AppleCare+ for AirPods: Is It Worth It?

AppleCare+ Support Page for AirPods
AppleCare+ Support Page for AirPods

Here’s a closer look at what AppleCare+ coverage includes and why it’s better than Apple’s Limited Warranty.

The Apple AirPods are more expensive than most wireless earbuds on the market. So, a protection plan is a good idea if anything bad happens to them. Fortunately, Apple products automatically come with a standard AppleCare warranty. Aside from that, you can also get extended coverage with AppleCare+.

However, not everyone is familiar with the extent of AppleCare+ coverage. So, paying an additional fee for it may be unappealing after spending $200 plus on a pair of AirPods Pro. And yes, though Apple lists the main benefits of AppleCare+ on its website, it doesn’t include important details about eligibility and pricing.

We’re here to help! This article will comprehensively explain how AppleCare+ for AirPods works for those who already have it but aren’t sure what it covers. You’ll also learn the differences between AppleCare versus AppleCare+ for those wondering if it’s worth buying.

What Is Apple’s Standard Warranty for AirPods?

Like most audio devices, the AirPods come with a standard one-year warranty, called AppleCare or the Apple One-Year Limited Warranty. It covers AirPods purchased from official and 3rd-party sources and provides the following benefits:

  • Hardware repair coverage for manufacturer defects in your AirPods and their original accessories.
  • 90 days of free tech support for basic setup, installation, assembly, and connectivity.

If you make a warranty claim, Apple can choose to do the following:

  • Repair your AirPods using new or refurbished parts free of charge.
  • Replace your defective AirPods with a brand new or refurbished pair.
  • Refund your AirPods completely.
AppleCare doesn’t cover issues caused by accidental falls, misplacement, unauthorized tampering, or unlicensed repairs. So, nope, AppleCare won’t cover lost AirPods or any user-caused damages.

What Is AppleCare+?

AppleCare+ logo (From: Apple).
AppleCare+ logo (From: Apple).

AppleCare+ for Headphones was launched in 2019 and is for those who want extended protection coverage for their Apple headphones or earbuds. In a way, it’s like a form of insurance for those who are more accident-prone than most.

How much is AppleCare+ for AirPods?

Unlike AppleCare, which comes free, you’ll need to pay US$29 (AirPods) or US$59 (AirPods Max) to get AppleCare+ perks.

AppleCare+ for Headphones currently covers the following audio devices:

So, what’s so special about AppleCare+ that we have to pay extra for it?

How AppleCare+ for AirPods Works

AirPods in washing machine as seen in the AppleCare+ promo video (From: Apple).
AirPods in washing machine as seen in the AppleCare+ promo video (From: Apple).

Aside from longer coverage, AppleCare+ for AirPods offers discounted services that can help heavy users save money in the long run. Here’s a detailed look at those services:

Extended service support

AppleCare+ for AirPods extends the AppleCare warranty service to two years. Within that time frame, you can avail of the following:

  • Hardware repair coverage for manufacturer defects and accidental damage to AirPods and their original accessories.
  • 90 days of free tech support for basic setup, installation, assembly, and connectivity.
  • 24/7 priority access to Apple-certified experts for software support (chat or phone).
  • Free battery service for batteries that retain less than 80% of their default capacity.
To clarify, the extension doesn’t mean you’re getting an additional two years of coverage outside of the Apple One-Year Limited Warranty. Instead, you’re actually only getting another year for a combined total of two years.

On the other hand, AppleCare only gives you one year of standard warranty services, minus the 24/7 priority access to Apple experts and battery service.

Accidental damages

With AppleCare+ for AirPods, you get coverage for two incidents of accidental damage every 12 months.

So, if you accidentally drop an AirPod into a boiling pot of pasta or your pet dog turns your AirPods into a chew toy – all within the span of 12 months – you’ll still be covered. In contrast, AppleCare does not cover accidental damage.

Another vital thing to remember: each accidental damage incident is subject to a service fee of US$29, plus taxes.

So, aside from the US$29 you pay upfront for AppleCare+, you’ll need to pay US$29 for any repairs or replacements. Still, it’s much cheaper than paying the full retail price for a replacement.

Unused accidental damage claims won’t carry over to the following year. Instead, they’ll expire, and you’ll get two new accidental damage incidents for the next 12 months.

Lost or stolen AirPods

Both AppleCare and AppleCare+ don’t cover lost or stolen AirPods or charging cases. So if you’ve accidentally misplaced your AirPods, you’ll have to pay a replacement fee for each one.

Here’s a summary of replacement fees for the different AirPods models and their charging cases for both AppleCare and AppleCare+:

ProductLost/Replacement Fee
AirPods (Gen 1 and 2)US$69 each
AirPods (Gen 3)US$69 each
AirPods ProUS$89 each
AirPods charging caseUS$59
AirPods wireless charging caseUS$79
AirPods MagSafe charging caseUS$79
AirPods Pro wireless charging caseUS$99
AirPods Pro MagSafe charging caseUS$99

Lost fees are subject to tax and a shipping fee of US$6.95.

Is AppleCare+ for AirPods Worth It?

Yes, AppleCare+ for AirPods is definitely worth the additional US$29, especially if you:

  • Use your AirPods everyday
  • Frequently use your AirPods outdoors when commuting or exercising
  • Own a pet that always seems to keep getting into your belongings
  • Have kids who often use or play with your AirPods

Here’s why:

Discounted repair fees

With AppleCare+, repairs for physical damage to your AirPods or charging case (whether accidental or not) will cost only US$29. That’s not bad at all.

Without AppleCare+, you’ll spend anywhere between US$69 to US$89 per AirPod. Similarly, charging case repair fees range from US$59 to US$89. So, there’s no doubt that AppleCare+ can help you save money.

For your reference, here’s a rundown of repair fees for the different AirPods models and their charging cases:

ProductAppleCare+ Repair FeeRegular/Out-of-warranty Repair Fee
AirPods (Gen 1 and 2)US$29US$69 each
AirPods (Gen 3)US$29US$69 each
AirPods ProUS$29US$89 each
AirPods MaxUS$29Ask Apple representative
AirPods charging caseUS$29US$59
AirPods wireless charging caseUS$29US$69
AirPods MagSafe charging caseUS$29US$69
AirPods Pro wireless charging caseUS$29US$89
AirPods Pro MagSafe charging caseUS$29US$89

Battery service

Another thing that makes AppleCare+ for AirPods so valuable is the battery service. The AppleCare+ guarantee will replace original batteries maintaining less than 80% of their default capacity at no additional cost. That’s a pretty good deal considering two years is typically enough time for signs of battery degradation to start showing.

That said, it’s no wonder this particular AppleCare+ guarantee is popular with AirPods users. In fact, many like to wait until the month before their AppleCare+ coverage expires before filing a claim for a battery replacement, after which you’re good for another two years.

Here’s a quick comparison of battery service fees with and without AppleCare+:

ProductAppleCare+ Battery Service FeeOut-of-warranty Battery Service Fee
AirPods (Gen 1, 2, 3, Pro)US$0US$49 each
AirPods MaxUS$0US$79
All AirPods charging casesUS$0US$49

How to Get AppleCare+ for Your AirPods

Apple Genius assisting a customer (From: Apple).
Apple Genius assisting a customer (From: Apple).

You can get AppleCare+ at the same time you buy your AirPods. You can also opt to get it later, as long as it’s within 60 days of your AirPods purchase.

Here’s how to buy AppleCare+ for AirPods:

Buy AppleCare+ via your device

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad.

    Opening iPhone settings
    Opening iPhone settings
  2. Select Bluetooth.

    Going to Bluetooth settings
    Going to Bluetooth settings
  3. Tap the icon next to your AirPods.

    AirPods Pro options
    AirPods Pro options
  4. Select Limited Warranty.

    Limited Warranty of AirPods as seen on iPhone
    Limited Warranty of AirPods as seen on iPhone
  5. Tap AppleCare+ Coverage Available. If you don’t see this option, check if your device is eligible.

Buy AppleCare+ online

Apple Support page
Apple Support page

You can buy AppleCare+ via the Apple website if that’s more convenient for you. Sign in to My Support and select the device you want coverage for. Then, input your serial number and payment details, and you’re good to go.

Buy AppleCare+ at an Apple Store

Buying an AppleCare+ at an Apple Store
Buying an AppleCare+ at an Apple Store

Purchasing AppleCare+ in-store is possible, too. Simply prepare the original packaging with the serial number and proof of purchase and head to your nearest branch. Remember that an Apple expert will also have to inspect your AirPods to see if they’re eligible for AppleCare+.

Buy AppleCare+ via phone

Dialling Apple number to arrange purchase of AppleCare+
Dialling Apple number to arrange purchase of AppleCare+

Buying AppleCare+ via phone is another option. Call 800-275-2273 and have your serial number and proof of purchase details ready.

Can You Buy AppleCare+ After 60 Days?

Yes, you can still buy AppleCare+ up to a year after your AirPods purchase. However, certain conditions need to be met for that to happen:

  • You’ll need to make a Genius Bar reservation since you can only make the purchase in-store through them.
  • Your AirPods must pass physical inspection and diagnostics tests to determine eligibility.
  • You’ll need to pay out-of-warranty fees for any existing damage before purchasing AppleCare+.

Can You Renew AppleCare+ Coverage After It Expires?

This one is a bit unclear as even Apple employees seem to contradict themselves on this. Only Apple’s “hero” devices – iPhone, Mac, iPad, and Watch – can get renewed AppleCare+ coverage at the moment. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to apply to AppleCare+ for Headphones.

Conclusion

There are great perks with AppleCare+, but the ones you’ll benefit most from are the accidental damage coverage, discounted repair fees, and battery service.

Honestly speaking, mishaps can still happen no matter how careful we are. Even more so when it comes to tiny gadgets like AirPods. That said, if 29 bucks is the only thing standing between you and peace of mind, why not go for it?

We hope this article has answered your most pressing concerns regarding AppleCare+. If you’ve used AppleCare+ in the past, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Your experiences may also help other readers in their decision-making process!

Leave a Reply