Outlines the key clues for how to tell fake AirPods from the genuine ones, including packaging, labels, shrink wrapping, serial number check and weight.
Find more Fake Check guides, tips and advice
Many fake Apple Airpods on eBay classifieds and other online retail stores are advertised as originals, so we have collected some evidence / features on how to distinguish imitations from original AirPods.
How to tell fake AirPods: the key clues
1) Some bad fakes have a continuous sticker, the original from Apple has 2 small stickers. The 2 small stickers do not have any Chinese characters.
FAKE – Airpods 2
ORIGINAL – Airpods 2
With the Airpods Pro, the film has a small tab with a black arrow on it. There are a few fakes that also copy this, but if the tab on the side is missing, then you’ve definitely got a copy.
ORIGINAL – Airpods Pro packaging
2) In the case of fakes, the production date is often older at the bottom right, e.g. 02/2019, in the case of the originals it tends to be more in the direction of the current date – max. 5 to 6 months (e.g. in September, ideally 03/2020 to 08 / 2020) if they were recently acquired. AirPods sell very well and are therefore rarely on the shelf for long. Of course only an indication.
3) Check the serial number at checkcoverage.apple.com/
Many fakes will have a serial number that checks out as saying that they have already been replaced. With AirPods in their original packaging, the “repair and service cover” can never be active and have an expiration date.
4) There can also be an exception to rule 3 if the buyer has manually entered the purchase date on the Apple page (“Update purchase date”) without using the AirPods. But that is rather unlikely.
5) Fakes are usually not as well sealed as the originals. If it’s not PERFECTLY shrink-wrapped, it’s fake.
6) spelling. The Chinese often do not bother and, apart from the different font, also make some spelling errors with missing / incorrect punctuation. So “chargers” often become “chargers”.
Here is an example of a bad fake (the green dot doesn’t belong there either):
FAKE with lots of spelling errors
7) The weight: Originals are made of higher quality material and therefore always heavier than fakes. It might be strange when you show up with kitchen scales when you buy, but hey, better safe than sorry!
The Airpods 2 weigh ~ 186g (original packaging) – The fakes can weigh as little as only 130g.
The Airpods Pro weigh ~ 240g (original packaging).
A tolerance of +/- 5 grams, depending on the scale, is okay, but if significantly more it will most likely be fakes.
8.) The price! If it’s too good to be true, yes, it’s probably fakes. Nobody sells it below value! And if so, someone was already faster than you!
9) Always have the purchase invoice given to you. Be particularly careful with “Christmas and birthday gifts” without an invoice!
10) Most fakes do not have a status LED on the front of the charging case like the original ones.
If you discover fakes on ebay classifieds, do the others a favor and report the ad (scroll all the way down to “Report ad”) so that no person falls for it.
Other clues for how to tell fake Airpods from genuine ones
- LED missing
- The inscription in the case seems to be missing
- The case seems to be more elongated. Try measuring them and then look up the dimensions of real Airpods and their case in the Apple pages on the Internet.
- “AirPods” are further outside in the case
- Recesses in the case are more angular
- The original film is matt
- second proximity sensor is missing
- test whether they automatically want to connect to the iPhone when you open the case (Bluetooth still on) … only the original ones can do that thanks to the built-in chip.
- Check if there is a round sensor surface and an opening for air circulation on one side. If the “AirPods” do not have this small, round sensor surface they are therefore not from Apple. Other fake AirPods / TWS headphones based on AirPods do not necessarily have these two round sensor surfaces. This also includes the one on the back.
The price. Just to remind you…
If the price seems to be too cheap for them to be genine AirPods, then they probably are not!