Are AirPods Okay In The Cold And Rain?

By Tim Chesonis •  Updated: 03/19/20 •  8 min read

AirPods are so convenient and easy to use. You can listen to everything from music, to podcasts, and use them to watch movies as well. But how durable are they? Can AirPods withstand cold temperatures and water in any form?

AirPods are not waterproof.  They were never designed to be waterproof.  In fact, a well placed drop of water could potentially destroy an AirPod, and though AirPods can withstand the cold, any built-up condensation within the AirPods could cause irreparable damage.

What should you do should your AirPods potentially come in contact with water, be it in liquid form, steam or even via condensation?

Are AirPods Waterproof?

AirPods (Generation 1 &2)

The first and second generation of AirPods are not waterproof, but beyond that, they are not water resistant either.  When using your AirPods (Gen 1&2), you need to be careful in how and where you use them so as to protect them from water damage.  This can include both sweat (from working out), and any other water source.

AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro, however, are both sweat and water resistant for non-water sports and exercise. In other words, you can use them for a good sweaty workout at the gym, but you can’t go surfing with them on.  They have an IPX4 rating, however, just keep in mind that sweat and water resistance does not offer permanent resistance and might decrease as a result of normal wear. 

It goes without saying that the charging case is not sweat or water resistant, and you want to make sure that you do not attempt to charge AirPods that are wet or have been exposed to water without first drying them off.  You can refer to Apple’s website for cleaning and drying instructions.

Is it OK to Wear AirPods Out in the Rain?

How do they work when its raining hard?

If it is raining very hard outside, to the point that you are drenched-soaking wet, you would do well to place your AirPods in their case and put them in a dry place.  You certainly will want to do this with the first and second generation AirPods, but you will also want to do this with the AirPods Pro.  Remember, the AirPods Pro are sweat resistant, but not waterproof.  Better to be safe than sorry. 

Consider the cost of the AirPods Pro, ($249) . . . do you really want to risk $249 for the sake of a song that you are listening to, even if the song is, “Singing in the Rain”?

How do they work when it’s raining lightly?

If it is raining lightly outside, you will probably be just fine, just use your best judgement.  If you have long hair that covers your ears, or if you are wearing a hat of some kind, you would do even better.  You just want to make sure that your AirPods not come in direct contact with water.

Are AirPods OK in the Shower?

This is a definite No.  You should never take your AirPods in the shower, even if you don’t plan on washing your hair.  What would happen if one of the AirPods accidentally fell out of your ear?  They would get wet.  Very wet.  And as we have already mentioned, water is no friend to an AirPod.

You may have a little more control over them when wearing them in the bathtub, but again, you risk getting them wet.  For that reason, it is not wise to wear your AirPods in the bathtub, even if you don’t plan on dunking your head under water.  There still is the risk of one of them falling out of your ear and into the water.

Are AirPods OK in the Sauna?

Wearing you AirPods in a Sauna might sound like a great idea, (honestly, no pun intended), but this is not a good idea, unless you are using AirPods Pro and you do not take them out of your ears.  

The first and second generation of the AirPods are out of the question, as they do not have any built-in water resistance whatsoever.  Steam will find its way into the inner parts of your AirPods, and because water and electronics do not mix, you would be wise not to wear your AirPods in the sauna.

Because AirPods Pro do offer sweat and water resistance, you could probably get away with wearing your AirPods Pro in a sauna, provided that they never came in direct contact with liquid water.  Remember, even though they are water resistant, if you drop them in water, they will die.

Do AirPods Survive the Washing Machine?

In short, no. If you mistakenly wash your jeans and forget to take your AirPods out of your jeans pocket, it’s over.  After the spin cycle,Your AirPods are going to be dead, and there’s no hope of breathing life back into them.  

The reason that they will die if placed in a washing machine, is because they will have been soaked in water, and water will completely destroy AirPods, even if they were AirPods Pro.

Will Placing my AirPods in a Bag of Brown Rice Work?

There is an old trick that people have used in the hope of salvaging their phone after having dropped it in water.  It involves taking a Ziploc bag and placing brown rice in it and sealing the electronic device in question for a minimum of 24 hours (preferably 48 hours). The hope is that the brown rice absorbs all of the water found within the device in question. This is not a fairytale, it actually does work, and brown rice absorbs a lot more water than white rice.

For example, if you came out of the sauna with the first or second generation of AirPods and were then to place those AirPods into bag of brown rice and seal it for 24 hours, The brown rice just may absorb all of the condensation found within the AirPods.

This may or may not work, depending upon the extent of the water damage to your AirPods.  However, given the size of the AirPods in relation to a Ziploc bag full of brown rice, one might be more hopeful that this method would work. It is certainly worth trying, however, keep in mind that once you place the AirPods in the Ziploc bag, you cannot take them out for at least 24 hours.  Be patient, this method just might save you anywhere between $159 and $249 depending upon the type of AirPods that you have.

Wearing Your AirPods Out in the Cold

Wearing your AirPods out in the cold will not harm your AirPods.  The danger comes when you bring your AirPods into a warm environment, out from the cold outside temperatures. The reason for this is due to condensation. 

Condensation will build up within the AirPods which can cause serious damage to the AirPods themselves.  Under such circumstances, it might not be a bad idea to place your AirPods in a sealed Ziploc bag full of brown rice in the hope that the brown rice will absorb all of the built-up condensation inside the AirPods.

The Absolute Best Way to Protect your AirPods

Purchasing AppleCare+ for your AirPods is a no brainer.  AppleCare+ only costs $29 and will cover your AirPods for two years from the date of purchase. Given their mobility and how easy you could accidentally damage your AirPods, it would be wise to purchase AppleCare+ for them, regardless if they are the first or second generation AirPods, or AirPods Pro. 

AppleCare+ will cover your AirPods from all of the following types of accidents.  With AppleCare+ . . .

All in all, AppleCare+ is, by far,  the best Solution to ensure that your AirPods are covered should you accidentally damaged them. 

Closing Thoughts

Water is not a friend to your AirPods. As such, you should go to great lengths to ensure that you don’t find yourself in a situation where they could potentially become damaged by coming into contact with liquid water, steam or condensation.

The best preventive measure you can take is to protect your AirPods to purchase AppleCare+.  not only will You’re a AirPods be covered, but it will give you a peace of mind knowing that should they become accidentally damaged, that they can be replaced.

Tim Chesonis

Tim 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, you might find him binge-watching Suits or formatting his computer . . . again, just for fun. To learn more about Tim, click here.