Can you wear AirPods in the shower

Can you wear AirPods in the shower?

If AirPods have become your workout buddy for the longest time, you may wonder if they can accompany you whenever you shower or swim. It seems logical, but the answer to that proposition could surprise you. 

You can’t wear your AirPods in the shower — doing so will destroy them. It’s inadvisable as AirPods’ IPX4 water resistance rating indicates they’re only protected from occasional water splashes, not from the water itself. 

Let’s delve into the details. In this post, we’ll help you wrap your head around AirPod care versus water damage; we’re adding a guide for checking water damage so you can decide if you want to send the earbuds in for repairs or get a new one quickly.

Why shouldn’t you wear AirPods in the shower?

When Apple unveiled the AirPods in 2016, they highlighted how the device is rich in features while having its small form factor. This made AirPods a more convenient alternative to wired earphones.

This promised various ways and situations to continue listening to music without worrying about wires getting entangled with other objects. It all sounds terrific, but does its convenience extend to being able to use it in the shower?

Why shouldn’t you wear AirPods in the shower

Well, if you want to, you can wear your AirPods while showering, but you risk causing water damage to the Apple device. As such, our actual answer to this question is no. Here’s why:

1. Apple AirPods are like any electronic device.

Since water can carry impurities, it makes for a good conductor that can cause great damage to your AirPods components. This happens when water connects to contact points inside your AirPods, which can spread the electric current like wildfire.

As a result, the electric current on your AirPods might be sent to other components and connections they shouldn’t go to. From there, your AirPods’ circuit board will start to short-circuit, which may lead to irreparable damage.

In essence, water can fry the electronics in your AirPods. 

If your AirPods have only come in contact with very shallow water or for a short period, it won’t necessarily cause the circuit board to short-circuit. But if you wear AirPods in the shower, they’ll likely be drenched with water.

The water from the shower is also running, making it easier to move into your AirPods’ openings. Even if your AirPods were to survive this much water, there’s also the problem with corrosion which can be a death sentence for any circuit board.

Apple AirPods are like any electronic device.

So, if your AirPods are still working after being in contact with water or moisture, its component will still suffer some damage after the corrosion. In most cases, it’s too late before the user realizes this, leaving your AirPods unrepairable.

2. No AirPods model is waterproof.

Unfortunately, Apple has not developed water- and sweat- proof AirPods. The best that the current AirPods lineup has to offer is resistance to both water and sweat, which isn’t even available on all models.

Also, only a select few of Apple’s AirPods and charging cases have the IPX4 water resistance rating. 

Plus, we should be very clear. Any device with an IPX4 rating means that they’re only protected from splashing water regardless of the direction it’s from and doesn’t include being submerged.

As mentioned earlier, the water from the shower is running and doesn’t qualify as splashing. As such, wearing AirPods in the shower wouldn’t be a good idea since they don’t need protection from water jets, which start at IPX5.

No AirPods model is waterproof.

You can check the official page of the International Electrotechnical Commission to know more about the IP ratings they’ve developed. Since only some AirPods and charging case models have IPX4 ratings, the others have no water protection.

You must be extra careful with these AirPods, as even the slightest contact with water can lead to devastating results. We’ve prepared a table below listing all AirPods and charging case models with IPX4 ratings.

AirPods and Charging Case ModelGeneration
AirPodsGen 3
AirPods ProGen 1 and Gen 2
AirPods MagSafe Charging CaseGen 3
AirPods Pro MagSafe Charging CaseGen 2
AirPods Lightning Charging CaseGen 3

If your AirPods and charging case model isn’t included in the table, it lacks water protection. In this case, you need to be more careful with your AirPods since being in contact with sweat can harm them.

Of course, this assumes Apple doesn’t introduce a new version of AirPods with technology that can accommodate liquid anytime soon. But for now, leaving them outside the bathroom keeps them out of harm’s way. 

3. Wetting your AirPods in the shower will void its warranty.

Believe it or not, Apple’s One-Year Limited Warranty will not cover the servicing for any water damage on your AirPods. After all, there’s no way for them to verify if the problem resulted from unintentional water damage or negligence on the user’s part.

Also, water-resistant AirPods models are marketed as having an IPX4 rating, which only protects the device from water splashes. Running water doesn’t qualify as a splash, so intentionally using them while showering won’t make Apple responsible for the damage.

Wetting your AirPods in the shower will void its warranty.

You can be protected by consumer law in some states or regions but attending to such legal matters for your wet AirPods might not be worth it in most cases. As such, you must think twice before wearing AirPods in the shower.

Prevention is always the best course of action, and if you can avoid having water damage on your AirPods, that’s the way to go. Sometimes, it’s essential to think ahead and understand the consequences of the actions you’re about to take.

In this case, losing your limited warranty isn’t worth it just to have your AirPods with you while you shower. 

What to do if the AirPods get wet?

Shaking off your AirPods is an excellent way to remove any water in contact with them. Alternatively, air dry them, place them upside down, leave them near a fan, or use the Water Eject function to speed up the process. 

Time is of the essence, of course. So you should dry your AirPods off as soon as possible, and that means you shouldn’t store them in the charging case if they’re not completely dry. 

How do I know if my AirPods have water damage?

Check your AirPods for water damage by looking for sure telltale signs on the device. The symptoms below should help determine if your AirPods have suffered from water damage after contacting any liquid.

1. Distorted Audio

The first way to know if your AirPods have water damage is to test their audio quality by playing music. If your AirPods is suffering from water damage, you’ll notice that its audio quality is a lot different than it used to be.

In most cases, the audio generated by your AirPods will be distorted and terrible to listen to. Sometimes, it may just be a lot lower in volume compared to when it’s working like normal. 

However, a little warning. We recommend checking the volume settings on your iPhone to ensure the issue is with the AirPods and not with the portable smart telecommunications device. 

2. AirPods Won’t Charge

Another way to check if your AirPods have water damage is by putting them back into their charging case to recharge them. Doing so should charge the battery of your AirPods—if they don’t have any water damage.

AirPods Won’t Charge

We suggest checking the battery level of your AirPods from your iPhone to monitor any changes. You should see the battery level of your AirPods increase after a while if recharging them on their charging case is working.

It’s also recommended to check if your charging case has enough power to charge your AirPods. Otherwise, you won’t be able to perform this test properly if the AirPods charging case itself is running low on juice.

3. Condensation on the Charging Case

Condensation or sweating on electronic devices refer to the tiny water droplet that might form and appear due to highly humid conditions. This can also happen on the AirPods charging case if it has suffered from water damage.

Condensation on the Charging Case

You need to open the lid of the charging case to see if it has some water droplets forming inside from being exposed to moisture. Seeing condensation inside the charging case is a clear sign of water damage, which can cause corrosion.

It’s advisable to wipe away the condensation before recharging your AirPods to avoid causing a short circuit. Also, the charging process will fail once the AirPods contact point and the charging case get corroded. 

4. Signs of Corrosion

Corrosion only happens when the metallic components inside your AirPods and charging case come into contact with any moisture. As such, finding signs of corrosion on your AirPods and charging case will tell you if it has water damage.

On the charging case, corrosion is easy to spot by checking the contact point that charges your AirPods. Since this contact point is metallic, you should see corrosion if your AirPods have been in contact with water.

Signs of Corrosion

Meanwhile, checking your AirPods can be more complex since you need to tear them down to see their components. In this case, the usual victim of corrosion will be the tiny circuit board inside the AirPods since it has various metallic parts.

Signs of Corrosion -2

5. Liquid Damage Indicator

Apple puts Liquid Damage Indicators on their devices to allow their technicians to determine if they have water damage during repair services. This indicator is either white or silver, turning red once it comes into contact with water or sweat.

If you return your AirPods to an Apple service center, their technicians will look for this indicator. This will show them that you may have worn your AirPods in the shower or if the wireless earbuds have been in contact with any liquid beforehand. 

You can check this yourself if you tear your AirPods down. Although, you should know that this isn’t ideal since Apple makes their devices challenging to take apart since it’s a reliable way of telling if your AirPods have water damage.

FAQs About Wearing AirPods in the Shower

Does Apple cover AirPods with water damage? 

Apple doesn’t cover AirPods with water damage in their One-Year Limited Warranty. However, there’s a workaround as you can use AppleCare+ to reduce the service pay for your damaged AirPods or rely on your state or region’s consumer laws.

Can I wear my AirPods in the shower with a shower cap on? 

You can wear your AirPods if the shower cap prevents water from contacting them. Otherwise, it’s not worth risking water damage on your AirPods just for some music when other alternative options are available.

Can I wear my AirPods after taking a shower?

Your ears must be dry if you want to wear your AirPods after showering, especially if your model doesn’t have an IPX4 rating. If your AirPods have the IPX4 rating, you can get away with having a small amount of moisture on your ears.

How can I fix water damage on my AirPods?

Water-damaged AirPods are irreparable in most cases. You can send them to an Apple service center so their qualified technician can check if it can be fixed, but chances often need to be higher.

If your AirPods have suffered from water damage, you’re better off getting a replacement instead of taking your chances with a repair service. Plus, repair service will cost money since Apple’s warranty doesn’t cover water damage.


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