Are AirPods Waterproof?

Owen Woods

person holding wireless earbuds with charging case

When investing in technology like AirPods, the last thing you want is water damage. This concern is valid, given that water can be the downfall of many electronic devices. It’s important to note that while the latest AirPods Pro and AirPods (3rd generation) offer water-resistant features, they are not fully waterproof. They can handle sweat and a splash or two, but submersion should be avoided. Understanding the nuances of your AirPods’ water resistance can enhance their lifespan and maintain their functionality.

Caring for AirPods involves knowing the extent to which they can resist water. The presence of an IPX4 rating on these devices means they have a level of protection against water splashes from any direction. But it’s not just about having resistant devices; it’s also about knowing what to do if they get wet. If your AirPods encounter water, it’s essential to dry them properly to prevent any internal damage that might impair their performance. It’s equally critical to use them correctly to avoid situations where they might be exposed to more water than they can handle.

AirPods and Water: What You Need to Know

Water Resistance vs. Waterproof

Let’s be clear: no AirPods model is fully waterproof. This means you shouldn’t take them swimming or submerge them in water intentionally. However, many models offer varying degrees of water resistance. This means they can handle sweat, light rain, or accidental splashes, but prolonged exposure to water should be avoided.

AirPods Water-Resistance Ratings

AirPods ModelWater-Resistance RatingNotes
AirPods (1st and 2nd gen)NoneNot officially water-resistant
AirPods (3rd gen)IPX4Sweat and water-resistant for non-water sports and exercise
AirPods Pro (1st gen)IPX4Sweat and water-resistant for non-water sports and exercise
AirPods Pro (2nd gen)IP54Improved water resistance, including dust resistance and protection against water jets (not submersion)
AirPods MaxNoneNot officially water-resistant, avoid exposure to moisture

Understanding IP Ratings

The IP (Ingress Protection) rating indicates a device’s level of protection against dust and water.

  • The first digit (e.g., 5 in IP54) refers to dust protection. A rating of 5 means the device is protected from dust ingress that may be harmful.
  • The second digit (e.g., 4 in IP54) refers to water protection. A rating of 4 means the device is protected against water splashes from any direction.

Tips for Using AirPods Safely Around Water

  1. Avoid Submersion: Never intentionally submerge your AirPods in water.
  2. Dry Them Off: If they get wet, wipe them with a soft, dry cloth and let them air dry completely before placing them in the charging case.
  3. Don’t Use Them While Wet: Don’t wear your AirPods while swimming, showering, or in heavy rain.
  4. Be Careful with Sweat: While they are sweat-resistant, excessive sweat can still damage them. Wipe them down after workouts.
  5. Check Your Warranty: If your AirPods get water damaged, check your warranty coverage, as it might not be covered.

Key Takeaways

  • AirPods Pro and AirPods (3rd generation) can resist water but are not fully waterproof.
  • They come with an IPX4 rating, indicating protection against splashing water.
  • Proper care includes avoiding submersion and drying them correctly if they get wet.

Understanding AirPods Water Resistance

Water resistance in AirPods means they can handle moisture like sweat and rain. However, they’re not waterproof and can’t be submerged.

IPX4 and Water Resistance Ratings

The term IPX4 refers to a product’s water resistance level as defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission. In this case, ‘IP’ stands for Ingress Protection. The ‘X’ indicates there is no data on protection from solids like dust. The ‘4’ signifies splash resistance from any direction. AirPods with IPX4 can handle water splashes but not immersion.

AirPods Models and Water Resistance

Certain AirPods models have different levels of water resistance. AirPods Pro and AirPods 3 both hold an IPX4 rating, meaning they resist water splashes. Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 also comes with an IPX4 rating but extends this to the MagSafe Charging Case. Original AirPods or AirPods Max do not have an IP rating. Here is a quick reference table:

ModelIP RatingWater Resistant?
AirPods (1st gen)NoneNo
AirPods MaxNoneNo
AirPods (3rd gen)IPX4Yes
AirPods ProIPX4Yes
AirPods Pro 2IPX4Yes (including charging case)

Limitations of Water Resistance

Water resistance is not the same as being waterproof. AirPods labeled as water-resistant can handle sweat and splashes but it’s best not to submerge them. Users should also avoid using them during activities where they could be exposed to high-pressure water or steam. Always dry the AirPods if they get wet.

Caring for Your AirPods

Proper maintenance extends the life of your AirPods. This section covers cleaning, handling water exposure, and protecting against water damage.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Clean AirPods regularly with a soft, lint-free cloth. Gently wipe down the AirPods and the charging case to remove debris. Avoid using sharp objects or abrasive materials that can scratch the surface. For a deeper clean, slightly dampen the cloth with water, ensuring it’s not wet enough to drip.

Dealing with Water Exposure

If your AirPods get wet, act quickly. Do not use a hair dryer, rice, or any other heating method to dry them. Shake excess water out gently and dab them with a dry lint-free cloth. Leave the AirPods to air dry in a dry, ventilated area. Open the AirPods case and allow both the case and the AirPods to air dry completely before using or charging them again.

Preventing Water Damage

AirPods are sweat-resistant but not waterproof. Take care not to submerge them in water. To prevent damage, avoid wearing AirPods in the rain or during a swim. When engaging in activities that can cause sweat or moisture exposure, like exercising, ensure to wipe your AirPods dry afterward before placing them back in their case. Keep the charging ports on the case clear of moisture before connecting to any power source, such as a Magsafe or Lightning charger.