Apple Airpods microphone is not working with Windows 10

Kyle Santos
Kyle Santos used Ask the Experts™
on
Apple Airpods microphone is not working with Windows 10 Pro.

Screenshot_3.png
After some research I found this response saying the microphone will not work.  This is from two years ago.  https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7895762

Are there any new updates that will allow me to use my Airpods microphone on Windows 10?  

Why do I need this ability?
I use Slack, Skype, Zoom daily and this would be nice to use and not have to resort to plugging in my earbuds to use those apps just so the microphone works.

Additional info:
When I use my Airpods with Zoom I've noticed that I can hear everyone talking through the Airpods, but I believe my laptop mic is still the one being used when I talk.  This is fine.  I can hear people talking in the Airpods and I can still use the laptop microphone.

When I use my Airpods with Slack or Skype I've noticed that as soon as I join a call all audio/mic is killed on the Airpods and I have to stop using the Airpods and plug in my earbuds to be able to talk/hear others on a call.  It would be awesome if Slack and Skype would allow me to do the same as I do with Zoom!

Eg Slack interface when I make or receive a phone call > Settings

No matter what option I choose here in the drop down I cannot get audio in the Airpods, but I have had success getting the laptop microphone to work.
Screenshot_1.png
Thank you for reading.
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
They connect by Bluetooth.  Have you successfully paired them?

https://www.windowscentral.com/do-apple-airpods-work-windows-10-pcs
bbaoIT Consultant

Commented:
i use AirPods everyday and it works with my Windows 10 laptops.

what's your AirPods generation?
NoahHardware Tester and Debugger

Commented:
Hi there! :)

Previously, I have found a simple solution. The possible solution to fixing this is you need to set the device (Air Pods) as your default sound output device when you are using it. This is of course after ensuring that you have successfully paired it via Bluetooth connection like what @John mentioned.

Please refer to the instructions below on how to change the default speaker settings to you Air Pods.

Reference: https://www.plantronics.com/ro/ro/support/knowledge-base/kb-article-page?type=How_To__kav&lang=en_US&urlName=Computer-Headsets-How-to-Set-the-Headset-as-the-Default-Audio-Device&t=All&k=.Audio%2520326

Capture.JPG
How to Generate Services Revenue the Easiest Way

This Tuesday! Learn key insights about modern cyber protection services & gain practical strategies to skyrocket business:

- What it takes to build a cloud service portfolio
- How to determine which services will help your unique business grow
- Various use-cases and examples

Kyle SantosSoftware Test Analyst I at Dassault Systemes

Author

Commented:
@john, yep via https://www.imore.com/how-pair-your-airpods-apple-tv-android-and-other-bluetooth-devices  I definitely get audio in the Airpods.  The microphone is not working.

@bbao, do you use Slack, Zoom and or Skype?  Your Airpods microphone works with those apps?  I'm 99% sure my Airpods are 2nd gen; I bought them a month ago.

@noah, I spent about a two hours yesterday messing around with those Sound settings.  I'll try following those directions specifically, although I think I've already done that.
Kyle SantosSoftware Test Analyst I at Dassault Systemes

Author

Commented:
Playback: In this picture I have a device set as default and I get audio.

Screenshot_1.png
Recording: In this picture I have a device set as Default (Airpods).  I test this but the microphone is not working.  The 'Microphone Array' is still acting like the microphone and that little bar on the right is still registering sounds when I talk (the laptop is probably doing this.)

Screenshot_2.png
When I make a call to someone on Slack the audio and microphone are instantly killed and I can't hear anyone and no one can hear me.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Check in Device Manager under Audio Input Controls if the Microphone device is working correctly
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Microphone is connected to audio, so you might try upgrading / reinstalling the Audio Driver.
Kyle SantosSoftware Test Analyst I at Dassault Systemes

Author

Commented:
@john

What do you make of this?  I've uninstalled both 'head set' options, scanned for hardware changes, then both of them came right back.

Screenshot_3.png
Also, I just discovered something.  If I'm on the Playback tab, start playing music, then tab over to Recording tab, the audio is cut off and won't re-enable until I start another song.  I also have to tab back over to Playback to get the audio working again.  But tabbing over to the Recording tab appears to be preventing audio on the Airpods.
Kyle SantosSoftware Test Analyst I at Dassault Systemes

Author

Commented:
I also right clicked both those headset options and updated driver and Windows said I have the latest drivers.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Does all this work with Regular Ear Buds?  May be that the driver is not compatible with the Apple ear buds
Kyle SantosSoftware Test Analyst I at Dassault Systemes

Author

Commented:
Yes, the earbuds audio work, but I believe when I'm using the earbuds the laptop mic is still the default device.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
That appears to be a driver issue, but you have the most recent driver.

Go to Device Manage and try updating both Audio and Microphone in device manager
Kyle SantosSoftware Test Analyst I at Dassault Systemes

Author

Commented:
Here is what happens when I put the Airpods away and plug in the earbuds.

Screenshot_4.png
Screenshot_5.png
Audio remains uninterrupted.  I don't know how to test if the mic works on the earbuds though...
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
It appears to me that the audio / microphone driver has some limitations.

I am not clear.  If you move the Apple ear buds away and use wired ear buds, does the system work properly?
Kyle SantosSoftware Test Analyst I at Dassault Systemes

Author

Commented:
I right clicked and updated the following:

Screenshot_6.png
Screenshot_7.png
Screenshot_8.png
Screenshot_9.png
Kyle SantosSoftware Test Analyst I at Dassault Systemes

Author

Commented:
If you move the Apple ear buds away and use wired ear buds, does the system work properly?
Audio works, yes.  I do not believe the microphone on the earbuds is working.  The laptop microphone appears to still take precedent.
Business Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
So either the driver is not compatible,  or

The Apple Ear Bud microphone does not work. Test on your iPhone.
Kyle SantosSoftware Test Analyst I at Dassault Systemes

Author

Commented:
Note: I read this just now.  It was helpful to learn more about the Airpods and what they're capable of doing.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2017/12/28/airpods-tips-tricks/#3c0360a64b29

@john, good idea I'll disconnect them from the laptop and test them using my iPhone 8.  I'll report back how that goes.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Please keep us posted
Kyle SantosSoftware Test Analyst I at Dassault Systemes

Author

Commented:
I removed the Airpods from the laptop.  I connected the Airpods to my iPhone 8.  

I called a friend with the normal phone app, put the phone in another room and walked to a different room.  They could hear me and I could hear them.

I called a coworker via Slack app on the iPhone 8 and was able to put my phone in one room, walk to another room and they could hear my voice, but I could not hear them.  We hung up and I called them again and the second time I could hear them and they could hear me.  The first call must have been a fluke because the second call worked just fine.  Ha!

Now what should I try?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
So I think all the above means the Apple Ear Buds / Microphone work fine with the iPhone and there is no hardware issue.
 (the second call worked just fine)

So then back to the computer, it must be a driver incompatibility. Until an update comes along, you are destined to use your regular ear buds.
Kyle SantosSoftware Test Analyst I at Dassault Systemes

Author

Commented:
I'm afraid you're probably right that there hasn't been an update to address this yet, even after two years. :(

I'm going to run some more tests with Skype and Zoom on my iPhone 8.  Then I will move to the laptop again, re-sync the Airpods with the laptop and run individual tests with Slack, Zoom and Skype.

Thanks, John.
bbaoIT Consultant

Commented:
@kyle my AirPods works with Skype on PC, Mac and iPhone. mine is generation one. technically, as long as you can see the device is listed under Skype audio settings, you can  use it.
Kyle SantosSoftware Test Analyst I at Dassault Systemes

Author

Commented:
@bbao, good to know.  I'll look for that when I test Skype out again.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Remember the other user is using a different workstation and so likely driver as well. See what happens
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Thank you Kyle and I was happy to help

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial