Are AirPod Pros Waterproof?

We all know that AirPods are one of the hottest gadgets on the market. They have been a huge success for Apple and many people love them. One thing that some people don’t know is whether or not they’re waterproof! In this article, we’ll take a look at if AirPod Pros are waterproof and answer your questions about water resistance.

I had never considered it, but when I was out for a run the other day, it began to rain (well, more like a drizzle on that occasion). As always, I took my Airpods Pros with me and soon after it started to rain. So, I can tell you first hand that they are at least water resistant.

I was not sure how much protection they offer against total submersion, so I made some research.

Let’s find out more.

Are Airpod Pros waterproof?

The answer is yes, to a certain extent. According to Apple, AirPod Pros and 3rd Generation AirPods are water-resistant, not completely waterproof. That means you can wear them in the rain or splash them lightly with water but they may get damaged if they become submerged in water. Apple gives their AirPod Pros a water-resistant rating of IPX4 which is a fair, middle-of-the-road rating.

To give you a bit of context, here’s what the lowest IP rating and the highest IP ratings means;

IPX1 – has no special protection from water at all.

IPX4 – resists splashes from any direction. 

IPX9 – resists high pressure and sustained water for long periods of time.

The Most Vulnerable Parts Of Your AirPod Pros

It goes without saying that the speaker and mic areas of your AirPod Pros are the most vulnerable to water damage. Because the speakers are designed to be in your ear for long periods of time, they are built to be sweat resistant so they are quite robust. This is especially true in humid climates. If you use your AirPods Pro in warmer environments during exercise, sweat can build up between your ear and the seal which could lead to moisture damage over time.

The noise-cancelling mic that sits along the edge of the AirPods Pro is probably the most vulnerable part to water damage. The port is rather large in comparison to the rest of the AirPods so you have to be careful of how much water or rain gets inside of it. It’s a good idea to dab the noise-cancelling mic whenever you can with a clean cloth to remove any excessive rain or water.

Another vulnerable part of the AirPod Pros is the adaptive EQ mic that sits facing inwards against your ear. This is a fantastic piece of technology that alters the frequencies of your music, based on your ear shape and size. Because it presses against your skin, it’s less likely to get damaged by water or rain but more likely to get damaged by heavy sweat, just like the speaker.

AirPod Pros And Rain

You’re less likely to drop your AirPod Pros in a sink full of water but most people will be wearing their AirPod Pros in the rain. Because rain can be unpredictable, it’s likely you’ll find yourself in this situation at some point. In fact, the most common question we get is; ‘can I wear my AirPods in the rain?’ The simple answer is yes. However, there’s a little more to it than that. If you use your AirPod Pros in light drizzle, you should be fine. It’s unlikely that a lot of water is going to hit your AirPod Pros but if you’re in light drizzle for extended periods of time, the more likely it will be that the water damages your earbuds.

In terms of heavy rain, the chances of damaging your AirPod Pros is increased. This is especially true for the noise-cancelling mic on your AirPods. If you find yourself in a quick downpour you should be fine in terms of water damage however if you live in a place that rains heavily and frequently, it’s best to not use your AirPods Pro outdoors. Water damage isn’t likely to happen very quickly. Instead, water damage is something that gets worse over time with frequent exposure.

Using your AirPod Pros in heavy rain can also damage the speakers. Even though the seal between your ear and the speakers is tight, rain can still leak inside. If you damage the speakers, it’s very hard to get them fixed without having to pay for a repair. 

A good idea is to always wear a top with a hood so you can avoid rain hitting your AirPod Pros.

Using AirPod Pros In The Shower

It may seem obvious but you should not use your AirPod Pros in the shower. You may be surprised to know that some people have done this and it has not ended well at all. Where there’s a heavy risk of water damage from heavy rain, this risk is dramatically increased in the shower. Rain falls in a random fashion and so it’s less likely you’ll have water pounding your AirPod Pros over and over.

In the shower, the water pattern is strong and consistent. This means that water will be bombarding all of the sensitive parts of your AirPod Pros. Not only the components we’ve mentioned but water can erode the bottom of the stem where your AirPod Pros charge from. Once these are damaged, you won’t be able to charge your AirPod pros.  

Can I Wear My AirPod Pros When I Work Out?

One of the most convenient situations to use your AirPod Pros is when you work out. Because they’re wireless, they make for the perfect earphones during workouts. However, you may be worried about using them when you get that little bit too sweaty.

Fortunately, the AirPod Pros have been designed to withstand a moderate amount of sweat when you work out. The seal around the speaker keeps it mostly airtight against your skin so there’s little risk of you drenching it in sweat. However, the noise-cancelling mic is still exposed to exterior sweat and wear. You should limit the number of times you touch it during your workout to minimise the amount of sweat that gets on it from your hand and fingers.

Thanks to their IPX4 rating, the chances of you getting your AirPod Pros overly wet and damaged during a workout is slim. In fact, the AirPod Pros were vigorously tested for sweat resistance during their design phase.

What To Do If Airpod Pros Get Wet

If your AirPod Pros get wet, don’t panic. It can be alarming if you drop your AirPod Pros in a body of water like a sink or a toilet. The good news is, if you drop them in a body of water and then remove them quickly, there should be no lasting damage. If however you leave your AirPod Pros submerged in water for a long period of time, they will likely have permanent damage that even airing them out won’t fix.

Here’s what to do if you drop your AirPod Pros in water;

  1. Quickly remove your AirPod Pros from the water and set them out in the open. If you can, lay them on a towel or a sheet of kitchen roll to help absorb the moisture.
  2. Make sure your AirPod Pros aren’t going to attempt to dry out in a humid area. You should leave them near an open window if you can and if there’s minimal moisture in the air.
  3. Remove the rubber ear tip from both AirPods and set them down too.
  4. Take a clean soft cloth and start to dab your AirPods and the rubber tips until you’re satisfied that there is no more visible moisture.
  5. Leave your AirPods to dry out for at least an hour or two, depending on how they are looking.

Warning: do not attempt to dry them with something like a hair drier. This could lead to further unnecessary damage. 

AirPod Pros Charging Case And Water Resistance

The AirPods Pro charging case is also vulnerable to water damage. Interestingly enough, Apple does not give the charging case an IP rating like the earphones. So, we can assume they are not water-resistant at all. This means that if you get your AirPods Pro wet, you must not attempt to charge them in their case until they are completely dry.

If you attempt to charge your AirPods Pro after a wet run or heavy gym session, moisture could get into the charging ports and cause interior damage.

Conclusion

So, the main takeaway is your AirPod Pros are not waterproof, they are instead water-resistant. This means you should be fine to use them in most environments, just don’t let them get too wet for too long. If you can, wear a hood outside when you use them and dry them out naturally when you get home for added protection.

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About S. Santos

I am a tech columnist and blogger by trade, but I'm also an avid tennis player. In my spare time, I enjoy reviewing gadgets and gizmos from the world of tech. A lot has changed in the field since I started out as a writer back in 2009, so it's always exciting to keep up with all that's new. To me, there's nothing quite like getting my hands on a brand-new gadget or piece of software for the first time -- it's like Christmas morning every day!

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