Apple Headphone is Not Working On Android or Windows Phone (Solved)

Last Updated: June 21, 2018
iphone headset

Your brand new Headset controls or Mic is not working on Android device? Does your Android headset not working with MAC or iPhone? Windows phone owners may also experience the same issue with Apple headphone.

For Android or Apple headphone owners who are facing this weird compatibility issues with headphone and your smartphone, please read the solution here. This article will answer your question, why is your iPhone headset not working on Android or vice versa.

First of all, please be aware that this is neither an issue with your headphone nor smartphone. Apple has a different design standard for their headphones, and that design is not based on the universal headphone design (like Android headphones) and that is why Apple headphones are not 100% compatible with other non-Apple smartphones and devices.

Related: 12 Best Noise Canceling Headphones for Great Music Experience.

Types of Headsets used on Android and Apple Devices

In Android and Apple world there are two different type of headsets are using to connect to the phones. Let me make it clear, Android phones are still following the standard headphone wiring format for their headphone PINs. However, Apple has been adopted a different configuration with their headphones and obviously, that is not compatible with other devices.

1, Standard (Android) Headset

(Wiring configuration: Left Audio, Right Audio, Mic, Ground)

All the new smartphones are using the headset with TRRS (Tip, Ring, Ring, Sleeve) configuration. These configuration is using for headphones that have an attached microphone and a radio push-to-transmit (or push-to-talk) feature. Almost all of the Android phones are using this standard headset configuration. In this TRRS configuration, each tip, ring and sleeve component has its own wire terminal counterpart inside the housing with a pin-out in the order of Left Audio, Right Audio, Mic, and Ground.

apple android nokia windows headset

2, Apple Headset

(Wiring configuration: Left Audio, Right Audio, Ground, Mic)

Apple and other smartphone manufacturers are using this same standard for their headsets. However, Apple made a slight change in their wiring configuration. Apple is changed their headphone pin-out order to Left Audio, Right Audio, Ground, Mic that is different from the standard (TRRS) pinout configuration Left Audio, Right Audio, MIC, Ground. This wire configuration makes Apple headphones to work with only Apple devices (all the features) like iPhone, iPad and other Apple products.

Can we interchange the headset wires to match Apple Headphone configuration?

What will happen if you change or alter the wires of MIC and Ground? Can you use this altered headset with your Android phone? Personally, I wouldn’t recommend that, because Apple headset has another minor change compare to other standard headphones. This Apple headset has specific resistance set between the MIC and Ground cable to create pulses for headset control buttons. This resistor set value is different than the standard headset.

Related: Best Wireless Headphones for iPhone 7 to Replace Apple Airpods.

Hence, this different value of the resistor, when you use other smartphones with modified Apple headphones, you may not get the same signal amplitude and this may cause to malfunction the headphone controls. When you press these buttons, Apple device sensing the electrical pulse with a definite amplitude (based on the internal resistance) and converting to the command codes to control the iPhone, iPad or similar Apple devices. These pulses’ amplitude and timing is not compatible with other Smartphone or devices and may not able to control your Android or Nokia phone with these same headset controls.

How to make iPhone headset compatible with Android or Vice Versa?

There are a couple of workarounds you can try out to make compatible the headphone with your Android. However, these solutions are not going to solve your problem 100%. Those who are interested to find a solution, go through few of those, and you can pick the best one.

1, Use Bluetooth Third Party Earbuds.

Those who are really like the Apple earbud design, and still want to use with their Android phone, there are plenty of third-party headsets are available in the market imitating the same design of Apple, but coming with Bluetooth connectivity.

V4INK TEANA

Related: 10 Best Wireless Earbuds for Android and iPhone

Since the connection is made through Bluetooth, the controls are going to be compatible with both iPhone and Android devices. The Yostyle Wireless Headphones is coming with V4.1 Stereo Earphones and  Noise Cancelling Earbuds.

These Bluetooth earbuds are Sports Sweatproof and have a built-in Mic, that is compatible with for iPhone X/8/7 Plus Samsung Galaxy S7/S8 and Android Phones (buy from Amazon for $19.99). If you want an Airpod type headphone for Samsung or other Android devices, you can get KUPPET Wireless Earbuds Stereo Earphone Cordless Sports Headsets. (buy from Amazon $38.95).

2, Use a Thirdparty Wired Headphones.

If you are attracted to the Apple earbud design, but still looking for a wired headphone compatible with Android, there are a few of these type headphone is selling by third party vendors on Amazon.

Apple Type Earbuds

JJCall (2 Pack) 3.5MM iPhone Earphones/Headphones/Earbuds with Stereo Mic&Remote Control for Apple and Android Smartphone Device are available (from Amazon for $10.99). The control button allows to Play | Pause | Volume Up / Down | Answer / End Calls | Next Track and also has a built-in microphone and one-button remote for answering calls hands-free.

Ofuca also offers a 2PACK Premium Earphones/Earbuds/Headphones with Stereo Mic&Remote Control for iPhone iPad iPod Samsung Galaxy and other Android phones. (2Pack White for $11.99 from Amazon)

3, Headphone Converter Adapter.

The alternative solution is to try the headphone converters that will work better and you can use iPhone headsets on other smartphones with the help of this Adapter. You can get an adapter from Amazon Cellet Slim 3.5mm Pin to 3.5mm Input Mini-Jack Adapter for iPhone for less than four bucks. The product description stating that “This adapter converts the iPhone special headset tip to universal 3.5mm tip“. Even though this adapter is going to convert the Apple headphone to universal 3.5mm tip, you may not expect to get the same control functions with this adapter and headphone combination.

4, Use a Bluetooth Wireless Headset.

The technology is advanced and now we have wireless headphones available at a low price. Fortunately, these Bluetooth headphones are offering full compatibility with all smartphones like Android or iPhone. You can refer to this complete list of Best 5 Wireless Bluetooth Long Battery Life Headphones. These headphones are built with inline MIC and dedicated remote control which helps you to enjoy the smartphone handsfree functions. You just want a wireless headphone, then get this Wireless Headphone from Amazon for $20.99.

iphone-sports-headsetIn fact, the main concern while choosing the headset is the battery life, fit type and additional controls that offer by iOS through the headset buttons. The headset controls are offering the handsfree functions to ask Siri, Control Volume, Music Play, Call Answer Reject, etc. For iPhone users, your iPhone headset can do a lot of things that you think and we listed 12 Things You Should Know that Your iPhone Headphone Can Do.

5, Android App to Control iPhone Headset

Still no luck with Android headsets! You can try this app available from Google Play Store called Headset Button Controller. According to Google Play Store, “Headset Button Controller is very configurable, allowing you to play music, change tracks, adjust volume, answer phone calls, start Voice Command and many other things, just by clicking the button on your headset.”

Hope this will resolve Apple headset compatibility issue with Android and Windows phone.  Please let us know if there has an alternate workaround to resolve this problem.

10 COMMENTS

  1. The article lists a 3.5mm headphone extender as a solution for getting EarPod buttons to function on Android devices. I fail to see how that would work, as it is merely an extender. Furthermore, the customer Q&A’s for the linked Amazon item repeatedly state that the extender will not achieve anything other than extending the length of your cable.
    Was hoping Steve could confirm that these reviews are wrong.
    I own quite a few pics of Android earbuds, but prefer Apple’s design.

    • @Michael,
      Thank you for the feedback. The product description of Cellet Mini-Jack Adapter stating that “This adapter converts the iPhone special headset tip to universal 3.5mm tip.”. We aren’t claiming that you can restore all the original features of Apple Headset with this adapter. However, we will update our article to make this statement clear.

  2. Sorry for my question, but i’m not sure i understand correctly. If i want to use a pair of headphones that are “compatibles with Iphone/Ipod/Ipad” WITH AN ANDROID SMARTPHONE, the headphone adaptor you suggested in the 2nd solution is compatible for the specific purpose i mentioned earlier? Thanks

  3. hi , I have an android phone (Huawei P8 lite 2017) and the apple headset doesn’t work
    how can I work this out using the app ?

  4. App on phone worked for me thanks… just had to change a couple options to to have the volume since I do not move forward much do not need those buttons. Save me some money.

  5. Are there any equivalent apps to the “headset button controller” mentioned above for the iPhone that allow headsets with remotes to work that are not of Apple make?

    • @Derek, Here is one app from iTunes. “Headset Remote Controls Decoder for iPhone (iTunes), but we didn’t test and not guaranteed to work this app.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.