AirPods, AirPods 2, AirPods Pro and now AirPods 3: Apple's small wireless headphones are very popular. Their compact design makes them easy to wear in virtually any situation. But what about protection against water (rain, bathtub) or sweat from sports? We explain which Apple AirPods models are waterproof and what you have to look out for in the charging case.
Are AirPods water-resistant? Overview of all models
The AirPods (1st and 2nd generation) are not waterproof and also not water protected. This also applies to the corresponding charging cases.
The AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd generation) and third-generation AirPods (2021) are not waterproof, but they are IPX4 rated and thus water-resistant. The associated charging cases are not waterproof and not water protected - with one exception: The case of the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) is water protected.
|Waterproof and sweatproof||water and sweat resistant|
|AirPods (1st Gen) / Charging Case||No / no||No / no|
|AirPods (2nd Generation) / Charging Case||No / no||No / no|
|AirPods (3rd Generation) / Charging Case||No / no||yes / no|
|AirPods Pro (1st Gen) / Charging Case||No / no||yes / no|
|AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) / Charging Case||No / no||yes / yes|
|AirPods Max||No / no||No / no|
Differences: What do the terms "waterproof" and "water protected" mean?
- Waterproof = protection against jets of water and submersion.
- Water-protected = protection against dripping and splashing water, but no protection against jets of water and submersion.
More on the subject of protection classes for water resistance:
Apple AirPods (1st and 2nd gen.) are not waterproof: What can you do with the headphones?
Apple itself does not advertise the AirPods as waterproof. This means that the AirPods are not officially protected from water, sweat and other liquids. So, if you accidentally tip a glass of water over the headphones, the liquid can theoretically get inside and cause damage. As a customer, you will probably have a bad chance of getting free help from Apple support. In such an unfortunate case, it is best to dry the AirPods as quickly as possible to counteract possible corrosion damage. This also applies to the contacts in the charging case.
Rumors vs. manufacturer specifications: In practice, the AirPods (1st and 2nd gen.) have proven to be surprisingly resistant to water, as some forum reports and YouTube videos should show. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that these are not the manufacturer's official specs.
AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd gen.) and AirPods 3 are water-protected: Are you allowed in the rain? What is allowed?
It is not quite as strict for the AirPods Pro (1st gen.) and the AirPods 3. The charging case should definitely be kept away from water - but the two earphones are classified according to IPX4 and are thus at least water-resistant. Apple explains what that means exactly on the support page information about sweat and water resistance of the AirPods Pro. In the AirPods Pro (2nd gen.) launched in September 2022, both the earphones and the charging case are classified according to IPX4 and are water-resistant.
"Water-resistant" in practice means that the AirPods Pro as well as the AirPods 3 are protected from dripping and splashing water, such as when they get a few drops in the rain. However, you should not immerse the AirPods Pro in water, shower with them or hold them under the running water tap to be on the safe side. Steam in saunas or steam baths is also not good for the AirPods Pro - so it is better to leave them outside.
Good to know: The manufacturer's specifications refer to as-new items. The seals and materials used in the headphones age over time, so the water protection of the AirPods Pro gets weaker and weaker and can even disappear completely. This is part of normal wear and tear.