How To Use Earbuds with iPhone? (Quick Guide)

Yes! You can use other earbuds other than the AirPods with an iPhone. Here, you'll know how to connect different types of wired and wireless earbuds with an iPhone instantly.

Are you wondering how to use earbuds with iPhone? If yes, you’ve landed on the right page.

Not everyone can afford Apple AirPods after purchasing an iPhone. More importantly, numerous value-for-money earbuds from other brands cost ¼th the price of Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro.

In this article, I’ve listed numerous methods to connect any type of wired or wireless earbuds with an iPhone.

How To Use Earbuds with iPhone?


For wireless earbuds, first put the earbuds and iPhone into pairing mode. Next, navigate to Settings > Bluetooth on your iPhone and select your earbuds from the list of available devices. For wired earbuds, you can connect them to an iPhone by using a 3.5mm to Lightning port adapter or 3.5mm to USB-C for iPhone 15.

Wired Earbuds

Earbuds with 3.5mm Headphone Jack

Apple started using the Lightning port from the iPhone 5 and phased it approximately 10 years later with the iPhone 14.

lightning to 3.5mm connector

To connect your earbuds with a 3.5mm headphone jack with your iPhone, you’ll need a Lightning to 3.5mm jack (female) adapter.

For a few years, Apple provided the adapter within an iPhone box. Now, you must purchase one aftermarket or from Apple’s official website.

Earbuds with Lightning Connector (Earpods)

Apple wired earbuds, also known as Earpods, were provided as an accessory with the box up to iPhone 11.

Apple Earpods with lightning connector

The Apple Earpods have a lightning connector that can directly connect your iPhone and iPad without any adapter.

Apple still sells the Earpods with a lightning connector for less than $20.

Earbuds with USB-C Port

With the launch of the iPhone 15, Apple completely phased out the lightning connector thanks to a mandate from the European Union. Apple was forced to adopt a universal port, i.e., the USB-C port.

USB C Earbuds
USB-C Wired Earbuds are compatible with iPhone 15

Suppose you want to use wired earbuds (with a 3.5mm headphone jack) with the iPhone 15. In that case, you must purchase a USB-C to 3.5mm jack (female) adapter.

Otherwise, you can purchase wired earbuds with a USB-C connector and connect it directly to your iPhone 15 without needing an adapter.

Wireless Earbuds

AirPods and AirPods Pro

Apple has made connecting AirPods and AirPods Pro within an iPhone extremely smooth.

apple airpods pro

To connect them, use the following steps:

  1. Enable Bluetooth – Turn on the Bluetooth of your iPhone by navigating to Settings > Bluetooth
  2. Keep the Airpods near your iPhone – In the next step, keep your Airpods near your iPhone and open the case. Make sure the Airpods have ample charging.
  3. Connect the Devices – Once you open the case, you’ll instantly notice a pairing animation on your iPhone. Tap the ‘Connect’ button to successfully pair and use the AirPods with your iPhone.

If it’s your first time pairing an Airpods with your iPhone. In that case, Apple will guide you through other options like Siri setup, spatial audio (Airpods Pro), and a few others, depending on the Airpods model and generation.

TWS Earbuds

If you don’t prefer spending hundreds of dollars on Airpods or AirPods Pro. In that case, you can pick TWS earbuds from brands like Soundcore, Sony, JBL, etc.

Similar to the Airpods, connecting wireless earbuds from other brands with iPhone is straightforward.

Here’s how to connect your wireless earbuds and use it with your iPhone:

  1. Enable Bluetooth – Navigate to Settings > Bluetooth and turn on the Bluetooth feature on your iPhone
  2. Put Earbuds in Pairing Mode – Depending on the earbuds model or the brand, the pairing process varies. With some earbud models, you must remove the earbuds from the charging case to initiate the pairing process. For others, you must press the pairing button on the back of the earbuds’ charging case. Refer to the earbuds’ instruction manual and look for the pairing process.
  3. Connect Earbuds – Once you begin pairing, look for your earbuds’ name inside the Bluetooth settings. Tap the earbuds’ model name to connect the wireless earbuds to your iPhone.

Using Earbuds’ Media Controls with iPhone

Airpods and AirPods Pro have touch-based media controls located at the Airpods’ stem.

However, I cannot say the same about wireless earbuds from other brands. Some earbuds have multifunctional buttons, whereas others use capacitive touch-based controls.

Neckband Earbuds

For neckband-style earbuds, you’ll find physical buttons on the neckband.

The neckband usually has 3 buttons for volume up, volume down, and a multi-function middle button.

neckband earbuds to use with iPhone

The middle button offers multiple controls like play/pause music, receive/end calls, and summon Siri.

The volume up and down buttons also doubles up to move onto the next or previous track, respectively.

TWS Earbuds

The launch of Apple AirPods started a whole battle of TWS earbuds. Most are similar to the AirPods, while others have a teardrop shape design.

TWS earbuds either have physical or capacitive-touch buttons on the outside.

Cheaper TWS earbuds offer basic functionalities like:

  • Volume up/down
  • Song play/pause
  • Receive/end calls
  • Summon the smartphone assistant

In comparison, premium TWS earbuds come with an app through which you can change the functionality of each button.

TWS Earbuds Design Google Pixel Earbuds
You can control the Pixel Buds by tapping on the G area

Generally, you can set what the earbuds do after a single, double, or triple tap. You can also summon Siri with a long tap.

The app also offers additional features like battery display, equalizer settings, track earbuds, ANC settings (if available), media controls, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use non-Apple Earbuds with my iPhone?

Yes, you can use non-Apple earbuds with your iPhone using Bluetooth. It works similarly when connecting your non-Apple earbuds with other smartphones, tablets, and laptops. However, some features may or may not work due to OS restrictions.

How to control my earbuds’ volume and playback with an iPhone?

Wireless earbuds have touch controls or physical buttons for media control. You can refer the earbuds’ instruction manual and look for media controls.

How to use Siri on my earbuds with an iPhone?

If your earbuds support voice assistants, you can easily set it up during the initial pairing process. For most earbuds, you’ll have to touch and hold the control button to wake up Siri on your iPhone.


I hope this article helped you learn about how to use earbuds with an iPhone.

As you’ve seen above, it isn’t very complicated if you know a few basics.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.

Yash Lizz
Yash Lizz
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