XDA Basics: Here’s how to spot fake AirPods from the real ones

XDA Basics: Here’s how to spot fake AirPods from the real ones

Fake products are a sad reality of today’s world, and especially common for things that are expensive and coveted by people. Which is why Apple products are often a victim of the counterfeit industry. Fake iPhones used to be a thing, and now AirPods have caught the eye of counterfeiters, and if you are not careful, you may end up with fake AirPods. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the ways you can spot fake AirPods and how to safeguard yourself.

Check the serial number

If you’re unsure about the authenticity of a pair of AirPods, you can use its serial number to confirm the same. The serial number of AirPods or AirPods Pro can be found on the underside of the lid of the charging case or the wireless charging case. Additionally, in AirPods (2nd-gen) and AirPods Pro, each AirPod also has an individual serial number printed on it. AirPods Max, on the other hand, have the serial number printed on the left earcup. You’ll have to remove the magnetic ear cushion to see it.

Once you’ve obtained the serial number, head over to checkcoverage.apple.com. This webpage will show the relevant warranty and additional coverage details of the AirPods. If your AirPods are genuine, you’ll see proper results. If they’re fake, the website will throw up an error message.

Inspect the packaging

Apple AirPods packaging

Although scammers have become quite smart these days, they still make mistakes. These mistakes can help you spot fake AirPods from genuine AirPods. Carefully look at the packaging of the AirPods box, and if you notice spelling mistakes, double spaces, printing issues, and pixelation in photos, the AirPods aren’t genuine.

Even the quality of the packaging material itself can reveal if it’s a fake. It’ll never be poor in the case of a genuine article. Apple pays really close attention to the packaging, so a subpar experience is a good sign of a fake.

Inspect the AirPods and their Case

AirPods case

The design of the AirPods can also be helpful in figuring out whether they’re fake or genuine. You can compare the design of the AirPods in your hand with the listing on the Apple website, and if you notice any extra vents, misalignment, or shape differences, you’re holding a fake. Counterfeiters are also often not as careful with vents and grills, so those things can give a fake away. Even the printing on the case and AirPods will be first-rate in the case of a genuine article.

In the case of AirPods and AirPods Pro, if you have any color other than white, it’s a fake. Apple currently only sells white versions for these. AirPods Max, however, come in five colors – Space Grey, Silver, Green, Sky Blue, and Pink.

Functions and ports

AirPods lightning port

Another way of spotting fake AirPods is by checking if they’re missing a feature or function that should be available. Wireless charging support, for example, must be present in the AirPods Pro. If the charging case for these AirPods doesn’t support wireless charging, it’s a fake.

Also, your AirPods should connect instantly to your iPhone when the case is opened. Apple’s Instant Connect feature is usually missing from the fakes. Moreover, once your AirPods are connected to the iPhone or a MacBook, the Bluetooth settings will show the AirPods icon next to the device name. If you don’t see an icon, you’re holding counterfeit AirPods.

All AirPods also come with a lightning port for charging, and if your pair of AirPods is using some other port, like USB Type-C or Micro-USB, it’s a fake.

Online purchases

If you’re ordering your AirPods online, you won’t get your hands on them until they are delivered. So you can check for a few things before placing the order to safeguard your money — read seller reviews, read user reviews for the listing, and avoid suspiciously good deals. It’s also always better to buy from the Apple website or reputed sellers from Amazon and other popular e-commerce websites.

    Apple AirPods (2nd-Gen)
    Apple AirPods (2nd-Gen) are the company's most affordable set of wireless earbuds.
    Apple AirPods Pro
    AirPods Pro are Apple's premium wireless earbuds. These come with a new design and active noise cancellation.
    Apple AirPods Max
    Apple AirPods Max are the company's newest premium over-ear headphones with active noise cancellation.

Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid fake AirPods. If you think we missed a good tip, let us know in the comments section. Meanwhile, check out these cool cases for the AirPods Pro.

About author

Gaurav Shukla
Gaurav Shukla

Gaurav has been covering technology for over a decade now. He has done everything from blogging about Android to reporting the latest from the world of Internet giants. When he is not writing about the tech companies, he can be found binge-watching new TV series on the web.