How Waterproof Are AirPods? Everything You Need to Know

AirPods under the rain: Can they survive?
AirPods under the rain: Can they survive?

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Here’s the truth about how much water exposure your AirPods can handle before failing.

Listening to your AirPods in the shower or pool is tempting, especially since some users report that their AirPods continue to work fine after doing so.

However, there are also stories of AirPods failing after just a few showers, so it’s understandable to get confused with these contrasting claims.

That’s why we created this comprehensive guide to finally answer your questions about whether or not AirPods are actually waterproof. Let’s dive in!

How Waterproof Are AirPods?

AirPods are not waterproof. This means they lack protection against water submersion, and you can’t wear them while showering or swimming.

It’s a real bummer, especially if you’re into water sports, as it’s not ideal for your AirPods to be exposed to water at all.

The good news is: Some AirPods models, particularly the AirPods (3rd Gen) and AirPods Pro (1 & 2), are sweat and water-resistant.

Wearing AirPods while working out outdoors.
Wearing AirPods while working out outdoors.

These AirPods are right up your alley if you’re the type to listen to music while going for a morning walk or don’t mind the light rain.

But what exactly is the difference between waterproof and water-resistant?

  • Waterproof devices can be completely submerged underwater without getting any damage.
  • Water-resistant devices can only withstand splashes or light rain. It can only prevent water from damaging the inside for a short time and at a shallow depth.

How Water-Resistant Are AirPods?

AirPods (3rd Gen) and AirPods Pro have an IPX4 rating. This means they can survive light splashing water like rain or sweat, but are incompatible to use in the swimming pool or while showering.

The rest of the AirPods models, namely AirPods (1st & 2nd Gen) and AirPods Max, are not water-resistant at all.

Don’t let videos like this showing submerging AirPods underwater to test their water resistance fool you. (From: Youtube/EverythingApplePro E A P)
Don’t let videos like this showing submerging AirPods underwater to test their water resistance fool you. (From: Youtube/EverythingApplePro E A P)
The Ingress Protection (IP) rating of a device determines its protection against body parts, dust/solid particles, or moisture/water damage. You can check the IP ratings cheat sheet to see what each letter and number means for all IP-rated devices.

Having an IP rating indicates that the AirPods have undergone an IPX4 rating test.

Meaning, they were repeatedly exposed to water splashes from all directions to ensure they could survive without being damaged.

Here’s a video that shows how the IPX4 testing is done.

Yet, IP ratings do not last forever and there’s a limit on how much a device can survive before eventually experiencing damage. You can expect your AirPods to weaken and their water resistance to wear off over time, especially when you regularly use and expose them to different elements.

What to Do if Your AirPods Get Wet

If your AirPods get wet, don’t listen to the conventional advice that says to put your AirPods in a bag with rice. The rice dust can cause even more damage.

Instead, follow these steps to dry your wet AirPods:

  1. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe off the surface of your AirPods, and make sure there is no water or debris present.

    Wipe AirPods with lint free cloth
    Wipe AirPods with lint free cloth
  2. Then, let them air dry for a few more minutes.
    Never use direct heat to dry your AirPods because this can permanently shorten your AirPods’ battery life. When air drying your AirPods, ensure you keep them between the temperature range of -10º and 45º C (14º to 113º F).

    Air drying AirPods
    Air drying AirPods
  3. If your case is also affected, make sure you dry all areas of the AirPods case using the cloth.
    The charging ports and holes are the most important parts you need to dry. Because charging the AirPods while the ports are wet can damage the hardware components inside, which can also cause your charger to stop working.

    Wipe the charging case with lint free cloth
    Wipe the charging case with lint free cloth
  4. Lastly, ensure the AirPods and case are completely dry before using them again.

For more detailed solutions, check out our guide on how to get water out of AirPods.

If your AirPods are water-damaged and you can’t revive them, you can get a free pair when you buy an iPad or Macbook through the Apple Back to School program. Check our guide to learn if you qualify and when the promotion is available.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you prevent AirPods from getting wet?

Use a case cover to better prevent your AirPods from getting wet. Most cases are made from a silicone material that is waterproof. If you’re looking for high-quality AirPods cases, these are our recommended cases by model:

Are videos showing AirPods are waterproof real?

If you search ‘AirPods waterproof‘ on YouTube, you will see countless videos where different YouTubers take the AirPods for a water test. Afterwards, the AirPods always work leading people to believe that AirPods are waterproof.

However, unlike the IP Ratings, these tests are not regulated by any official organizations, which makes them less credible. Water damage also doesn’t show up immediately on devices, so the AirPods may function properly right after these tests but die over time.

How to do water eject on AirPods?

To eject water from AirPods, gently tap them against your hand with the mesh side facing down to remove moisture. For a more thorough drying, place them in a dry area with good airflow.

You can also try playing some audio that are designed to make your AirPods vibrate to shake off any excess water. But, make sure to only do this as a final resort, as your AirPods can get damaged further if you use them while totally wet.

💬 Conversation: 1 comment

  1. This is a great article but quite honestly, for the money we pay to purchase a premium product, like the air pod pro, these items should be fully waterproof.
    It’s another example of how overpriced Apple products are, in relation to their spec.
    I paid about £245 for my air pods.
    Yesterday, one of them fell out of my ear into the toilet. Thankfully, the toilet was completely clean, and I immediately removed the air pod within about 10 seconds.
    I am glad to report that the air pods still work, but we will see how they fair, over the next few weeks.
    This is my second pair of air pod pros, in only two years, so I feel a little disappointed by their longevity.
    Apple really need to waterproof, at least the air pod pro range. It would make this product, highly desirable.

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