Apple’s AirPods are the world’s most popular headphones, and as a result, there are plenty of fakes out there, so here’s how to spot them.

AirPods are beautiful, offer excellent sound quality, and are a bragging point for those who own them among their friends. But they come with a hefty price tag, which is why many manufacturers around the world have made it their mission to systematically clone all versions of AirPods; even the AirPods 3 released last October.

Even on reputable platforms like eBay and Amazon, there are counterfeit AirPods trying to pass themselves off as the real thing.

Here are some tips on how to recognize fake AirPods and avoid buying them.

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How To Easily Recognise Fake AirPods

1. Check the serial number of your AirPods

This is the quickest way to verify the authenticity of your AirPods. The number is located on the bottom of the charging case cover. It is also located on the bottom of the right earpiece.

Once you find this number, enter it at If these AirPods are genuine, you will see the status of your Apple warranty. If nothing is displayed, your earphones may be fake.

2. Trying to connect your AirPods to an Apple device

When you pair AirPods or AirPods Pro with an iPhone, iPad or Mac, a small AirPods icon appears next to your device in the Bluetooth settings menu. The serial and model numbers of your AirPods will also appear. This is a sign that your headphones are genuine.

If after connecting the AirPods icon does not appear, your headphones are fake.

3. Look at the physical appearance and shell of your AirPods

Before you even get to the serial number verification step, you can already examine the external appearance of your earphones. There are certain design anomalies that can immediately identify counterfeit AirPods.

Pay attention to the shell of the AirPods, if it is not refined and neat enough, then it is suspect. Apple’s products are always very neat.

The cover of the AirPods case should be tight and airtight. The whole thing should be wrapped in plastic.

Then look at the paperwork that comes with the AirPods, does it have the Apple logo on it, are there any spelling mistakes? All these little things put together should allow you to recognise fake AirPods.

Finally, check the charging case carefully. It should have a Lightning port, not a USB-C port. On the front, there should be a small bulb and the cover should snap on magnetically.

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How to avoid buying fake AirPods

To avoid problems when buying your next AirPods, simply buy them from the Apple Store. Amazon is also a reliable shop, but make sure you buy them from the Apple shop on the Amazon website.

Other platforms offer good quality AirPods, but there are plenty of people who will try to sell you fake ones.

How to buy used AirPods without getting ripped off

If you want used AirPods, it’s harder not to get ripped off. The best solution is to meet the seller and analyse the product. Don’t hesitate to take your time and check the AirPods’ serial number as mentioned above.

Also, in general, rather than buying used AirPods, it is better to buy alternatives to AirPods.

There are many fantastic wireless headphones out there, and so much cheaper than Apple headphones.

The Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 for example, offers fantastic sound and incredibly long battery life for a low price.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 is a great alternative to the AirPods Pro, and they work equally well on Android and iOS.

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