Can You Use AirPods in the Shower? (With 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 spoil them. Also, Apple won’t replace them unless you expressly paid for cover when water damages them. 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 can’t stand submerging 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 water splashes 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. 

Your AirPods’ sweat and water resistance will eventually wear out with time. Apple’s website states that sweat and water resistance will reduce with time due to normal wear. You thus need to be careful with liquids when using your AirPods. 

If you insist on using your AirPods in the shower, you can put on a waterproof shower cap and 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 the water will damage them. 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. That also applies to the second generation of AirPods Pro.

Can You Wear AirPods in the Rain?

Just like in the shower, the 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 the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) sets. 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 a 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 water splashes 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 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 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 the 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 AirPods into the water and are 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 are 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 this method with all liquids the AirPods may be exposed to. If this doesn’t work, it might be that the water has damaged them. 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, 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 a strap with two ends to attach the AirPods. You can then hang them around your neck like the Beats X and Beats Flex. The iAbler AirPods Strap is a good option. 

  • AirPods ear hooks

While I don’t encourage having your AirPods in the shower, having AirPods ear hooks keeps them steadily 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 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 clothes, 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 isn’t 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when AirPods get wet?

AirPods can hold up when splashed with water thanks to their IPX4 rating. This means they can be splashed with water from any direction and get wet from sweat without damage. 

Can you wear AirPods under a shower cap?

Since most sower caps are waterproof, water will not affect the AirPods. However, this only works when the shower cap fully covers the AirPods. 

Is it OK to use AirPods with wet hair?

You can use your AirPods with wet hair without damaging them. However, if the hair is dripping wet, it can have enough water to damage the AirPods.

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