Everything to Know About Spotting Fake Airpods

Everything to Know About Spotting Fake Airpods

The wireless headset Airpods on the iPhone became a hit. Millions of users dream of purchasing these headphones. But their price is overpriced, so copies appear on the Chinese market. Now the fakes look like the original: have a box, a case, and even recognize the iPhone as real. From the article, the reader learns how to check the AirPods for originality and how to do so.


Where is the serial number

AirPods are assigned a serial number that lets you know if the headphones are original. But before you check the serial, you will need to pay attention to a couple of points:

  1. 1 generation AirPods, including the case, have the same serial numbers. Serials might be different if the headset was purchased a charging case.
  2. In The AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro, both headphones are equipped with their own serial number. The main one is the serial, indicated on the case of the charger.

You can find the number on the inside of the case cover. On the 1st and 2 generations, it is located on the right side of the case and the “piroshki” – on the left side.

A similar combination is applied to the body of the headset itself.

location of serial numbers

The third way to find out the serial number is to see it on the back of the box (near the barcode). The location of the production room differs depending on the version of the wireless headset.


How to tell the difference between a fake and an Airpods headphone

To distinguish between the original Apple Airpods and the fake, you need to compare them:

  1. Build quality. The replica is inferior to the original AirPods in assembly. It is enough to take the case in hand and shake it. If you can hear the headphones hanging out in it, it’s a fake.
  2. The sound. The sound of the original is smooth, without dips and busts in frequencies. Compared to the original headset, the AirPods will sound intermittent and empty in AirPods. In addition, the voices in the songs are poorly heard at high volume, and when playing vocals or instrumental music, the frequencies can be cut.
  3. By opening and closing the lid of the case. On the original headphones, these actions take place smoothly, without a loud click. And the lid of the case of the fake headset closes and opens abruptly and spontaneously because it has a powerful magnet.
  4. By weight. The original AirPods weigh between 46 grams, and fake models weigh between 37 and 40 grams. You can check the data using portable scales.

If previously the buyer used only a wired headset, the visual inspection and comparison of sound will not help. Therefore, when buying Airpods with hands or in a questionable salon, there are 3 rules for identifying the replica: low cost, checking on the iPhone, and using a serial number.

Everyone is looking for Airpods cheaper, and the manufacturers of replicas use this. Therefore, if the buyer found a headset at a much lower price than in the official store, it is better to refuse to purchase.

If the dubious cost does not stop, it is recommended to punch the IMEI (serial) headphones on apple’s website before buying.

And the last way to recognize a fake headset – connect it to the phone on iOS, going in the settings of the smartphone in the section “Basic” -> “On this device” -> AirPods. If the model is original, then the screen after the connection should highlight the name of the manufacturer, the serial, and the hardware version. The replica does not display this.


What the original Wireless Headphones Look Like

To avoid buying a fake headset, you need to familiarize yourself with the external features of the original Airpods:

Box design

External differences are already visible when looking at the box. On the original Airpods, the headphones, drawn on the packaging, have clear faces and are easily groped with their fingers. And counterfeits are sold in flat print packages. In addition, the original on the side face of the apple shimmers light, but in the replica – not.

AirPods headphone box

Apple packs the headset only in solid packaging, inside which there are no gaps. The user will find instructions in the box, a case in the tray, and a Lighting cable for charging (you can check with the photo on the Apple website). Most replicas usually don’t have a headphone tray.

Often on fake boxes, there are no stickers that confirm the originality of the device. On the box from Apple, there are 3 stickers on which the following is marked: the release place, serial number, and supported OS.


Case and headphone size

Apple headsets are famous for their compact size:

  • Each earpiece: 16.5 x18 x40.5 mm;
  • case – 44.3 x21.3 x53.5 mm.

According to user feedback, non-original models are larger in each plane.



Designed by Apple in California emblazoned on the back of the case, the headphones themselves have L and R signs (left and right, respectively). There are no inscriptions on fakes (and if there are, it is poorly read).


Gaps on the headphones themselves

The body of the original Airpods seems monolithic because they are in the air. Developers of fakes with the headset’s appearance do not bother, so their case will be visible cracks and gaps. In addition, there should be no defects in the holes for microphones and speakers. You can check the headset by lighting it with a flashlight – it will reveal all the defects.


Case form

The original case is made with rounded sides, which smoothly pass into the back of the case. Fake AirPods are often sold in square and oval cases. Also sold are fakes, the front of the case with a rounded shape, and the back – flat.


Dynamics grid

Another way to track fake headphones is to look at the grids of their speakers. The original models have metal meshes resistant to wear and protect the speaker from dirt and dust. The Chinese save and produce AirPods with fabric meshes, which easily clogged ear sulfur and dust. In addition, the mesh can break when trying to clean the speaker.


Where to check the serial number of AirPods

You can check AirPods for authenticity by serial number on the service, which is located at checkcoverage.apple.com. The site also lets you check whether you’ve already used certain headphones.

To check the AirPods on Apple’s website online, you need:

  1. Go to the check service.
  2. Enter the appropriate field on the screen serial and test code (for the visually impaired provided voice code).

As a result of the check, the service will either find the headphones assigned this series number or indicate the invalidity of the serial number. It’s a good idea to check the data and try again. If you can not determine the serial and the second time, then the headphones are fake.

It’s a bit of a problem that the service finds IMEI, but the “ears” are already activated. The seller can answer that the headset is brought from Hong Kong (purchase of equipment there is cheaper, but to bypass the additional tax, headphones are activated when purchasing).


How to check your Airpods warranty

The warranty period for Airpods is 1 year from the date of purchase of new headphones. If within 12 months the user will contact the service center, he will receive a free repair in case of breakdown of parts.

You don’t need to activate the headset yourself because it happens immediately after the purchase.

To check the warranty, you need:

  1. Go to the site checkcoverage.apple.com
  2. Write a serial number and confirm that the user is not a robot.

On AirPods 2 and Airpods Pro, there are different serials on each earpiece and case, so you need to specify the one located on the charging case.

After checking, 1 in 4 types of messages (in the English language) will appear on display:

  1. The headset is activated. The final warranty date will appear on the screen (e.g., December 17, 2020).
  2. The headset is not activated. If the check is done after the purchase, and the headphones are still not activated, it was the seller’s fault. To activate the headset, write an appeal to Apple Support.
  3. Blocked. This means that the headset is lost or stolen from the former owner.
  4. No number was found. If the serial doesn’t match, then the headphones are fake.



Chinese developers are constantly improving counterfeits, so distinguishing them from the original becomes more difficult. Therefore, before buying Airpods with hands or in a questionable store, punch a serial on the Apple service.

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