Do Sony Earbuds Work With iPad?

It might seem these days that a lot of the accessories you get for your electronic devices aren’t compatible for one reason or another. Either they aren’t detected, don’t have the right input or cable, or break and stop working quickly after original use. This makes it important to know if your devices are compatible before buying rather than after. 

So, do Sony earbuds work with iPad

Yes, Sony earbuds do work with iPads. They can either work via Bluetooth or lightning cable (or lightning adapter, also known as a dongle). This means that even though your Sony earbuds might not have a cable at all (or have a more old-school aux cable), they can still be used with an iPad, provided you have the right adapter. 

But is it really that simple? Do Sony earbuds always work with your iPad? What do you need to look out for when attempting to link your earbuds to your iPad? Read on to find out everything you need to know about whether or not your Sony earbuds work with an iPad!

Linking via Bluetooth

Nowadays, many pairs of earbuds are cable-free. This means that the only way they can be connected is via Bluetooth. This is a perfect solution for iPad users, as iPads also have Bluetooth capability. In order to link your earbuds to your iPad, follow the following steps. 

First, make sure that the Bluetooth on your iPad is on. This will allow your device to find and connect to your earbuds, allowing you to listen wirelessly. This is the way that most devices work now, so it should go off without a hitch. 

Make sure that you first turn on the Bluetooth on the iPad. Then, activate the Bluetooth on your headphones. Usually, this will result in a blinking blue light, alerting you that your device is ready to pair.

Once this light is blinking, go into the Bluetooth settings on your iPad (in Settings>Bluetooth), and select the device you’re trying to pair. After a few seconds, it should pair up and be ready to roll!

Linking via Lightning Cable

If your Sony headphones have a lightning cable, then hooking them up to your iPad is as simple as can be. The lightning cable is the sort of square-ish looking cable that charges your iPad and is standard on all Apple headphones now. It is fairly recognizable.

There are very few non-Apple headphones that are equipped with a lightning cable, but if yours is, then you’re in luck because it will be very easy to simply plug in and use. 

It’s not very often that Sony brand (or any non-Apple brand) of earbuds has a lightning cable attached to it. You can find them sold online or in electronic stores but beware. Often, they are still not detectable by Apple products. 

So what can you do if you don’t want to trust a non-Apple pair of earbuds with a lightning cable, but you don’t have Bluetooth either? Well, the dongle is a great solution. 

Using a Dongle

If your Sony earbuds have an AUX input (the standard 3.5mm headphone jack), then all is not lost either. You won’t be able to plug directly into the iPad (unless you have a very old model), but you can buy a lightning cable adapter. This is an adapter that is a 3.5mm jack on one end, and the iPad/iPhone lightning input on the other.

This is commonly known as a dongle. These adapters are sold in almost any electronic store and simply turn an AUX input that most headphones use into the lightning cable that the iPhone and iPad are compatible with. 

The only real downside to the dongle is that it is easy to lose. Make sure that it stays connected to your headphones if you want to ensure it doesn’t get lost! They are also a bit flimsy, so make sure you are careful with how they are used, bent, stored, etc.  

Non-Sony Earbuds

What about non-sony earbuds? Are all headphones compatible with an iPad ? Well, if they have an aux cable and you have a dongle, they have a lightning connection, or they are connectable with other devices via Bluetooth, then you should be able to, in theory, connect them to your iPad. 

Oftentimes, however, off-brand equipment will either break quickly, or be undetectable by some Apple products, and therefore be unable to use. 


There are a few reasons why your headphones might not be working the way you intended them to. Firstly, if they have a lightning cable, they may be undetectable by Apple products, as they aren’t Apple brand. This can be very frustrating, and usually only happens to cheaper brands rather than a pair of Sony headphones. If this is the case, you probably will need to use a different pair. 

Secondly, if you’re using a Dongle, it could be broken. The dongle is a pretty sure bet most of the time, so if that isn’t working, you can be pretty certain the wires in the headphones or in the dongle have disconnected somewhere along the line.

You can buy a new pair (or dongle), or you can open them up and attempt to solder them together. It depends on how expensive the earbuds were, and how willing you are to put the effort in to fix them. 

Lastly, if you’re like most people and have a pair with Bluetooth, it could be that the Bluetooth connection on either one of the two devices is malfunctioning or broken. DOn’t jump right to this conclusion though. 

If the headphones are not pairing immediately, check to make sure they are in pairing mode first. Many Bluetooth earbuds have a pairing mode that needs to be turned on before you pair them to the iPad or other device. This is mostly so that they aren’t constantly trying to pair with any active Bluetooth devices. 

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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