Apple’s AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro are waterproof, not waterproof: What that means

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Third generation AirPods have new drivers and mesh that cover their microphones to reduce wind noise.

David Carnoy / CNET

Electronics and water do not mix well, but phones and wearables have become a bit more durable in recent years. It includes the new third generation of AirPods and AirPods Pro, which both are waterproof, but not waterproof. This is an important difference, and it basically means that you should not take a shower or swim with your Apple earphones in. But do not panic if you get caught in the rain or are going to wear them during a particularly sweaty workouts.

See below for everything you need to know about AirPods and water resistance. (And check out ours full review of AirPods 3).

Which AirPods are water-repellent?

Apple currently sells four different AirPod models: AirPods (second generation), AirPods (third generation), AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. But only two are water-repellent: third-generation AirPods and AirPods Pro. In addition, the new AirPods 3 earphones are the only version with a water-repellent case.

Read more: Apple AirPods Tip: 21 Tricks to Get the Most Out of Your Wireless Earphones

What is water resistance?

Apples third generation AirPods and AirPods Pro is water and sweat repellent with a IPX4 classification. This means that they are protected from splashing water and should not suffer any damage if water splashes against the cabinet from any direction, according to the International Electrotechnical Commission, which developed the classification system.

So what does that really mean? You can safely wear waterproof AirPods during a walk in the rain, a heavy workout and other circumstances where you may sweat or be sprayed with water – perhaps while washing the car or giving your dog a bath. But you can not wear them under the shower while swimming or during other water sports activities such as water skiing. They are not designed to withstand immersion in water and should not be placed under running water.

Apple also advises against carrying AirPods, including those that are waterproof, in a sauna or steam room. You should also not put them in the washer or dryer.

How do I care for my AirPods when they get wet?

If your AirPods get wet, even if they are only sprayed lightly, you should wipe them with a lint-free cloth before putting them back in the case. This is to avoid any damage that may result from placing them near the charging coils while they are still wet.

How do I clean my AirPods?

You can use a disinfectant wipe to clean the outside of your AirPods and a dry cotton swab for the speaker and microphone. To clean AirPod Pro earplugs, remove the silicone tips from the earpiece and soak them in warm soapy water. See our entire story best way to clean your AirPods for more detailed instructions.


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