AirPods aren’t sweatproof and they’re not waterproof, either. Although, Apple has neither confirmed nor denied this. They’ve not said a word.
Apple bought Beats back in 2014 and in 2019, Beats released the PowerBeats Pro billing it as both sweat and water-resistant. It’s pretty telling, therefore, that the same company boasting about one product’s moisture-proof USP isn’t doing the same about another. It’s safe to assume, then, that AirPods aren’t sweatproof.
Without sweat-proof covers, earphones and headphones are vulnerable to moisture damage. However, that doesn’t stop most of us hitting the gym with a speaker pressed into our ear. A little sweat on your AirPods probably won’t do much (if any) damage to the earphones. Getting caught in the rain won’t make much difference either BUT without Apple’s assurance of sweat-resistance, you can safely assume that over time, and especially if you’re sweating a lot and exercising regularly, that they’re at risk of breaking at some point in the future.
What Could Sweat Do to AirPods?
Sweat is made up of water, salt and various other chemicals. Our body produces it to help regulate temperature and to help keep us cool. When we begin overheating (as is the case during exercise), the brain sends a signal to the pores in our skin to begin producing moisture. Thanks to a process known as thermoregulation, that sweat is then evaporated into the air and it’s the evaporation of that liquid that keeps us cool.
Sweat is great for helping to keep our body temperature within a safe range, but it’s not so great for headphones. Sweat is corrosive and whilst sweat-damage is often more of a problem with big headphones, it can and does affect earbuds, too. Moisture can get inside the internal components of the earphones. AirPods may be more vulnerable as they don’t sit directly inside the ear as in-earphones do but rather hang out of the ear.
How Much of a Risk is Sweat to My AirPods?
In-earphones are popular with those of us who exercise regularly. Earphones are portable, lightweight and ones offering a good fit should keep firmly in the ear even during a rigorous workout. Apple Air Pods are no exception and have already proven to be very popular amongst athletes, gym users and runners. The fact that they may not be sweat resistant doesn’t seem to be that important to most people wearing them. It probably shouldn’t overly put you off, either, so long as you’re not exercising to such an extent that your earbuds are sodden with sweat. In-earphones were practically designed to be worn during physical activity and AirPods are even more suitable for the gym given that they’re wireless.
One reason why Apple hasn’t said anything is that even though Air Pods aren’t technically sweatproof, it’s not to say that they’ll definitely end up being damaged by moisture. You could wear in-earphones for a thousand workouts and probably find that they work as well as they did the day you took them out of the box. Why put people off your own product because of a problem the wearer may never encounter.
When Bose released its QuietComfort 35 II over-ear headphones, it advised wearers NOT to wear them during exercise and for a lot of people that makes sense. Big earphones aren’t always the obvious choice for a workout. Many people feel that they’ll be too hot and too heavy, preferring instead to use something lighter and altogether subtler like an earbud. On and over-ear headphones have a more obvious disadvantage when it comes to exercise. We know that without sweat-proof covers big headphones are more vulnerable to sweat damage. This is because the surface area touching the ear and head is far bigger making it easier for moisture to seep into the cushions and cause unpleasant smells and damage to the internal electronics.
If you’re concerned about buying earphones that aren’t moisture proof, then you can buy other earbuds that are marketed as sweatproof. For example, the PowerBeats Pro by Beats has an entire advert that’s literally just sportsmen and women sweating hard in their respective sports whilst wearing earphones. If you really can’t get on with big headphones and you’re not sure about whether you believe Air Pods are sweatproof or not, then these may be your best option.
AirPods might not be for you
Many people find in-earphones and earbuds too uncomfortable to wear and to ill-fitting to wear during exercise. If you’re going to listen to music during a workout, then it’s important to maintain concentration and form and that’s hardly possible if you’re readjusting a wire or an earbud every few minutes. One thing that’s worried a lot of people is how easily it can be to lose an AirPod. It is, after all, hanging out of the ear — would you notice immediately if it had dropped out?
Ultimately, Apple doesn’t have to say whether its AirPods are sweatproof or not. People are going to wear them. Analysts are estimating that Apple will sell around 55 million units will be sold in 2019 and a staggering 80 million in 2020. You may be responsible for buying a pair. You may already have bought them. You might be exercising in them every day.
Not convinced by AirPods?
If you’re looking to make the jump to BIG headphones, then we know a way of making almost ALL on and over-ear headphones sweatproof — by adding a pair of EarHugz.
EarHugz wick moisture away from the headphone’s cushions keeping the earpads fresh and preventing the gym-funk smell that has sent many a pair of Beats to the knackers yard. With plenty of designs to choose from (and £1 from every sale going to the Mental Health Foundation), EarHugz are THE gym accessory for 2019. Each design is fully-reversible to black, too.
What’s your preferred method of listening to music during a workout — earphones or headphones?
Do you own a pair of AirPods and if so then what do you think of them? Have they stood up to the sweat test of your workout?
Drop us a comment below to let us know.