How to Use Earbuds for Phone Calls?

How to Use Earbuds for Phone Calls? When you use earbuds for phone calls, you free up your hands for more important tasks that demand your attention.

Key takeaway

Connect or pair your earbuds first before using them for phone calls. In order to answer a call, push the button on the earbuds. Others may have a remote control with a call button to answer incoming calls, while some earbuds may only have a microphone and volume controls. Apple AirPods Pro 2, Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, Earfun Air S, Sony WH-1000XM5, and Google Pixel Buds 2 are some of the popular earbuds for making phone conversations. Other features included in certain earphones include touch controls for calling and voice assistant capabilities.

For example, if you're at work, you could be looking things up online, filing papers, or doing other things while conversing. In your car? That's a no-brainer—just it's safer to drive with your hands free.


How to Use Earbuds for Phone Calls?
How to Use Earbuds for Phone Calls

And, while most cars now have built-in Bluetooth that allows you to play phone calls through the car's audio speakers, you may not want to share your call with the entire carload. Maybe you have some sensitive business to discuss. Maybe you don't like the echoes or the sensation of being surrounded by someone speaking to you through the car speakers. Earbuds are a great option in either case.

Hands-free technology is a valuable asset that has become a part of most people's daily lives, both personally and professionally. With wireless technologies like Bluetooth and the innovative ways smartphones are becoming a part of everyday life, this article may appear to be “too much, too late” for many.

But, if you're like many people, you've yet to master the art of hands-free communication. You haven't upgraded because you're concerned about the quality of your calls, security, or hearing, or even because you don't believe you need earbuds or headphones to go with your smartphone. But now is a better time than ever before.

The caveat, of course, is that wearing headphones or earbuds in both ears while driving is not safe, and may be illegal in some states. You won't be able to hear traffic, and you might be distracted by something else, making your driving less safe. If you're going to use earbuds in the car to make phone calls, we recommend keeping one ear on the call and the other on the road.

Now it's time to get back to answering calls with these precious little gems. Spoiler alert: it's a lot simpler than most people believe.

Do you need special earbuds for Phone Calls?

Most people's first question is usually this. Fortunately, almost every pair of headphones or earbuds manufactured today includes a microphone and some form of volume control. Although audio headphones are still unable to answer phone calls, there is a thriving market for Bluetooth and wired earbuds that can be used with any smartphone or tablet.

This includes the ability to accept and make phone calls. If you are less picky, you can simply find a pair of earbuds with the features you desire and begin using them. If you're concerned about fit, features, or other aspects, you'll need to do a little more research.

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Consider how the earbuds will fit and feel—this is often difficult to tell from the packaging, but if you have smaller ears, for example, you may want smaller buds. There are also plastic earbuds and softer earpieces for a more comfortable fit in your ear. Of course, you'll have a plethora of color options.

If your phone is one of the most recent models that lacks an audio jack (hello, iPhone), you'll be forced to use wireless earbuds to make and receive calls. Fortunately, there are as many styles available today as there are wired earbuds. This includes models that are not prohibitively expensive.

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How much should I spend on a good pair of earbuds?

Speaking of costs, many people wonder how much they will need to spend to get a good pair of quality earbuds. Fortunately, thanks to the aforementioned growing market of brands and styles to choose from, the answer is fairly flexible. While AirPods are still available for $80, $100, and up to $200, there are several other brands available today.

Other brands now sell wireless earbuds for as little as $15-$20, with many of the same features and qualities as the more expensive Apple version. This is a welcome relief for those who do not own an iPhone. You can spend as much (or as little) money on earbuds as you want. Remember, it's to help you make and take business calls, so it's an investment worth making if you find something you like at a higher price point.

If not, there's no shame in locating a good pair of $20 earbuds that will meet all of your wireless and hands-free calling requirements. In that case, if you decide after a few weeks that you are unhappy with the quality, you can exchange them or simply buy new ones without losing a lot of money. Even better, if you misplace one of your earbuds (the most common issue with these wireless tech gadgets), you'll only be out a few dollars, not hundreds.

Answering the call: your options

How do you answer a phone call with earbuds? The obvious option is to pick up your phone, swipe or tap to answer the call, and then talk through the earbuds. While that is an option, most people want to be able to make and receive calls while their phone is in their pocket, on the dashboard, or on the desk.

You have two basic options here. You're already ahead of the competition if you have instructions with your earbuds. If the manufacturer isn't doing you any favors, or if you've misunderstood the instructions, we've got you covered. We'll go over the most common ways to answer calls so you can get the most out of your earbuds.

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Earbuds for Phone Calls

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Option one: follow the manufacturer’s instructions

If you purchased earbuds, they should have come with instructions. These will include instructions for using, storing, and charging the earbuds. Connectivity should be addressed, which typically entails pairing the earbuds with your smartphone. Then, while you're on the go, you can use the earbuds' buttons and functions to answer and make calls.

Because there are so many different products, brands, and styles to choose from nowadays, some people end up with a discount product (or even a big name brand, in some cases) with inadequate instructions. If this is the case, you can proceed to option two, which essentially tells you what almost every manufacturer will recommend in their instructions.

If you've followed your manufacturer's instructions to the letter and you're still having trouble making or receiving calls, you should contact them to discuss the problem. Their technical support team can determine whether there is a solution or whether you need to exchange your product for one that isn't defective.

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Earbuds for Phone Calls

Option two: generic answering tips and instructions 

You're not out of luck if you don't have the manufacturer's instructions or if they aren't clear in helping you learn how to make calls. We can offer general insight and advice, regardless of the brand or style of earbuds you're using to take and make calls via Bluetooth or wireless technology. Here's what you should do.

Connect your earbuds. When you first receive your earbuds, make sure they are charged and turned on (if using wireless). If you have wired headphones, simply plug them in.

Wireless pairing is accomplished by selecting the Bluetooth option on your smartphone, finding the headphones in the list, and then selecting them to activate. To complete this task, you may also need to press the “pair” button on your headphones. Again, when possible, follow the manufacturer's instructions, but they're all fairly similar.

You should be good to go once your earbuds are paired or plugged in. When a call comes in, you can answer it by pressing a button on the earbuds. This will connect the call and allow you to talk without having to physically hold your phone. In general, you can end the call in the same manner, or by allowing the other party to hang up first.

Some earbuds include buttons for putting calls on hold or switching between calls. Check for volume controls and a physical “Mute” button, as these features may be useful. You can do a lot more than just answer calls with your earbuds, so keep that in mind as well.

Making calls and other functions

Of course, you can listen to music with these earbuds. In most cases, this is self-evident. Earbuds can also be used to make calls, send texts, and do other things. If you have a smartphone with a voice assistant, such as Siri or Samsung's Bixby, simply activate the earbuds and tell your phone what you want to do:

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“Please contact Joe Smith.”

“Please text Mom.”

“Send Jeff an email about the sales conference.”

Your device may even be able to type out the email or text you want to send and then read it back to you verbatim so you can double-check the details before sending it. And all of this can be accomplished with no hands.

Wired vs. wireless earbuds

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Wired vs. wireless earbuds

Although wireless earbuds have grown in popularity, they are not for everyone. They each have advantages and disadvantages, which leads many people to wonder whether they should use wireless or wired earbuds for calling. In the end, it's less about whether or not they have a cord and more about the quality and features they provide.

That is, unless you are concerned about losing the wireless buds, in which case the wire makes all the difference. Otherwise, think about things like audio quality, buttons and features for making calls and listening to music, and so on. The wire limits wired headphones, but some people don't mind. Wireless earbuds, on the other hand, provide:

  • Freedom of mobility
  • Compatibility with later model devices
  • Better sound quality
  • Premium features and functions

While they are slightly more expensive and must be charged on a regular basis, these are minor issues at this time. After all, you can charge these buds in minutes and they have an impressive amount of talk time and storage. The final decision will be yours, but the market is shifting toward wireless technology. It may be time to bite the bullet and jump on board so that you can get the most out of your handsfree communications in the future.

FAQs How to Use Earbuds for Phone Calls

How do you make a phone call while wearing earbuds?

To make a phone call while wearing earbuds, you can use a voice assistant to initiate the call. For Apple AirPods (1st or 2nd generation), double-tap either of your AirPods to answer a call. For Google Pixel Buds, touch and hold the right earbud to talk to your Assistant and tell it who you want to call.

Do wireless earbuds have a microphone?

When using true wireless earbuds, the microphone is usually placed in the right earpiece. If it is just a wireless earbud, the microphone is located in the mini case that is placed in the wire that connects the right earpiece to the left earpiece; this is referred to as in-line

How do you make a phone call with Bluetooth earbuds?

To make a phone call with Bluetooth earbuds, first connect the headset to a smartphone or mobile phone that supports the Bluetooth profile HFP (Hands-free Profile) or HSP (Headset Profile). Then, operate the smartphone or mobile phone to make a call. When making a call, the dial tone will be heard from the headset. If no dial tone is heard via the headset, switch the call device to the headset using your smartphone or mobile phone or by holding the button down for about 2 seconds.

Trina Oralde

I'm a tech writer and contributor who covers the latest in gadgets and technology. I keep my finger on the pulse of the tech world, so you don't have to. Stay up-to-date on the latest with me!


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