In 2019, Apple sold more than 60 million AirPods dominating more than 50% of the wireless earphone market. AirPods are sleek, sporty, and sound great. But they aren’t cheap. AirPods retail at $159 while AirPods Pro will set you back $249.
Losing your AirPods is no joke. But before you give up, try out these strategies that should help you recover your pair in no time.
Keep in Mind
If you have AppleCare+ for your AirPods, it doesn’t cover theft or loss. The same also goes with SquareTrade or other types of warranties.
Cost to replace AirPods:
- 1 earbud: $69
- Charging case: $79
How to Find Lost AirPods Using Tracking App
Apple planned that some people might lose track of where their AirPods are. Fortunately, since your AirPods regularly sync with your iPhone or other iOS devices, you can find lost AirPods with Apple’s tracking map.
Using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch:
- Open the Find My iPhone app
- Sign in with your Apple ID and password
- Select your AirPods
Using a macOS Device:
- Sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID
- Click Find iPhone
- Select All Devices
- Choose your AirPods
After you do this, a map will appear that shows the approximate location of your AirPods. If they are powered on, you’ll see a green dot on the map. If they are out of range, powered off, or out of battery, you’ll see a gray dot.
If you see the green dot, you can use the app to have the AirPods play a sound. You can also select o to mute either the left or right earbud if you just need to find one at a time.
If the dot is gray, you’ll have to their last online location and hope you can find your buds the old-fashioned way.
What Else You Can Do to Find Lost AirPods
Losing AirPods is just like losing anything else. Retrace your steps, check your bags, and look behind mattresses and couches.
With AirPods, you have a better shot of finding them sooner than later. And it’s not just because they’re expensive and someone might want to walk off with them, but you can use the tricks above to find them much easier.
Be sure to check your settings to see if you’re still connected to your AirPods. If you are, that means you should be at most within 30-40 feet of them.
What Happens if Someone Steals My AirPods?
Unlike your iPhone or other iOS devices, there’s no theft/loss protection on AirPods. Whoever has them can reset one or both of them and pair the AirPods to their device. They can do this even if you have to Find My enabled. In fact, once they are paired to the new owner, you’ll no longer be able to send an alert or track them anymore.
My AirPods are Totally Gone. What Should I Do?
If you cannot find your AirPods either through Find My AirPods or old school methods, Apple does have a replacement program at the prices listed above. The good news is that if you need service for either the case or AirPods, you should be covered for everything except water damage.
So, if you damaged your AirPods in a little accident, that’s good. It will also cover battery degradation over time.
But if you lost everything, the case and the AirPods, it’s actually more expensive to replace the entire set then just buying a new one.
It’s rumored Apple will release some sort of Theft/Loss protection for AirPods in the future, but that doesn’t help people right now.
How to Prevent Yourself from Losing AirPods
Aside from having a set routine “wallet, keys, iPhone, AirPods,” there are a few additional steps to prevent losing your earbuds. Keep your case and earbuds as charged as possible. In case you do accidentally misplace your AirPods, you’ll have a better chance of finding them.
Beware, that the AirPods and not the case syncs with your phone. If you lose the case, you’ll be out of luck even if you have both AirPods.
The best thing you can do is use a Bluetooth keychain tracker like Tile. You can then stick Tile onto your phone or other items to use it to find them again.
Losing AirPods is unfortunate. But there is a wide variety of wireless earbuds on the market. AirPods are neither the most affordable or best quality. There are plenty of options for between $30-100 that are not only cheaper but actually waterproof and have longer battery life than AirPods.
EarFun Free’s Wireless Earbuds won the top spot as CNET’s best affordable wireless earbud option. They have an excellent sound quality and cost only $50. And they work in more rugged environments including in the shower than even the $249 AirPods Pro. As with AirPods, you don’t have much protection if you lose them, but it will be much easier to replace an entire set at just $50.
How to Find Lost AirPods
AirPods are a heft investment for earphones. Fortunately, Apple has built-in tools to make it easy to locate them should you misplace your AirPods in some way. If this doesn’t work, you can always check to see if they are still paired with a phone or going old school by retracing your steps to try to find them.
To prevent losing AirPods, be sure to keep them charged up, so it’s easier to know their current location. Likewise, you may want to consider investing in Bluetooth keychain tools like Tile you can attach on to them to find them easily.
Finally, though AirPods may be trendy, there are plenty of other great products on the market at a fraction of the cost. It’s worth looking into them even if you keep them around as a backup pair to use when you’re going to the beach or other tips. This way, it’s not such a big deal in case you lose them.
There’s more about AirPods on the Buyback Boss Blog. Click here to learn about whether AirPods are waterproof or not. In this guide, we dive into whether you can use AirPods on Android devices. Finally, we’ve troubleshot all kinds of AirPods and other Apple product issues there too. Click here to learn what to do if you’re having problems syncing your AirPods to your phone.