Can You Use Airpods Without a Phone?

Airpods are an incredible innovation in “hearable” technology, and they’ve been dominating the market since they were announced in 2016. Since then, they’ve become Apple’s most popular accessory and found themselves in the pockets of 114 million people in 2020.

But because Airpods are so integral to Apple’s product lineup, many people worry that these Bluetooth headphones won’t work without a phone, especially an iPhone or another Apple product.

Can You Use Airpods Without a Phone?

Yes, you can use AirPods without a phone aslong as you have a device with a bluetooth connection.

Take heart, readers—you do not need to worry. You can almost always use Airpods without a phone. The only requirement a device needs to connect to Airpods is Bluetooth. So, as long as your device can connect with Bluetooth, you are good to go.

That said, we’ve got a lot more information here for you on how much you can use your Airpods, how far you can be from your phone, and more.

Can Airpods Be Used Independently?

Because of their popularity, many people can start to think that you can use Airpods on their own, without a Bluetooth device to connect them to.

If you try to do this, you will unfortunately fail. Airpods do not store any music or any other kind of audio data on their own—they need to be connected to an existing phone, computer, or another audio player before being able to play any audio.

Can I Leave My Phone at Home and Still Use My Airpods?

Because of Airpods’ widespread popularity and Bluetooth functionality, many people think they could leave their phone at home while listening to music on their AirPods out and about.

That is sadly not the case. Airpods don’t need to be connected to your device through a wire (like traditional headphones), but the distance between your device and the AirPods still matters. 

Sometimes, you’ll be able to make it a small distance outside of your home if your device is inside. For example, you may maintain a connection if you’re doing yard work or taking out the trash. But once you get far beyond that distance, you will likely disconnect.

How Far Can I Go from My Phone Using Airpods?

Now here we come to an interesting question—how far can you go from your phone when you’re using Airpods? 

First, this gets influenced by what’s between you and your phone. You might only be five feet from your phone in terms of real distance, but if there’s a lead wall between you and your phone within those five feet, you likely won’t be getting much connection at all. Bluetooth works best when there are no material obstructions between the two devices.

But if you aren’t dealing with obstructions, most Airpods will be able to connect between 30-60 feet or 10-18 meters. Again, environmental factors can change this, though.

What Are the Key Features of Airpods?

Airpods are an incredible achievement in hearable technology. In their newest generation, Apple has also brought them to the next level of innovation, with some of the following features wowing customers of all stripes:

Wind Protection

Ever tried to talk on the phone with someone who’s in the middle of a windy day? It’s a terrible experience, as the wind ends up being incredibly loud in the microphone and drowns out what the person has to say. 

There’s good news, though—3rd generation Airpods are outfitted with special mesh protectors that minimize wind noise. So no matter how windy it is outside, you can still have a productive conversation through your Airpods.

Heightened Bass

The 3rd generation Airpods come with custom amplifiers for their most detailed sound quality yet. This works especially well with bass sounds that are notoriously under-communicated in headphones usually.

Water Protection

Airpods are also protected from water. Whether you’re putting them through a downpour or a challenging workout, you won’t need to worry about the water damaging them.

Listening Time

These Bluetooth headphones also offer the most listening time of any of Apple’s in-ear hearable technology. With one charge, you can listen to up to six hours of audio on the 3rd generation Airpods. 

But even beyond that, your Airpod carrying case has up to 30 hours of power to recharge the device. You can charge your headphones for five minutes to receive about an hour of listening time.

Apple-exclusive Features

Even though AirPods are usable with any kind of device that is Bluetooth enabled, you gain access to special Airpods features if you’re using them with Apple devices.

Audio Switching

One of the Airpods’ nicest features is its seamless audio switching. While you cannot connect to more than one device at a time, you can seamlessly switch between two Apple audio sources. 

If you set it up in the right way, you can ensure that if you’re watching a movie on your iPad, your audio will switch to your phone when you receive a phone call there.

Enhanced “Find My”

There is one objection that many people have to buying Airpods: what if I lose them? This is a really common problem, but no need to fear. If you have another Apple device, Airpods come with an enhanced version of Apple’s popular “Find My” feature, where you can use a different device to find a lost one.

Other features

That’s not all the Airpods have to offer! They contain a high-quality microphone that’s excellent for phone calls and voice messages. Also, they make a clear noise when they’re at low battery, so you don’t need to worry about them running out of battery without you noticing.


Airpods are one of the best pieces of wireless, hearable technology on the market these days—and you do not need a phone to use them. You don’t even need to be right next to your phone, though you will almost certainly need to be within 30-60 feet of it.

I hope that takes care of your questions—if it doesn’t, feel free to check out my other pieces on headphones.

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