Are Apple AirPods Waterproof? Everything You Need to Know

Owning a late-model iPhone means that you don't have a headphone jack on your iPhone. For many people, AirPods are the solution they've chosen to get excellent audio quality with cord-free ease. These convenient Bluetooth accessories have made living without wired headphones a breeze, but did Apple make AirPods waterproof? We’re here to help you with that and provide some other important AirPod information.

Jump To:

Types of AirPods

apple airpods

Right now, there are three types of AirPods in the wild, and two are available from Apple. The first-generation AirPods, released in 2016; the second-generation (AirPods2), released in March of 2019; and the AirPods Pro, released at the end of October 2019. Apple doesn’t sell the first-generation version anymore, but you may encounter them on eBay or other third-party sellers. Read this if you aren't sure which AirPod model you have.

The Ingress Protection Code IEC Standard 60529, or the IP code, designates intrusion levels for solid particles and liquids into mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. The standard is designed for consumers to be clear about exactly how dustproof or waterproof their devices are. The code, simply put, is made up of the letters “IP” and two mandatory digits or an X to designate the device’s particle and liquid ingress protection level. Don't worry—you’ll understand this more when we mention it later in the article.

Are First-Generation AirPods Waterproof?

The short answer is no. If you own this type of AirPods, you must take care to make sure that they stay dry. So avoid using them for any water sports, in the shower, or any other activity that might compromise the electronics with moisture. Additionally, don’t charge wet or damp AirPods.

Are AirPods 2 Waterproof?

The short answer here is also no, but the long answer is that Apple added a water-repellent coating to the tiny circuit boards in them. They realized that people use these gadgets for working out, and the coating might prevent calamity if the AirPods were exposed to moisture. To learn more about AirPods, sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter.

Are the AirPods Pro Waterproof?

airpods pro

AirPods Pro are not waterproof, but they are sweat and water resistant for exercise and non-water sports. The IP code for the AirPods Pro is IPX4, meaning that there is no data for particle ingress, but the device can resist up to 10 minutes of water splashing. Apple also clearly states, “Sweat and water resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear.” So swimming and water sports still don’t appear to be a good idea, but short exposure to water isn’t likely to harm your AirPods.

What to Do If Your AirPods Get Wet

Accidents happen; if you get your AirPod wet, do not use them while they are wet! Here’s what to do if you do accidentally expose your AirPods to water:

  1. Wipe them dry with a lint-free soft cloth.
  2. Allow them to dry completely before putting them in the charging case or using them.
  3. If your AirPods are exposed to detergents, chemicals, or other non-water liquids, wipe them clean with a slightly damp lint-free cloth.
  4. Allow them to dry completely before putting them in the charging case or using them.

When it comes to AirPods Pro, remove the ear tips and ensure they are dry before putting them back on. Letting your AirPods air dry is the safest thing to do, do not submerge them in rice. Although it’s not recommended by Apple, you might still decide to try rice. If you do, the best answer to "how long to leave AirPods in rice" is at least three hours, preferably two days. 

Another method that isn’t Apple-sanctioned and may cost you your warranty is using a sound that gets water out of speakers. The Apple Watch has a built-in sound that does this, but you would need to find one and play it on the device when it comes to other devices. This is not guaranteed to work and might damage your AirPods or other devices because they should not be powered on if they get wet.

Pro Tip: If they get dirty and you are wondering, "How do I clean my Apple earbuds?" Read this!

Do Waterproof AirPods Cases Exist?

Finally, neither the standard or wireless charging cases are water-resistant or waterproof, so take care to avoid exposing them to moisture. The best way to protect your AirPods by the pool or on the beach is by using a waterproof case cover for them. Many people wonder, "can you put your AirPods in a different case?’"The answer is yes, but you can also use a case cover and place it over your original Apple case.

KMMIN makes waterproof case covers for AirPods (starting at $12.99) and AirPods Pro (starting at $9.99.) They have great reviews and come in various color options. There are many other waterproof cases out there to pick from as well! Keep in mind that waterproof cases need to be closed properly to be effective. AirPods damaged by water from a malfunctioning case cover may not be covered by the standard Apple warranty but should be covered by AppleCare.

Keep checking back for more up-to-date information about your iPhone and accessories. Next, learn about the water-resistance levels of your other Apple devices.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.


Author Details

Erin MacPherson's picture

Author Details

Erin MacPherson

Erin is a Web Editor for iPhone Life and has been a writer, editor, and researcher for many years. She has a degree in communication with an emphasis on psychology and communication, and has spent many of her professional years as a coach in various business and specialty fields. Erin officially joined the ranks of iPhone and Apple users everywhere around nine years ago, and has since enjoyed the unique and customized feel of Apple technology and its many gadgets. When she’s not working, Erin and her son enjoy outdoor adventures, camping, and spending time with their eclectic collection of pets.