Can You Use AirPods in the shower? IPX Rating

Apple AirPods are a joy to use given their splendid sound and comfort. You might have seen Apple’s adverts showing models working out in their AirPods and you’re probably thinking: if it works with sweat, it must work with water and I can use AirPods in the shower, right? Not so fast! 

You can’t use AirPods in the shower as you’ll end up spoiling them. Also, Apple won’t replace them for you unless you expressly paid for cover when damaged by water. AirPods are only rated IPX4 meaning they’re resistant to splashes of water and sweat, not large amounts like in the shower. 

While AirPods aren’t hopeless against water and sweat, you need to practice care when handling them as they’ll keep out the occasional drop but won’t stand too much of any liquid. For better water resistance, consider AirPods Pro although even these ones can’t stand being submerged in water. 

Can You Use AirPods in the shower?

Can You Wear AirPods in the Shower?

You should not use AirPods in the shower or bath. AirPods aren’t waterproof whether you’re going for the original pair or the AirPods Pro. You thus can’t use them in the shower or even at the gym if you sweat heavily. AirPods are only splash resistant as indicated by their water-resistance rating of IPX4. This rating is just enough to keep off splashes of water and some sweat.

AirPods aren’t sweat-proof. Rather, they’re sweat resistant. Being sweatproof would mean that no matter how much sweat you’d subject them to, they’d still come out good. AirPods, however, can only withstand light sweating. 

The sweat and water resistance of your AirPods will eventually wear out with time. On their website, Apple states that sweat and water resistance will reduce with time as a result of normal wear. You thus need to be careful with liquids when using your AirPods. 

If you insist to use your AirPods in the shower, you can put on a waterproof shower cap then cover the ears with the AirPods in them. This way, you can listen to your tunes without worrying about water damaging your precious AirPods. 

Can You Wear AirPods Pro in the Shower?

You cannot wear AirPods Pro in the shower since they will be damaged by the water. That means you cannot take a shower with AirPods Pro or run in the rain with them since they’re only rated IPX4. At best, AirPods Pro are water and sweat resistant.

Can You Wear AirPods in the Rain?

Just like in the shower, rain will have too much water for the AirPods to stay functional. AirPods are electronics with electric circuits which can get short-circuited if they come into contact with liquids such as water. As such, don’t run into the rain with your AirPods. While the AirPods are rated IPX4, the case isn’t sweat or water resistant at all. In fact, rainfall shower heads very much replicate rainfall in the bathroom.

Are AirPods 2 Waterproof?

AirPods 2 are not waterproof. While Apple improved the water resistance of the AirPods 2 over the original AirPods, they’re still not waterproof. AirPods with wireless charging case and AirPods Max aren’t waterproof either.

An AirPods water test is shown below:

What Does IPX4 Mean?

IP refers to the Ingress Protection standard set by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). Basically, it’s a standard by which electronics are measured for how much they can keep liquids and other substances from entering and affecting the circuits inside them. For Europe, it’s the EN 60529 rating. 

The denotation in full is IPXXX and is as follows:

1. IP: Ingress Protection

The standard for measuring how much a device can withstand exposure to liquids and other substances. 

2. First X: Dust Resistance from 0 to 6 (higher is better)

For this rating, you’ll get devices rated from IP0 to IP6 with the higher value denoting higher resistance to dust. If a device is just IPX, it means that it wasn’t tested for dust resistance. 

3. Second X: Water Resistance from 0 to 9 (higher is better)

The second X denotes the water resistance of the device in question with ratings between IPXX and IPX9. The ratings and what they mean are as follows:

  • IPXX: water resistance not measured. 
  • IPX0: device has no water or moisture protection. 
  • IPX1: device has protection against vertical drops of water at a rate of 1mm/min for 10 minutes. 
  • IPX2: device has protection from water drops at angles of 15 degrees at a rate of 3mm/min for 10 minutes. 
  • IPX3: device has protection against water sprays at an angle of 60 degrees at a pressure between 50 and 150kPa for 5 minutes. 
  • IPX4: gadget has protection from water splashes from all angles and directions. Also sweat-resistant. IPX4 rating for AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods 2 means they can resist splashes of water and light sweat. 
  • IPX5: device has protection against strong water jets no matter the angle or direction at a rate of 12.5l/min for 15 minutes. 
  • IPX6: protection from strong water jets from all angles at a rate of 100l/min for 3 minutes. 
  • IPX7: device is protected from water submersion to a depth of 3ft (1 meter) for 30 minutes. That’s being waterproof. 
  • IPX8: device can be submerged in water up to 3 meters no matter the time without damage. 
  • IPX9K: device is protected against water at 175°F/80°C, sprayed as close as 0.1-0.15 meters away, at a pressure of 8-10MPa and at a volume of 14-16l/min. 

4. Third X: Other Types of Protection (optional)

This rating is optional for most electronic gadgets and is used to denote other protection levels. The common ones are as follows:

  • IPXXC: device protected against access with a tool. 
  • IPXXD: protected against wires. 
  • IPXXF: resistant to oil. 
  • IPXXH: protected from high voltages (high voltage device).
  • IPXXM: protected when moving in a water test. 
  • IPXXS: protected when device is standing still during a water test. 
  • IPXXW: protected from weather conditions. 

Few speakers, earphones, headphones or household items will have this type of rating. 

I Dropped AirPods in Water

You just dropped your precious little AirPods into the water and you’re wondering what to do with them. Well, here are a few things you need to know and do:

1. Will Apple replace my AirPods?

Apple and many other electronic manufacturers don’t cover device damage by water and they state so clearly in their warranties. If you tend to drop things, you should consider getting an AppleCare+ cover for your AirPods for $29. This cover extends the limited warranty offered for 2 more years (to a total of 3 years). If you damage your AirPods while under the cover, you simply pay $29 and have them fixed or replaced. 

2. What to do if I washed my AirPods?

If you forgot them in your pocket or bag and washed your AirPods in the process, you should do the following:

  • Remove them from their charging case to prevent further damage if there is any. 
  • Dry the AirPods up with a piece of microfiber clothing. This ensures as much water and moisture as possible in the AirPods is removed. 
  • Put the AirPods and the case (independently) into a bag of rice or silica gel packets. These items are the best at extracting water from the environment around them. They will thus remove all the moisture from the AirPods and the case. 
  • Keep the AirPods and their case in the rice or silica gel overnight then try powering them on and using them to listen to music. 

Use those method with all liquids the AirPods may be exposed to. If this doesnt work, it might be that they’ve been damaged by the water. Seek help from Apple.

2. How do I avoid dropping AirPods in water?

AirPods are tiny and can easily slip from the hand into water or, worse even, the drain where they could be lost. This is primarily because they’re what’s called true wireless earphones with each earbud independent of the other. 

To prevent dropping or losing AirPods, you have the following options among many others: 

  • AirPods necklace

An AirPods strap or necklace helps keep the two AirPods together when in use such that they stay together. It’s basically a strap with two ends that you can attach the AirPods. You can then hang them around your neck similar to what the Beats X and Beats Flex offer. The iAbler Airpods Strap is a good option. 

  • AirPods ear hooks

While we don’t encourage having your AirPods in the shower, having AirPods ear hooks keeps them steady in the ears. This prevents them from falling down into a pool of water. 

AirPods Care Tips

With AirPods costing a good amount of money, you should practice the following to avoid spoiling them:

  • Keep them away from water and other liquids. 
  • When having drinks, keep the AirPods at a safe distance preferably away from the drinks. 
  • Put the AirPods in their case and in a safe dry place when not using them. 
  • Wipe off any drinks or other substances that come into contact with the AirPods or its case. 
  • Before washing cloths, check the pockets to ensure the AirPods aren’t there. 
  • Don’t drop the AirPods since this reduces the quality of the water resistance seal. 

As a word of caution, avoid taking your AirPods into the shower or bath at all costs. That goes for all watery environments including the sauna, the swimming pool and the rain. Also, keep them away from the washing machine. If you must listen to music in the shower, consider waterproof speakers for the bathroom. 

The case of your AirPods isnt waterproof or even water resistant. You can protect it with an AirPods Waterproof case or, if you own the AirPods Pro, an AirPods Pro waterproof case. 

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