Are AirPods Waterproof? They’re Water “Resistant”

AirPods are considered stylish and convenient. They are everywhere these days, and you’re likely to spot them hanging out of someone’s ear. They’re so comfortable you may even forget that you’re wearing them at times. They seem ideal for use in most situations, but are they suitable for activities like working out in the gym or swimming at the beach? Let’s see.

Are AirPods Waterproof? They're Water

AirPods Pro and 3rd generation AirPods are water and sweat-resistant but not waterproof. Read on to learn what the difference is, some pointers on keeping them safe, and what to do if they get wet.

Are AirPods Waterproof

Your AirPods Pro, AirPods 3rd gen, and charging case for 3rd gen AirPods are sweat and water-resistant but not waterproof.

Resistance vs. Proof

In this scenario, water or sweat resistance means that the AirPods Pro, AirPods 3rd gen, and charging case will offer low protection against water and sweat penetration.

On the other hand, water- or sweat-proof is the highest level of protection. This protection prevents water and sweat from penetrating a product. Unfortunately, the current design of AirPods is not waterproof.

How to Keep Your AirPods Safe

So, there you have it. AirPods Pro and AirPods 3rd gen are not designed for activities involving water such as swimming or showering. After heavy sweating or water splashes, they should be thoroughly wiped down using a lint-free cloth before going back into their charging case.

Follow these pointers to avoid damage to your AirPods Pro, AirPods 3rd gen and MagSafe charging case:

  • Don’t submerge or swim with your AirPods.
  • Don’t wear them in a steam room or sauna.
  • Don’t place them under running water, like a tap or shower.
  • Don’t use compressed air or heat to dry them.
  • Don’t expose them to high-velocity water, such as during waterskiing.
  • Don’t put them in the washing machine or dryer.
  • Avoid dropping them as much as possible.

Don’t expose them to shampoos, soaps, lotions, perfumes, acids, insect repellent, detergent, acidic foods, or acids, sun cream, hair oil, or dye. If your AirPods are exposed to any of these, it can negatively affect their water seals and acoustic membranes.

What You Should Do if Your AirPods Get Wet With Water

Whatever you do, make sure that they’re completely dry before placing them back in the charging case so the case doesn’t get damaged by residual water. Give your AirPods the following treatment if they get wet:

  1. Wipe off the excess water with a lint-free cloth, a microfiber cloth is recommended. You can use a cotton swab to dry inside the small ports.
  2. Then leave them out in the open to air dry for at least two hours. Do not use them during this time. If possible, let them dry overnight. The best drying spot would be a cool and dry place with gentle airflow.

Leaving them in a bag of rice advice is not recommended. It isn’t more effective than leaving them to air dry, and rice can get stuck in the holes and ports.

Avoid very hot or cold temperatures. Do not put them on a radiator or use a blow-dryer to speed up the drying process. This can cause your AirPods to overheat and damage the internal circuitry.

If your charging case becomes wet, remove the AirPods, and with the lid open, stand the case upside down to let it drip dry. Again, leave it to dry for a couple of hours or overnight for the best results.

What You Should Do if Your AirPods Get Wet With Other Liquid

Various liquids can damage your AirPods in multiple ways:

  • As mentioned earlier, lotions or solvents are examples of absolute no-no’s as they can eat away at the water-resistant seals.
  • Soda can form a sticky residue that blocks the speaker.
  • Coffee may stain the white plastic.
  • Seawater may leave a salt residue once dried.

If any liquid other than water comes into contact with your AirPods, immediately remove the liquid by wiping them down with a damp cloth. In doing so, try not to get more liquid on or inside your AirPods.


How can I tell if my AirPods are water damaged?

One of the most significant indicators that your AirPods are water damaged is a distorted sound. If your favorite tracks, audiobooks, or podcasts sound muffled or scratchy, this may be a sign. Another indication of water inside them is if they don’t want to charge or work at all. When the water reaches the grates of your AirPods, it will permanently affect their functionality.

Does earwax damage AirPods?

Yes, ear wax can affect your AirPods. A build-up of it will eventually block the audio, and AirPods design makes them susceptible to build-ups. One of the reasons for this could be because they sit in a protected case when not in use.

To give them a thorough cleaning, consider using the list of tools below:

1. Any kind of almost-pure cleaning alcohol, like rubbing alcohol.

2. A rag, a lint-free cloth, a paper towel, or a few pieces of toilet paper.

3. Cotton swabs.

4. A scraper or a brush.

Use the above or similar tools to free your AirPods of ear wax build-up.

AirPods Are Water Resistant, Not Waterproof

AirPods are among the most expensive earbuds on the market today, so they are somewhat precious. Knowing whether they can handle sweat and water is a good start in maintaining their longevity. The AirPods Pro, AirPods 3rd generation, and 3rd generation charging case are water- and sweat-resistant but not waterproof. This means they can handle a little splash of water like being caught in a light rainfall or sweat. They’re likely to have water damage if accidentally submerged in water or end up in the washing machine.

What do you think Apple could do to improve the design of their AirPods? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

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