How to know if AirPods Are Fake or Real?

Unveiling the truth behind your AirPods’ authenticity is crucial in a market flooded with imitations.

Learn the foolproof methods to differentiate between real and fake AirPods, ensuring you get the genuine Apple experience.

Don’t be fooled by replicas—discover the secrets to make informed choices in this guide.

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How to know if AirPods Are Fake or Real?

1. Identify Counterfeit AirPods Using iOS Devices

Identifying counterfeit AirPods using iOS devices involves several steps. First, ensure your iOS device is connected to the internet. Open the AirPods case near your device and wait for the popup animation to appear on the screen.

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This animation displays the battery status of your AirPods and their charging case.

If the animation doesn’t show up, or if it looks significantly different from the official Apple animation, the AirPods might be fake.

Additionally, within the Bluetooth settings, check if the serial number displayed matches the one on the physical AirPods case. A mismatch could indicate counterfeits.

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2. Try Exclusive Features You Won’t Find on Fake AirPods

Distinguishing real from fake AirPods involves testing exclusive features. Genuine AirPods have unique capabilities like “Hey Siri” activation and seamless iCloud pairing across your Apple devices.

Attempt these functions – activate Siri by voice command and check if it works. Moreover, open the AirPods case near your paired iOS device, and an animation should appear indicating battery levels.

Fake versions often lack these features.

Additionally, real AirPods offer active noise cancellation (Pro models) and spatial audio (Pro and Max models), absent in counterfeits. Trying these distinct features can help reveal the authenticity of your AirPods.

3. Unique Authenticity Checks for AirPods Pro

For AirPods Pro, employ specific authenticity checks. Examine the text on the inner side of the earbuds; genuine ones display model and regulatory details.

Counterfeit earbuds may lack this text or have errors. Check the ear tip fit test in the Bluetooth settings; real AirPods Pro offer this feature.

Authenticate the Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes by toggling between them; fakes might not switch effectively.

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Also, validate the “squeeze” functionality of the stems – real AirPods Pro respond smoothly. Lastly, use the Apple “Find My” app to confirm the Pro’s presence; counterfeit versions might not appear.

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4. Check the packaging

To verify AirPods’ authenticity, inspect the packaging. Genuine packaging maintains consistent fonts, logos, and colors.

Look for the serial number on the box; it should match the one in your device’s Bluetooth settings. Counterfeits might have missing or poorly imprinted serial numbers.

Authentic packaging also feels high-quality, with precise detailing. Be cautious of packaging that looks flimsy or lacks attention to detail.

Genuine Apple packaging typically includes clear, crisp printing, while counterfeit packaging may exhibit blurry or faded logos. Thoroughly scrutinizing the packaging can help you discern whether the AirPods are real or fake.

5. Check the serial number

To differentiate between genuine and fake AirPods, focus on the serial number. Go to your device’s Bluetooth settings and find the AirPods listing. Note the serial number displayed there.

Compare this with the serial number on the AirPods’ case or packaging. If they match, it’s likely authentic. Beware of missing or mismatched serial numbers, which can indicate counterfeits.

Additionally, Apple’s official website provides a tool to verify serial numbers’ authenticity.

This method is reliable for confirming the legitimacy of your AirPods by ensuring the serial number aligns across the device, case, and packaging, helping you avoid imitation products.

6. AirPods Pro 2nd Generation, and AirPods 3rd Generation serial location

For AirPods Pro 2nd Gen and AirPods 3rd Gen, ascertain authenticity through the serial number’s placement. Open the lid of the charging case and check the underside of the lid.

There, you’ll find the serial number. Compare this with the serial number in your device’s Bluetooth settings. If they correspond, the AirPods are likely genuine.

Discrepancies may indicate fakes. Apple’s official website also offers a serial number verification tool.

Verifying the serial number’s location and alignment is crucial in confirming the authenticity of AirPods Pro 2nd Gen and AirPods 3rd Gen models.

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7. AirPods Max serial location:

To verify the authenticity of AirPods Max, consider the serial number’s placement. Locate the serial number on the outside of the headband, near the ear cup attachment point.

This number should match the one displayed in your device’s Bluetooth settings. If they match, your AirPods Max are likely genuine; disparities could indicate counterfeits.

How to know if AirPods Are Fake or Real?

Apple provides an online tool to confirm serial numbers’ validity. Ensuring the alignment between the serial number on the device and that on the headband is crucial in determining the legitimacy of AirPods Max.

8. Check the charging case

To determine the authenticity of AirPods, examine the charging case closely. Authentic cases have a solid build, precise seams, and quality materials.

Counterfeit cases often exhibit cheaper plastics, uneven finishes, and flimsy construction. Inspect the lid’s hinge – real AirPods have smooth, gradual movement, while fakes might feel stiff or wobbly.

Check the LED indicator’s behavior when charging – it should match Apple’s specifications.

Moreover, the engraving on the back of the case should be clean and well-defined. Scrutinizing these details helps distinguish genuine AirPods from fake ones, ensuring you get the intended product quality.

9. Check the AirPods themselves

To ascertain the authenticity of AirPods, closely inspect the earbuds themselves. Genuine AirPods have meticulous construction with seamless seams and a solid feel.

Counterfeit versions often display rough edges, cheap materials, and uneven finishes. Check the sensors on the stems – real AirPods have accurate and responsive sensors for features like pausing playback.

Scrutinize the Apple logo – it should be crisp and well-defined. Look for any misspellings or inaccuracies on the earbuds. Additionally, ensure the indicator light is in the right location and behaves as expected.

Examining these elements helps identify genuine AirPods from imitations.

10. Connect to your phone

To confirm the authenticity of AirPods, connect them to your phone. Genuine AirPods seamlessly integrate with Apple devices, triggering a pop-up animation when the case is opened near your iOS device.

This animation displays battery levels and pairing status. Fake AirPods might lack this feature or display a noticeably different animation.

Additionally, ensure that the AirPods connect smoothly via Bluetooth without any connection issues.

This method leverages the genuine device integration to help determine if the AirPods are real or fake, providing a quick and reliable way to assess authenticity.

What to do if you have counterfeit AirPods?

If you discover you have counterfeit AirPods, consider the following steps. First, stop using them to avoid potential safety or functionality concerns.

Next, report the purchase to the retailer or platform where you bought them, seeking a refund if possible. Dispose of the counterfeit product responsibly to prevent further distribution.

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If you purchased them online, you might need to open a dispute through the platform’s resolution process.

Lastly, educate yourself on how to identify genuine products to avoid similar issues in the future.

Remember, buying counterfeit products supports illegal practices and can result in subpar experiences.

Let’s move to some related faq’s.

Related faq’s

Can fake AirPods have a real serial number?

Yes, fake AirPods can sometimes have real serial numbers copied from genuine products or generated using algorithms.

Counterfeit manufacturers often attempt to replicate the appearance of authenticity by using legitimate serial numbers.

However, these serial numbers might not match the actual product’s specifications or the official database.

Therefore, while a real serial number on fake AirPods could mislead buyers into thinking they are genuine, other discrepancies in packaging, build quality, features, and performance can help reveal their counterfeit nature upon closer inspection.

How can you tell if AirPods 3 are fake?

To determine if AirPods 3 are fake, scrutinize various aspects. Examine the packaging for consistency in fonts, logos, and quality. Inspect the earbuds for precise seams, solid construction, and accurate placement of sensors.

Connect them to an iOS device – authentic AirPods trigger a pop-up animation displaying battery levels. Verify unique features like “Hey Siri” activation and spatial audio.

Check the serial number on the case against your device’s Bluetooth settings.

Fake AirPods might lack these features or display inconsistencies. If in doubt, use Apple’s official serial number verification tool. A comprehensive assessment can help unveil the authenticity of AirPods 3.

Can we track AirPods through serial number?

Yes, you can track AirPods to a certain extent using their serial number. The serial number allows you to confirm the authenticity of the product through Apple’s official verification tools.

Additionally, if you have registered your genuine AirPods with your Apple ID and they are connected to an iCloud account, you might be able to track their approximate location using the “Find My” app.

However, tracking capabilities are limited compared to Apple devices like iPhones, as AirPods have a smaller range and might not always be connected to the internet.

Are AirPods made in Vietnam?

Yes, Apple has shifted a portion of its AirPods production to Vietnam as part of its efforts to diversify its supply chain and reduce dependence on manufacturing in China.

While the majority of AirPods were previously manufactured in China, Apple began establishing manufacturing facilities in Vietnam to accommodate production needs and ensure supply chain resilience.

This move reflects Apple’s strategy to distribute manufacturing across multiple regions for risk mitigation and operational flexibility.

However, it’s important to note that specific manufacturing locations can vary over time based on Apple’s supply chain decisions and market dynamics.


In the realm of discerning genuine AirPods from counterfeits, a keen eye is your best asset. Thoroughly examining packaging minutiae, such as typography and logos, can unveil inconsistencies.

Authenticity reveals itself in impeccable construction, evident through flawless seams and precise engravings. Genuine AirPods seamlessly integrate with Apple devices via iCloud, boasting unmatched sound quality and touch responsiveness.

Apple’s official website enables verification of serial numbers. Caution is advised when encountering unusually low prices or unorthodox vendors, as these often indicate counterfeit products.

By amalgamating these approaches, one can confidently navigate the fine line between authentic AirPods and imitation, ensuring an unequivocal auditory delight.

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