Since its release in 2016, tens of millions of people around the world have purchased AirPods. Go to any public place, and you’re sure to see countless people wearing them. They are by far the most popular truly wireless earphones.
But are AirPods waterproof? Apple does not claim that AirPods are either waterproof or water-resistant. With that said, things are a little greyer than that.
In this guide, we’ll help you understand the environments you can safely use AirPods in and the ones you shouldn’t. In the end, we’ll also provide a few suggestions for wireless earphones that are better suited to stand up against water and moisture.
Before We Get Started
AirPods are among the most expensive wireless earphones. So, take anything you read here with a grain of salt. You should know that even earphones rated waterproof may not actually stand up very well against submersion or long-time exposure to moisture.
Think of them as an extension of your iPhone. Your iPhone may be moderately water-resistant, but there’s no reason to take it swimming in the ocean—unless you have a specially designed case.
AirPods 1 vs. AirPods 2 vs. AirPods Pro
Both the 1st and 2nd generation AirPods are neither waterproof nor water-resistant. This means they are not intended to withstand either submersion or even splashes of water.
On the other hand, the AirPods Pro are sweat and water-resistant. They have an IPX4 rating. This means that water splashes or sweat won’t damage them. But they aren’t meant for submersion.
Now we’ll run you through some everyday situations to help you get a better understanding. Since AirPods 1 and 2 have the same rating, we’ll group them together.
Note: The charging case for either the AirPods or AirPods Pro is not water-resistant or waterproof. The same is also true for the majority of other brands as well.
What if My AirPods Get Sweaty?
Apple has shown people exercising with AirPods. A little sweat likely won’t damage them. But keep a towel handy to prevent excess moisture.
Sweat is fine for AirPods Pro.
Can I Wear Them in the Rain, Shower, etc.?
There’s a big difference between a drizzle and torrential downpour. If you forget for a minute or two you AirPods are on in the shower, they should be okay though you shouldn’t make a habit out of this.
AirPods Pro should be fine in the rain, but you should avoid showering with them.
Can I Swim or Dive With Them?
Absolutely not in either case. Likewise, even with AirPods Pro, you should avoid the following:
- Wearing in a sauna or steam room
- Using while playing water sports
- Placing them under running water for extended periods of time.
Can I Make AirPods Waterproof?
You can, but do so at your own risk. Some people use a shower cap or swimming hat that covers their ears and blocks water. This might work in the shower, but if you’re a power swimmer, you may dislodge the earphones and send the sinking to a watery grave.
How Can I Check for Water Damage?
Like most products that Apple has released since 2006, the AirPods have a liquid contact indicator (LCI). You can check this to see if they have suffered water damage or not.
What if My AirPods Get Wet?
If you sent you AirPods through the washer or they fell into the toilet, you don’t need to panic just yet. Plenty of users have reported a full recovery. Follow these steps:
- Gently dry your AirPods with a microfiber cloth
- Move as little as possible. You don’t want moisture to spread around the insides and damage internal components.
- Allow AirPods to dry entirely. Do not try to use your AirPods or place them in a charging case. Find a dry area and place a desiccant on top of your Air Pod. Wait a minimum of 24 hours—longer is better.
If a different liquid like coffee, soap, shampoo, or anything else has soaked your AirPods, clean them by following these steps:
- Use a microfiber cloth to remove excess moisture gently. Then lightly dampen a cloth with distilled water and clean using the cloth.
- Leave them to dry for 24 hours or more. Place a desiccant on top of them if you have available.
- Do not use it until it is entirely dry.
Are There Any Actually Waterproof Alternatives to AirPods
There is now a large number of water-resistant and waterproof wireless earphones on the market. And many of them are even cheaper than the original AirPods.
Here are three options worth looking into:
1) Best Overall: EarFun Free 5.0 Earbuds with Qi Wireless Charging Case
Ranked by CNET as the “Best Wireless Earbuds of 2019,” these earbuds have an IPX7 rating. This means they’re up for any type of exercise. EarFun claims you can even take them surfing. You might not want to do that, but they should be able to handle everything up to total submersion. That’s because their internal components are sealed to block water.
The earbuds sound great, work with “Hey Siri,” and come with a case that gives them up to 60 hours of battery life.
If you’re looking for the best overall value, then this is an excellent option for you.
2) Even more water-resistant: Beacon Pet IP68
Still much cheaper than original Airpods, the Beacon Pet Earbuds offer supper water and dust protection. They can withstand perspiration and take submersions of up to 3 meters for 120 meters. The case is even splash-proof!
But you do have to remember that they cannot receive Bluetooth signals underwater so that you may want a standalone MP3 Player instead.
3) For Swimmers Only: Delphin Waterproof Micro Tablet
If you really want something you can use underwater, then this the product for you. The Delphin Micro Tablet is compatible with a range of music apps and can be fully submerged. It comes in 8 or 16 GB, but you won’t have true wireless earbuds.
The Micro Tablet attaches to your swim cap, and the earphones then connect via small wires. It’s not clunky but definitely not as sleek as earbuds.
Bottom Line: Are AirPods Waterproof?
The bottom line is that AirPods are not waterproof. AirPods Pro are water-resistant, but there are plenty of other products on the market that are not only cheaper but much better equipped to handle water and moisture.
With Apple, you generally pay more for quality, but unless you’re a die-hard Apple fanatic, you’ll be much better off going with one of these options instead of overpaying for AirPods.
Visit the Buyback Boss Blog to learn more about AirPods, iPhones, the Apple Watch, and more. Click here to troubleshoot connectivity issues with AirPods. And get a better understanding of how waterproof the Apple Watch is here. Discover all things Apple on our blog now!