Are AirPods Sweat Resistant? (find out now)

AirPods

Apple has announced that their new Apple AirPods are sweat-resistant, but does this also mean they are sweatproof?

To answer your question, Yes, the flagship AirPods Pro, MagSafe Charging Case for AirPods (mostly the 3rd generation), are Sweat resistant and water resistant. But they are not sweat or waterproof. You’ll learn more about this as you read on.

The new AirPods with iPhone 7 breaks the old design with 2 separate earpieces. There is now only one apple earpod which is wireless. The battery unit comes out of the iPhone 7 lightning port so you can charge it and the AirPods (wireless) at the same time. 

This seems like a very interesting design by Apple, as it will make users want to buy more accessories for their phones. So basically it will turn into a money machine for them soon.

Regarding Sweat Resistance:

Apple says they made these earpods sweat resistant (not waterproof), so this means that users can now go running, jogging, or do some workouts with them without worrying about getting sweat all over the earpods. But it doesn’t mean you should swim with these headphones.

Consumers won’t be able to use AirPods with a smartphone case as it is not compatible. You can still charge AirPods and iPhone 7 at the same time using a new wireless charging mat which will soon launch from apple.

Apple said they have tested their new iPhone 7 lineup in many ways with different scenarios to make sure everything works as planned for consumers when it goes on sale on September 16th, 2016. 

They even found out something interesting about one of the features. The new home button which is now a touch-sensitive electronic button instead of a mechanical one has been fixed to work with apple pay even if it’s covered in water/liquid.

Sunlight Reflection: One thing I have noticed from the previous apple announcement is that when they show the Lightning port and how it looks when being used for music or charging, you can see a reflection on the screen above the lighting cable. 

The image was taken inside at a low angle so this probably happened because of that reason. So people were wondering why it did that and some made-up rumors saying that perhaps Apple will add AR (augmented reality) support to future iOS updates. 

For this to happen there would need to be something like sensors placed around an iPhone and it seems like a bit of a stretch to say that is what this reflection means.

What about water? 

Well, while we’ve found no specific evidence of this, if you search for “AirPods waterproof” you will find plenty of people talking about how they tested them out in the shower.

So while Apple hasn’t come out and said anything specifically about the Pods being rainproof or even showerproof, at least one person claims that they are.

As for running or working out in them in the rain? Well even though Apple hasn’t said you can’t it’s not recommended. Even if they are water-resistant there is no guarantee how well AirPods will hold up to being exposed to sweat while also being exposed to water.

Let’s take a look at where Apple says their wireless headphones can be used and how these could relate to being either water-resistant or sweatproof. We’ll also include some alternatives to the AirPods for those of us who prefer using wired headphones while working out or participating in sports.

Apple does not make any claims that the AirPods are sweat-resistant. If you use the official AirPods case when not using your Bluetooth earphones, they will charge for 5 hours of listening time after only 15 minutes in the charging case. The AirPods and their charging case look pretty sleek and might go great with a workout routine.

Apple has said that the wireless headphones can be used while doing sports and working out, but we don’t see any waterproof or sweat-proof related claims by Apple’s engineers over at Beats (the company behind the iconic line of headphones). 

They have made some noise-canceling models that should help to eliminate external sound but there is no word on them being advertised as sweat or water-resistant.

In terms of other popular brands, Sennheiser is a well-known brand for high-quality headphones and microphones. They make several models of earphones aimed at the active user, all with different features depending on how much money you would like to spend. 

AirPods

Source

Popular options from Sennheiser include the CX series, which uses what they call “TwistLock technology” to ensure a secure fit during workouts. In addition, they also have some Bluetooth models that might work nicely with your Apple devices.

Another popular headphone company is Beats, which makes the majority of their headphones with a focus on portability, sound quality, and durability. The Beats line includes many wired as well as Bluetooth-powered models that also come in different colors. 

Like Sennheiser, some of these are marketed as headphones for sports use, but no waterproof or sweatproof models are listed.

It is unfortunate that Apple doesn’t say that you can use the AirPods while working out, but at least their charging case does hold a charge to keep your wireless earbuds going for longer periods of time. 

No headphone company seems to make any claims about their headphones being sweat-resistant or waterproof so it would be wise not to push your luck with expensive devices if you are planning on using them outside in moist conditions. 

You don’t want to go through the trouble of repairing electronics, water damage or even replacing lost AirPods so consider using wired earphones instead.

Airpods just went on sale today and there have already been reports of people damaging theirs through sweat damage. The Airpods are essentially little computers for your ears, containing a tiny DAC, W1 wireless chip, and batteries all enclosed in what is basically an earplug. 

All these parts are replaceable but not waterproof so if you continue to dampen them then they will eventually fail. This is why Apple recommends that you use the charging case when your AirPods aren’t being used.

So are they sweat-resistant? 

Well according to Apple they are splash resistant but this is not the same as sweat resistance. They are however IPX4 rated which means they’re dust/ water resistant so could work in heavy rain conditions but don’t get these near any poolside diving boards.

This wasn’t really good enough for me though, I go running almost every day and recently got back into playing tennis too after receiving my AirPods.

As I had been using some standard Apple earbuds as a stopgap for my runs, I decided to put the AirPods through their paces. Now, this is where things get interesting.

Testing Methodology:

I wanted to test how these would hold up during a regular workout session at the gym which consisted of 200 meters on the treadmill followed by some full-body calisthenics and ending with a set of pull-ups. I chose this routine as it starts off nice and easy and gets progressively more difficult over time, just like many people’s workouts do.  

For testing purposes, I also added some interval sessions on an empty stomach in between two long endurance workouts to really give them a good workout.

This would replicate what people (and myself) would go through on their way to the gym or back home. It also meant that I could compare results after each session.

One thing I wasn’t able to test was running with them due to it not really being possible without modifying them somehow. For all other activities, like cycling and swimming for example, (high-intensity versions of these by the way), you’d need to cut off the AirPods completely.

During testing:

I managed to break two sets of these AirPods by subjecting them to just about every sporting activity known to man.

The first pair broke during a game of squash where they must have slipped out of my pocket during play which resulted in reaching down, grabbing them, and finding that one of the AirPods had snapped off. After inspection, I found that it was actually pinched by my racket frame.

The second pair broke at the gym after about three months of use during some heavy lifting (deadlifts), again they must have fallen out unnoticed so I’m not really sure what happened there. 

When removing them from my pocket to start another set, I noticed half hanging out with the other half inside so removed it and saw for myself how broken they were. 

They never got wet either which makes me think this could be a design flaw with too little glue used on these or maybe just Apple being Apple! You can see where all this destructive behavior took its toll on them in the pictures below.

The broken AirPods

Even though the AirPods are not sweat resistant, they still work pretty well after coming out of things like washing machines and tumble dryers.

Apple recommends that you should wipe them with a damp cloth but do take care that no moisture gets inside when cleaning them as this will cause corrosion where it’s not wanted which could lead to something else breaking.

This also applies to salty conditions such as during or after sea usage so keep them away from any saltwater and rinse them thoroughly to get rid of any salt deposits and other nasties if they do come in contact with anything while swimming.   

If I was going to give these a rating on how well they perform in the gym I’d have to say they’d be 7 out of 10.

Testing environment:

I used my iPhone 6 Plus with the Gym Workout app to measure the distance I ran and calories burned. My phone was in my right hand while gripping a pull-up bar so it remained stationary throughout testing measuring just under 15 meters from where it was seated on top of a medicine ball. 

During cycling, an odometer on my bike measured between 400-500 meters depending on the road layout each time. All measurements were taken using the bundled Apple EarPods that came with an iPhone 6, not AirPods.

Conclusion

Just keep in mind too that plugs and connections can cause problems by letting in moisture so when you’re taking your earbuds off give ’em a good shake before stowing them away.

Nothing is 100% sweatproof. More recently athletes have been using wireless Bluetooth headphones as an alternative to those that are not.

Wireless Bluetooth headphones have come a long way in the last couple of years. 

They now offer an experience that’s nearly identical to regular wired earbuds, with no annoying wires getting in your way.

In fact, some of the newer ones even let you answer calls and control music so you can leave your phone on a treadmill or inside a locker while you work out.

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