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Are AirPods Waterproof? A Complete Guide

Last Updated Oct 28, 2022
Side view portrait of fitness woman in sportswear with airpods doing push up over fence outdoors

AirPods are one of the most popular earbud devices people like to use when they want to listen to music while exercising, cleaning, or at the beach. So, are AirPods waterproof?

AirPods Model Are They Waterproof?Are They Water Resistant?
AirPods 2NoNo
AirPods 3NoYes
AirPods ProNoYes
AirPods Pro 2NoYes
AirPods MaxNoNo

Please continue reading our guide for how the waterproof AirPods are and which scenarios are safe for you to use AirPods.

Which AirPods are Water Resistant?

There are several models and generations of AirPods, so this can get a little confusing if you don’t know which AirPods you have.

As AirPods have developed over the years, Apple has chosen to integrate water resistance into the newer generations. 

None of the AirPods or AirPods Pro are waterproof. AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Pro 2 are IPX4 rated and are water resistant but not waterproof. Their charging cases are also water-resistant.

It should be noted that the charging case for the AirPods Pro 2 is also water-resistant. 

The Lightning and MagSafe charging cases for the AirPods 3 are also sweat and water-resistant.

Now that you know that the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 are sweat and water-resistant, what does this mean you can do with them?

Difference Between Waterproof and Water Resistant

To help you understand how much water AirPods can handle, you need to understand the difference between waterproof and water-resistant.

Waterproof means you can wear a device underwater for a long time without worrying about whether or not damage will occur.

Alternatively, when something is water resistant, it can only handle moisture up to a specified level and should never be fully submerged if you can help it.

AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Pro 2 all have an IPX4 rating. This means that it can tolerate water splashes, sweat, and temporary wet conditions.

There are some telltale signs to know if your AirPods have water damage, such as low volume.

Since most AirPods are water resistant, what exactly can you do with AirPods that risks any water exposure?

What Exercise can you do With AirPods?

AirPods have enough water resistance to endure the sweat you accumulate from dry exercises. Here are some exercises you can do with AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods 3:

  • Yoga
  • Running
  • Weight lifting
  • Using an elliptical
  • Crossfit

However, you can’t use AirPods in sports that make you encounter much water. So, you should never wear AirPods if you’re swimming.

You can safely sweat as much as you need to during your workout when you wear AirPods because they’re designed to have enough moisture resistance to endure your exercise routine.

How to Clean Your AirPods if They are Dirty

Since AirPods aren’t waterproof, you might wonder how you’re supposed to clean them, especially if you’ve been exercising in them. 

Fortunately, they’re water-resistant enough to handle a bit of moisture during cleaning.

  1. Dampen a microfiber cloth with water.
  2. Wring out the excess moisture.
  3. Use your damp cloth to wipe down your AirPods gently.
  4. Leave your AirPods to dry before returning them to their case.
  5. Do not use your AirPods until they’re completely dried.

It is crucial that you clean your AirPods frequently so that you can prevent them from becoming damaged or giving you an ear infection.

When neglected, AirPods can gunk up quickly and be too gross for you to use. Staying on top of your cleaning routine is the best way to keep them in peak condition.

What to Do if You Drop Your AirPods in Water

AirPods and a charging case with a microfiber cleaning cloth that will be used to dry them
Apple AirPods with their charging case and a microfiber cleaning cloth.

Even though your AirPods are not waterproof, they may still be able to survive if you accidentally drop them in water.

Since AirPods have an IPX4 rating, this means they can survive a splash, so a brief dip in the water should be fine.

Follow the steps below if you drop your AirPods to help them make a full recovery.

  1. Dry your AirPods as much as possible using a microfiber cloth
  2. Use a dry Q-tip to clean out the nooks of your AirPods
  3. Let your AirPods rest on the dry microfiber cloth face down overnight
  4. Do not put your AirPods back in their charging case until they’re completely dry
  5. If you dropped the charging case in the water with your AirPods, remove the AirPods and dry the case out as much as possible.

If your AirPods completely dry out over two days and still don’t work, you may be out of luck. You will have to buy a new pair.

Can AirPods be Used in the Rain?

AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Pro 2 are water resistant enough to withstand the rain if you walk outside and have them in.

You’re unlikely to face any trouble when you wear AirPods while it’s raining.

If your AirPods get wet in the rain, you must wait until they are completely dry before charging them again. If you do not do this, you can risk damaging your AirPods and charging case permanently.

There is no guarantee that your AirPods will survive heavy rainfall, so be mindful of how much moisture they encounter when you wear them.

Your AirPods Went in the Washing Machine, Now What?

Unfortunately, many people find themselves in a scenario where they accidentally leave their AirPods in their pockets before they put their clothes in the washer.

If this happens, it’s unlikely that your AirPods will survive the situation damage-free unless you’re lucky enough to place them in waterproof pockets.

If you accidentally run your AirPods through the washing machine, follow the steps mentioned earlier for what to do when your AirPods get wet.

Some people get lucky and only have minimal sound quality damage when they throw their AirPods into the wash, but most end up with an unusable device after this situation.

Will Your AirPods Stay Water Resistant Forever?

Your AirPods are water-resistant enough to handle splashing and sweat in most situations, but will they maintain their water resistance forever?

The more often you wear your AirPods, the more the water-resistant seal wears down and puts you at risk of damage. The water-resistant seal may wear thin if you’ve splashed your AirPods with water more than once.

However, if they’re brand new, they have water-resistant properties.

Most AirPods can handle up to ten minutes total of splashing when they come out of the box.

Final Thoughts

AirPods are water resistant enough to withstand up to 10 minutes of splashing and the sweat you accumulate during a workout.

However, you should never bring your AirPods into the pool, lake, or ocean during swimming.

Your AirPods are not designed to withstand excessive water.

This device won’t keep its water-resistant seal forever, so you should be careful the longer you have it.

Also, if you purchased this device, you should be diligent about avoiding water damage.

If you accidentally get your AirPods wet, you can let them dry overnight after removing excess water with a microfiber cloth.

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