the Android option in ear wireless only. No dangling wires. But we appreciate the thought.

    2. creative group

      Dan G:review our post above yours…..

  11. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:there are currently four different wireless earbuds under $40 dollars that various people in the office have used on Amazon that have served us well. One year ago there were few options for this iteration of wireless earbuds in each ear. Now they are so inexpensive there is no risk in trying several.Look on Amazon1. Gasarsox Bluetooth Earbuds, Gasarsox Dual Wireless Headphones Handsfree Bluetooth Headset Stereo with Mic, True V4.1 Earpiece with Charging Case2. Losei Dual $29.003. Soundmoov Truly $37.994. Thor Shocker $49.00———————On individual sites (A couple seen on Amazon)The $200 range truly wireless earbuds (Why)Sony Republic Air wirelessJabra Elite SportFireflies TrulyAmps Air Truly

    1. Alex Murphy

      thank you for listing these

      1. creative group

        Alex Murphy:You are much welcomed.

  12. Eric Sheridan

    Lot of discussion in the tech press that Google might launch a similar product (with the Google Assistant built in) with the Pixel 2 launches on October 4th – might be worth holding out

    1. fredwilson

      i could not hold out until the Pixel 2. maybe i can for these

    1. Sunny B.


      1. jason wright

        He broke his Pixel weeks ago. Fascist stormtroopers brutalising voters takes priority over even an Apple product, hard as they seem for many to understand.

  13. LIAD

    Airpods and Apple Watch 3 with lte – is making me reconsider my 4yr Android monogomy.Saw some youtube vids of people going all day phone free. Was awesome. And liberating.Very tempted.

    1. jason wright


    2. Lawrence Brass

      I have an Apple Watch, first model since 2015. Bought it using the “for software development use” argument. My experience has been indeed liberating, you immediately start using less and ignoring your phone. The most impressive experience I had once was when I forgot my phone at home but could still receive and send texts ( through iMessage ) while being connected to WiFi at the office, that was a surprise.It is useful, fun to use and cool. I am now craving for a model 3, this time I want to try a different band.Go for it LIAD, you won’t be disappointed.

  14. Jeff J

    I’ve been BT earned only for.over a year. I’m that time I’ve purchased and returned a number of ear buds. Here are, in my opinion, the best1. Airport, best for conference calls and indoor exercise. Great battery life and can be used separately. Poor passive noise isolation.2. Bragi Dash Pro, excellent passive noise isolation, good soundstage, second best BT range. 4-5 hour battery life. 45 minutes to recharge. Great for Subways, planes and other loud areas. Water resistant, can be used in shower or swimming3. Bravo The Headphone. Many of the above features. Only 3 hours of battery life. 4. JayBird X3s. 8 hour battery life. Decent passive isolation. Excellent BT range. These have a wire connect one earned to the other.I routinely use my Airpods with my Note 8 or Essential phone in rotation with my Bravo Dash Pro. They disconnect on Android every so often.

  15. george

    Agree: Airpod review is spot on; they are really useful and they also build tremendous utility across all Apple devices. Earbud technology is finally exciting again.

  16. Chad Dickerson

    Bose just came out with SoundSport Free. They’re so new there aren’t really any reviews out there. I’ve used the wired Bose Quiet Comfort 20 for years now and they are amazing. Airpods never fit right for me so I’m going to try out the SoundSport Free if reviews are good.

    1. fredwilson

      those look great

    2. kenberger

      They do look good, Not shipping yet though. And that review says they stick out a lot.Earbuds are one thing I like to have custom made. A few models out there use 3D printing to achieve this.

  17. Rob Underwood

    Did you give up on the Bose Q25? I have had major software / bluetooth issues and more recently the mic stopped working and then they just fell apart altogether. They are sending me a new pair now (I hope; customer service with any American corporation nowadays is a giant leap of faith in disorganization, incompetence, indifference, and the culture of PowerPoint) — I don’t want to give up on a New England company but patience wearing thin.

    1. Lawrence Brass

      Bose ear cushions are delicate, no wonder they have to sell replacement kits.I am not kind with my hardware, I have a cheaper Bose headphone set in the same state of destruction. Some companies have forgot what “heavy duty” means.

    2. fredwilson

      i have multiple pairs. but for the office. not for walking around outside.

  18. San Cabraal

    Earins are worth a look. M1s are audio only, M2s look to promise more functional ity but delivery tbc. Fwiw they built the business on Kickstarter and are still going…

  19. Brandon G. Donnelly

    i just ordered a pair of airpods because of this post

  20. Adam Parish

    You can still use your Airpods with an Android phone, but keep us posted on what you decide to purchase instead.

    1. fredwilson

      i may just do that

  21. Joachim

    Apparently the ear buds WF 1000X (BLE & noise canceling) from Sony are pretty good. Getting them tomorrow and testing them.

  22. pointsnfigures

    Saw the Apple announcement. I am thinking about getting an 8+. Not going to an X. (I have a 6+) Was thinking of switching to Android-but I will miss iMessage. Is there a hack? My wife and kids and I have a convo going on iMessage. That’s my lock in.

    1. obarthelemy

      Nope, no hack.Long-term solution is switching to a cross-platform messaging system. My family is on Skype, it’s OK on all platforms and the features are fine; it’s very reliable (except when they had their huge platform switch 2 months back ^^).We’ve also tried Hangouts (doesn’t work well on *all* platforms/hardware), whatsapp (a pain when you have several devices besides our phone). Skype is better; mostly misses widgets but coming from iOS you wouldn’t notice ;-p

  23. Valente

    Try Skybuds Fred!https://skybuds.comTicks all your boxes, but best of all – built right here in NYC which you will appreciate.Spoke to one of their designers the other day who talked about some of the tech they have going in these and it sounded very impressive. Haven’t used them myself but the reviews look great and I think good NY made tech always deserves a go.

    1. fredwilson

      cool. i will check them out

  24. obarthelemy

    I think maybe you could venture out of luxury phones and experience what the rest of us are using. Xiaomi have just released a $200 Android ONE (the Mi A1) phone that’s universally reviewed as “quite nice”.IMHO, the case for luxury phones is ever weaker: Camera and screen glare ?

    1. Dan G

      for $200 to $300, you can get a used Galaxy S7 that’s plenty usable- like I did, as my current daily driver. Still pretty awesome phone

      1. obarthelemy

        Yep. Buying this year’s flagship is becoming en exercise in throwing money away; last year’s flagships at $400 are almost as good, and the $200 midrangers are Good Enough ™ for 95% of users.Buying “used” is something else though, at least in France that business seems dominated by shady companies, and buying from an individual is hit-or-miss. Refurb stuff from Amazon doesn’t have huge discounts either.

  25. Daniel Sun

    I would go for The Dash Pro or if you want to go one step ahead try the stark version. I bought them on kickstarter and since the last software updates they are now solid! They come with some really nice features as the itranslator, the 4D menu, head gestures… that’s just the beginning.

  26. Camiel van Velthoven

    I got bose QC35 over ear noise canceling headphones, and find them addictive to use.

  27. obarthelemy

    re: Airpods, I got Anker Soudnbuds for $25 (frequent sales)… The sound is ok, the battery lasts long, and the design is very clever, using the big-ish body to push the bud deep in you ear canal for better sound and isolation. They pair easily too, then again every BT thing I ever had has paired easily, I’m not sure what people are having issues with.

  28. Shoe On Head

    these, Mate.Soundmagic E10 wireless earbuds…

  29. OurielOhayon

    Bad news fred. Nothing come even close to airpods. I am a heads set freak and no one has managed approach this as well. The way the integration is built in with software is just superb. The only one I thought was vastly superior is vi by lifebeam. The reason is that they have a running assistant that blows away siri.

  30. Andy

    I recently started using Trekz Titanium and have enjoyed the experience so far. Will need to take a look at Airpods after reading some of the comments here though.

  31. Fraser

    Please keep us updated. I was considering switching to Android and AirPods are the thing I’m unwilling to give up. Best device I’ve purchased in years.

  32. Chris Piatt

    Isn’t there a rumor swirling around that Google will announce AirPod competitors on Oct 4? Maybe wait…

  33. Hyunji

    Skybuds are the best truly wireless earbuds I’ve found to date. They fit great and comfortably and I’m constantly surprised by the sound quality.

  34. KickStart Search

    Airpods are unsurprisingly the early market leader in the truly wireless earbuds niche. Great battery life and good sound (although I still think they look like golf tees sticking out of people’s ears). However, I think there are some other very intriguing options out there to consider as well (Bragi, Nuheara, Here One, etc).If you ever would be interested in trying Nuheara’s IQbuds, I’m pretty sure I could get a complimentary pair over to you (have done some work with one of the company’s co-founders in the past). Aside from good sound and truly wireless functionality, they offer a range of hearing augmentation features that no other product does at this time.Let me know if you’d be interested.

  35. Sukhwinder Singh

    Bluetooth is not working with Airpod and bluetooth is working with Android only. I have seen reviews on YouTube.Web Development Agency