The Shower Test: Can You Wear AirPods

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AirPods have come a long way since the first-generation model was released in 2016. Each model that Apple has introduced has improved upon the last, in terms of quality, durability, and onboard features.

Can you wear AirPods in the Shower?

AirPods Pro and AirPods 3rd Generation are rated IPX4 water and sweat-resistant, but this doesn’t mean you can use them in the shower. Apple advises that exposing AirPods to running water should be avoided regardless of which model you own, to avoid damaging them.

AirPods are pretty durable compared to most other earbuds.

They can survive being dropped from head height, and the charging case is robust enough to protect them in most situations.

Some of the latest models are also able to withstand some exposure to water, but it is advised that you try to prevent this wherever possible.

In this guide, we’ll discuss whether AirPods are resistant to water damage.

Can You Wear AirPods in the Shower?

No matter which model of AirPods you own, you cannot use them in the shower. Apple has improved the water resistance of AirPods with the latest models, but there’s a big difference between being water-resistant and waterproof.

If you use your AirPods while showering, there’s a strong possibility that you’ll damage them. The damage may be repairable if you dry them out before using them again, or it may be permanent depending on how much water the AirPods are exposed to.

Even the steam generated from a hot shower could be enough to damage the inner mechanisms and components of your AirPods. When moisture enters through the speaker holes, it could completely ruin the driver, microphone, and onboard sensors.

There aren’t many if any situations where using your AirPods in the shower would be necessary, so it’s not worth the risk. AirPods aren’t cheap, so it would be a shame to have to buy a new set because you couldn’t wait to get out of the shower before using them!

The only way that you might be able to wear AirPods in the shower is if you wear them underneath a tight shower cap, which fully protects them from water.

This should be done with caution though, as the cap may push the AirPods too far into your ears which can cause pain or even hearing damage.

Which AirPods are the Most Waterproof?

The first two generations of Apple’s popular AirPods were not water-resistant at all.

Users of these AirPods, therefore, have to be extremely careful not to get them wet by keeping them out of the rain and ensuring that they don’t get exposed to a lot of sweat.

With the release of the AirPods Pro in 2019, Apple announced that one of the improvements they would make to this model would be to make them IPX4 water-resistant. The 3rd generation AirPods was then released two years later, and are also rated IPX4 water-resistant.

The IP rating scale is used to demonstrate a product’s resistance to water, dust, sweat, and moisture. Water-resistance ratings use IPX followed by a number between 0 and 9. The higher the number, the more resistant the product is to water damage, as is demonstrated below.

IPX RatingWater Resistance
IPX0No protection from water
IPX1Resistant to vertically dripping water
IPX2Resistant to water angled at 15 degrees or less
IPX3Resistant to water angled up to 60 degrees
IPX4Resistant to splashes of water from all directions
IPX5Resistant to low-pressure water spray
IPX6Resistant to high-pressure water spray
IPX7Resistant to being submerged in water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes
IPX8Resistant to being submerged in water deeper than 1 meter
IPX9KResistant to high-pressure water sprays at close range
Table to show IPX ratings in relation to AirPods

IPX4 indicates that AirPods Pro and AirPods 3rd generation are “resistant to water splashes from all directions.” All other AirPods, including the 1st and 2nd generation models and the over-ear AirPods Max, are rated IPX0. This means they “offer no special protection from water or moisture.”

So, if you’re searching for the AirPods that are the most water-proof – the truth is that none of them can claim to possess this quality. Nevertheless, the AirPods Pro and 3rd generation AirPods do boast some water resistance which means they will survive a rainstorm or be exposed to sweat when you exercise.

Devices that are rated IPX4 water-resistant aren’t designed to be submerged in water, but if they are briefly, they will probably survive providing they are sufficiently dried out before they are used again.

If you drop your AirPods in water, putting them in a container with rice may help to dry out the inner components and avoid permanent damage. You should leave the AirPods in the rice for 24 hours so that they are fully dry, as using them when they are wet may cause further problems.

AirPods Max are not rated as water resistant, but due to their over-ear design, they are unlikely to be harmed by rain or sweat. It’s more difficult for water to enter into the speaker holes of over-ear headphones than it is with earbud-style AirPods.

Check out this YouTube video of an AirPods water test!

Best Earbuds for Wearing in the Shower

Just because AirPods aren’t designed to be used in the shower doesn’t mean there aren’t other earbuds that can handle a considerable amount of water exposure.

The Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds are amongst the best for showering or using in wet conditions.

These earbuds are rated as IPX7 water resistant, which means they can withstand being submerged, splashed, or sprayed with water for long periods.

Using the Elite Active 75t earbuds in the shower won’t cause any damage, and you can rest assured that they also won’t break them. They’re designed for athletes who train in every condition, which is why they have such a high IPX rating.

Another great thing about these Jabra earbuds is that they are wireless, just like AirPods. This prevents cables from getting in your way while showering, exercising, or relaxing while listening to audio.

Also, Jaybird’s X4 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are a great set of earbuds that will survive being used in the shower. Like the aforementioned Jabra earbuds, the X4s are rated IPX7 waterproof.

JBL is one of the world’s best known audio brands, so it should come as no surprise that they also manufacture several water resistant earbuds that will be able to withstand being used in the shower.

The Endurance Race Waterproof True Wireless Active Sport Earbuds are JBL’s best option for water resistance. With an IPX7 rating, these earbuds can even be used when swimming as they can survive being submerged in up to 1m of water without being damaged.

Is it Safe to Wear AirPods in the Shower?

Using any electrical items in the shower is generally not advised, as there is a risk that this could result in damage or serious injury due to an electric shock.

There have been reports of AirPods causing a small electrostatic shock when they are used in dry conditions, but if you use AirPods in the shower, would this increase the chance of a worse electric shock occurring?

AirPods are safe to wear in the shower, and they won’t cause you any harm if you do so. However, as we’ve already discussed in this article – AirPods will likely be permanently damaged if you take them in the shower so there’s no point in even trying it.

The waterproof earbuds that we’ve listed in this guide are much better options if you are intent on using them in the shower, but I would recommend avoiding doing this anyway and simply taking a break from using your earbuds until you are dry.

If you need to use your AirPods in the shower for some specific reason, try to make sure that you do not get water on your head and direct it below your neck so that the AirPods have less chance of being damaged.

Even if you do this, there’s still a chance that the AirPods could be damaged due to steam getting into the speaker holes.

Related Questions

Can you wear AirPods in the bathtub?

Wearing AirPods in a bath is not advised, but if you ensure that your head doesn’t go under the water then they should be fine. You should also take extra care not to splash the AirPods when washing.

What happens if AirPods go through the wash?

If you accidentally put your AirPods through a washing machine, you should dry them for at least 24 hours before you attempt to use them again. You may then need to charge them for a short while to get them to turn back on after being water damaged.

Why are my AirPods making a high-pitched noise?

If your AirPods are making a high-pitched sound, you should first try turning off the Automatic Ear Detection feature, and the Noise Control feature. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to get your AirPods repaired in the Apple Store.

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