Airpods have added a great deal of comfort and convenience to our lives ever since they were first released, giving us the ability to listen to music, podcasts, and other audio entertainment at just about any time, just about anywhere. But can you shower with Airpods? We know that Airpods are water-resistant, but is it safe, or will they be damaged?
You should not be wearing your Airpods in the shower. It is a damp environment that Apple specifically recommends users not to use their Airpods in. Airpods are equipped with IPX4 water resistance, but submergence and prolonged exposure to water and other liquids can permanently damage your Airpods.
Airpods haven’t always been waterproof, and you should note that older pairs (1st generation) do not have IPX4 water resistance.
Still, Apple has boasted that they are now sweat and water-resistant, making them far more dynamic and suitable for various environments that were not conducive to headphones before.
But just how much water can your Airpods be exposed to? Enough to take a shower with them?
Can Airpods Survive A Shower?
Quite simply, no, your Airpods won’t survive a shower and come out unscathed – even if you’re not washing your hair and are using a handheld showerhead.
Apple strictly recommends that users not wear their Airpods in saunas because the steam can easily get through the waterproofing.
The environment in the shower is very similar, and the steam will likely cause some damage to your Airpods.
Apple also instructs customers not to use any soap, shampoo, conditioner, or lotions, which will negatively affect waterproof seals and the acoustic membranes in your Airpods.
Hence, showers are a double threat to your Airpods’ functionality. There are stories of people’s Airpods surviving after going through the washing machine, but these are merely cases of pure luck.
For the Airpods’ retail price, it simply isn’t worth the risk.
Perhaps you aren’t familiar with how waterproofing works and what the ingress protection (IP) ratings mean.
For devices to be safe for use in the shower or when swimming, they need an IPX7 rating or higher.
To better understand what each IP rating means, here’s a quick look at everything from IPX0 to IPX9K and the protections they offer against exposure to water:
|IP Rating||Protection against water|
|IPX1||When oriented normally, headphones are protected against vertically dripping water for a short time (about 10 minutes)|
|IPX2||Headphones tilted at about 15-degrees from normal orientation are protected against vertically dripping water|
|IPX3||Headphones rotated at roughly 60-degrees are protected against water falling as a spray|
|IPX4||Protected against a splash of water from any direction|
|IPX5||Protected against water jet (6.3mm stream of water) from any angle|
|IPX6||Protected against powerful water 12.5mm jet from any angle|
|IPX7||They are protected against the entry of water. Headphones survive water damage when temporarily submerged in 3 feet (one meter) of water depth for 30 minutes.|
|IPX8||Headphones can survive continuous immersion in water at a depth of 13 feet|
|IPX9K||Not available on any headphones. But devices with this rating can withstand powerful high-temperature water jets.|
So with an IPX4 rating, your Airpods are protected against a splash of water from any direction, which would seem to match the description of what happens in the shower.
Avoid any direct contact between your ears and the water jets from the showerhead, and it’ll be ok, right?
Not really, because of steam. The IPX4 water resistance was designed to wear your Airpods at the gym and protect the internal parts of your Airpods from limited exposure to liquids.
What Happens If You Shower With Airpods?
If you make the mistake of taking your Airpods into the shower, any of three things can and most likely will happen. Firstly, water will get stuck inside the Airpods.
Secondly, the wiring in the Airpods will short circuit and, finally, soap and shampoo will damage the tips of your Airpods.
In this way, your experience of listening to music will not be particularly enjoyable anyway. Any water building up in your headphones will lower the audio quality.
So, it makes the reward of taking the risk even lower than you may have thought.
Furthermore, water doesn’t mix well with electronic circuitry, and the buildup of water inside your Airpods will cause them to short-circuit.
This can permanently break your Airpods and could even cause a shock which is potentially harmful to your body, especially if you suffer from a medical condition such as epilepsy.
Finally, as we’ve already mentioned, Apple actively discourages using soap and other household cleaning items to clean their Airpods.
This includes things like shampoos, hair conditioners, lotions, and shower gel, which are all found in your shower.
This recommendation also applies to cleaning the ear tips of your Airpods. If any of that liquid finds its way into your Airpods, they will break.
One piece of good news is that your Airpods should be able to survive light rain, but if you’re thinking of taking them out when it’s bucketing down, you should probably think again and rather find a nice dry place in your pockets to store them while you’re on the move.
What Should You Do If Your Airpods Get Wet?
If you’re reading this article, there’s a chance that our warnings have already come too late, and you have worn your Airpods in the shower or exposed them to a liquid somehow. So what do you do if your Airpods get wet? Can they be fixed?
Once again, Apple warns users not to use any cleaning products like detergents or submerging their Airpods in any liquid whatsoever.
Instead, Apple recommends that you use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe off excess liquid and dry them out as much as possible.
It’s also imperative that you wait for your Airpods to dry completely before returning them to their charging case. Your Airpods may be water-resistant, but the case is not.
Once your Airpods have dried out for a minimum of 12 hours, you can return them to their case (dry), charge them and see if they still work. If not, they will need to be replaced.
Another great tip is to use silica packs to help remove any excess moisture and is a common solution for drying out mobile phones that has been used to great effect.
Unfortunately, however, if this doesn’t work, your Airpods are damaged beyond repair, and Apple’s extended warranty doesn’t cover water damage.
So, to put it in simple terms, showering with your Airpods is a terrible idea that’s likely to cause damage, if not permanently break, them.
As you surely know, Airpods don’t come for cheap, and bringing them into the shower is like throwing money down the drain.
Electronics and water simply don’t mix, and perhaps a time will come when Apple will release Airpods with IPX9K waterproofing.
For now, however, you can look for a decent waterproof speaker that can go into the shower with you.
It’ll probably end up being more affordable than replacing your Airpods anyways!
You can shower and listen to your music without taking unnecessary risks and potentially bankrupting yourself.