How to Tell If Your AirPods Are Fake

In Short
  • Enter the serial number found on the AirPods into Apple's 'Check Coverage' website and see if the AirPods are registered in Apple's system.
  • Check for any typos on the packaging, missing plastic wrapping, or documentation as Apple always excels in its packaging details.
  • Connectivity issues, such as frequent disconnections, or bad audio quality, are also common indicators of counterfeit AirPods.

There is no denying the fact that over the years, Apple AirPods have come up as the best premium TWS out there. However, this exceeding popularity has also led to a surge of fake AirPods flooding the market. So, to ensure you are investing in an authentic Apple experience, it is essential to know how to differentiate between original AirPods and their fake counterparts. So, keep reading to learn how to tell if your AirPods are fake.

From scrutinizing the packaging to checking for subtle physical details and performance, we have listed down a few checkpoints that will empower you to make informed decisions and avoid falling prey to fake AirPods or AirPods Pro. Here’s how you tell if AirPods are fake:

1. Examine the Packaging and Box Contents

Same as other Apple products, all the AirPods and AirPods Pro models come packed in meticulously high-quality material. The box of the AirPods should have crisp, clear printing without any smudges or blurriness with airtight plastic wrapping over it. Fake AirPoids boxes generally have inferior-quality printing and loose plastic wrap.

Also, while examining the box, check for the Apple logo and other details to ensure they are well-defined and not altered. Any sign of misspellings, incorrect font size, or inconsistent information on the packaging is an indication of fake AirPods.

Last but not least, check the box contents to see if something is missing or extra. The box should have the following documents – an instruction manual, a warranty card, and a safety sheet. Along with this, a lightning cable for older models or a USB-C cable for the latest AirPods Pro, and extra ear tips should be there.

If any of these are missing in the packaging and the box was unsealed at the time of delivery, well, there’s a high chance that you have received a pair of fake AirPods.

2. Verify the Serial Number

Similar to the immaculate packaging, every genuine pair of AirPods comes with a unique serial number. To confirm authenticity:

  • Visit Apple’s official website or use the Apple Support app to verify the serial number.
  • Navigate to the “Check Coverage” section, enter the serial number found on the AirPods or their packaging, and confirm if Apple recognizes it as a valid product.
  • The serial number is printed next to the barcode or on the underside of the lid of the charging case.
  • If the serial number isn’t recognized or matches a different product, it’s likely a fake.

However, there is no guarantee that your AirPods are authentic even if the serial number gets recognized as fake, AirPods manufacturers can sometimes use the serial number of an original AirPods to fool buyers. But yes, if the number isn’t recognized at all, then the pair of AirPods are fake for sure.

Real AirPods (L) vs Fake AirPods (R)

3. Check Physical Details

Examine every physical aspect of the AirPods closely. Fake AirPods Pro versions might have slight differences in size, weight, or color shades. Open the charging case and look for the printed serial number under the lid of the charging case.

Also, the LED indicator light on the charging case of genuine AirPods behaves in a specific manner, usually glowing when the case is opened or charging. Counterfeit versions might have a different or inconsistent LED behavior.

4. Sound and Software Performance

One of the most telling signs of fake AirPods is their performance. Fake versions often exhibit poor sound quality, including distorted audio or imbalanced volumes between the left and right earbuds.

Connectivity issues, such as frequent disconnections or limited Bluetooth range, are also common in counterfeit models. Authentic AirPods are known for their seamless connectivity and superior audio quality, so any noticeable deviation in these aspects could signal a counterfeit.

However, nowadays, even the fake AirPods models do come with seamless connectivity, and all the original Apple AirPods features make it more difficult to find the fake one. Check out this video on Beebom’s official channel to see how good these fake AirPods are getting.

5. No Find My Support

Fake AirPods Pro models generally do not work with Apple’s “Find My” feature. This feature is specifically designed to locate all Apple devices linked to your iCloud account, including AirPods, iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Counterfeit AirPods generally lack the necessary integration with the Apple Ecosystem, so they won’t be compatible with “Find My” or other Apple services tied to authentic Apple products.

6. No Wireless Charging Support

Certain fake AirPods might claim that they have wireless charging support, but actual functionality may vary. Authentic Apple AirPods with a wireless charging case are specifically designed to work seamlessly with wireless charging pads that support the Qi standard or Apple’s MagSafe wireless chargers.

However, fake AirPods may falsely claim wireless charging capability without having the technology or come with an exterior case that looks like the real one but does not have the hardware to support wireless charging.

So place your AirPods over a wireless charging pad and check whether the charging begins. When the AirPods charging case is placed on a wireless charger, the LED indicator turns green or amber depending upon the battery level of the AirPods case. If the AirPods do not charge when placed on a wireless charger, you might have fallen victim to fake AirPods.

7. Price Discrepancies

While price alone isn’t a definitive indicator, it’s worth noting that significant deviations from the market average could hint at fake products. Unrealistically low prices, especially from unofficial or unknown retailers, should raise suspicions.

Apple is known for maintaining a relatively stable price across authorized sellers, so prices that are far below the usual range should be approached cautiously.

What to Do if You Suspect Your AirPods Are Fake

If you suspect that you have purchased fake AirPods or have doubts about their authenticity, it’s best to compare them side by side with a known authentic pair. If your suspicion turns out to be true, contact the customer support team of the website from where you purchased them or contact the retailer if you bought them offline. While the chances of getting your money are very low, there is still no harm in trying.

Also, many credit card companies in the United States offer many purchase protection options, so if you bought the “Fake AirPods” with a credit card, contact your credit card company and ask about a chargeback.

So this is how you spot a fake AirPods Pro. We at Beebom suggest you buy Apple products from an official Apple Store or Apple-authorised resellers only to minimize any risk.

Is it OK to use fake AirPods?

Using fake AirPods is a personal choice, but their quality, the attached health concerns like the risk of ear infection, and performance are a few factors you should consider before using them regularly.

Do real AirPods light up?

No, AirPods do not light up; only the LED indicator on the AirPods case lights when you open the case or put it on charging.

Can you track original AirPods?

Yes, you can easily track an authentic pair of Apple AirPods using the Find My app on your iPhone if the AirPods are associated with your Apple ID.

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