Are AirPods Good For Running Or Will They Fall Out?

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by Jack Taylor | Last Updated:  March 21, 2020

I have a friend who is training for a marathon. He is looking to purchase wireless headphones to use while he runs, and wants to know if he were to run with AirPods on, would he risk loosing them while running? 

If you use the 1st or 2nd generation AirPods to run, you may find that they do not fit perfectly because they only sell one size.  However, the AirPods Pro offers three different silicone ear tips that allow for a custom fit, ensuring that they will not fall out when running.

Just in time for Christmas, the original AirPods were first released on December 13, 2016.  Just over two years later, Apple released the second generation AirPods. They have the exact same design, however, they came with the H1 chip, which allowed for faster connectivity, offered voice activation by double-tapping, and they were definitely louder than the first generation AirPods.

AirPods have, without question, dominated the wireless headphone market. According to Strategy Analytics, Apple sold about 60,000,000 AirPods in 2019.  You read that right. Sixty million.  And that number has only grown with the release of AirPods Pro. In fact, Apple is expected to sell 90 million units of the AirPods Pro in 2020.  To put this success into perspective, the AirPods have made more money than Spotify, Twitter, Snapchat, and Shopify combined.

AirPods for Everyday Use

AirPods are Comfortable

AirPods are simply designed and are extremely comfortable. In fact, it’s not uncommon to forget that they are even in your ear. They are so comfortable, that on more than one occasion, I nearly fell asleep with them in my ears.  One of my favorite features of the AirPods is that I can down with my head on the pillow without feeling them in my ears as I watch a movie or countless YouTube videos prior to going to bed. 

I personally use AirPods 8-10 hours every day. I wear them to watch movies, play YouTube videos, listen to music or the radio, and to talk on the phone.  Even though I wear them 8-10 every day, my ears never hurt. I never feel the need to rub my ears or stretch my earlobes to rub out any discomfort.  They feel great in the ear.

But Will they Fall Out when I Run?

They could. However, this all depends on how well they fit in the outer ear, just outside of the ear canal.  Keep in mind, that I am referring to the first and second generation AirPods. AirPods Pro is a different animal altogether, and we will talk about that in just a minute.

The first and second generation AirPods come in one size.  Though the size and shape of the AirPods will fit just fine for most people, they do not fit perfectly for all ears because everybody’s ear is shaped differently.  

Take me, for example.  I have had both the first and second generation AirPods and they fit fine in my right ear, however, because my left ear canal is shaped differently, the left AirPod will have a tendency to want to fall out of my ear when I get out of the car, for example.  for me, the simple movement of getting out of the driver side of the car, has caused the AirPod to fall out of my left ear on more than one occasion.

AirPods for Athletes

The AirPods Pro were definitely designed with athletes in mind.  Not only are they sweat resistant but they are also comfortable, secure and quiet.  

The AirPods Pro are Designed for Comfortable

The ear tips for the AirPods Pro are made out of silicone rubber.  They are very thin, flexible, and form fitting  to the ear.  I’m sure you will find them very comfortable.

If, however, you find that they are uncomfortable after using them for a few hours, you probably need to try a different ear tip.  It’s a simple process to change out one ear tip for another, so don’t be afraid to change them out for another one.  The process is pretty simple.

To remove an ear tip, you will need to firmly pull the tip off with your fingers at the base of the ear tip, as shown below.

To replace the ear tip, you will need to align the ear tip with the oval-shaped connector on the AirPod. Gently push the ear tip onto the connector until you hear it “click” into place. You are all set!

Source: Apple

The AirPods Pro are Secure

When you place a properly fit pair of AirPods Pro in your ears, they are definitely not going to fall out of your ear, and there’s a reason for that. Each AirPod has three different custom fit settings for you to choose from. Small, medium, or large.  When choosing the correct ear tip for you AirPod, it will fit very securely in your ear and you won’t have to worry or concern yourself with it falling out of your ear and losing it.

Source: Apple

As mentioned, my left ear requires the large ear piece, whereas my right ear requires the medium ear piece.  I love that Apple provides 6 tips ear pieces for you to choose from, three for one ear, and three for the other ear.  Additionally, should you need to replace these ear pieces, you can do so from Apple’s website.  Unfortunately, there are no “clear” instructions on how to replace them.  Fortunately, however, macrumors.com has an excellent article entitled, “How to Buy Replacement AirPods Pro Ear Tips“, where you they offer step-by-step instructions on how to purchase the chili one rubber tips online from Apple’s website.

The AirPods Pro are Quiet

One of the biggest advantages in using the AirPods Pro is the noise cancellation feature.  Honestly, you need to experience this to fully appreciate this feature.

The first time you place them in your ears with noise cancellation enabled, even without playing music, everything is quiet.  Very quiet.  Once you introduce music, you only hear what the music producer intended for you to hear. It is an amazing experience, especially when you understand the science behind it. 

The way that Apple has implemented noise cancellation into the AirPods Pro is by placing a microphone on the AirPods Pro itself that listens to outside noise and then introduces the opposite frequency into the year, which in effect, tricks the mind into thinking that there is no sound, when in fact they were actually is.  Your brain just cannot interpret it as sound.

Are AirPods OK with Sweat?

I have written on this subject extensively and another article that I have recently written entitled, “Are AirPods Okay In The Cold And Rain?”.  In short, The first and second generation AirPods are not water resistant, however AirPods Pro or water resistant.  But water resistant does not mean waterproof, which means that you cannot take them in the shower or enjoy water sports with the AirPods Pro.

Because AirPods Pro our water resistant, they are perfect for athletes who sweat a lot.  Again, you do not want to go swimming with these, but they are Water resistant, so they can easily and withstand the sweat you produce while running or participating in any Athletic activity, including working out at the gym.

Closing Thoughts

If you run with a pair the first or second generation AirPods on, you do risk loosing them during a run. But keep in mind that if you use them while running, and find that one of them falls out during your run, you will immediately notice one ear is devoid of music.

Now, if you were to run while using AirPods Pro that are properly fit in your ear, there is no chance of you mistakenly loosing them during a run.


Jack has been helping people with computers needs for several years, and he loves to help people succeed. He brings a wealth of wisdom and insight from an entrepreneur's perspective and enjoys freelance writing. In fact, when he's not writing an article or working on his YouTube channel, you might find him binge-watching Suits or formatting his computer . . . again, just for fun. To learn more about Jack, click here.
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