Soon after the release of AirPods, the market was flooded with Chinese copies of Apple headphones – both simple and cheap. How to check AirPods for originality, in this informative article, we will discuss the same. It is not so easy to identify a fake the first time. But no matter how good the copy is, third-party manufacturers still can’t recreate the same headphones, charging case, and box. There will be differences. In any case, you need to look for them. Below are a few ways to find them. Read this article before buying AirPods, especially used ones!

How to check AirPods for originality

Can you find real AirPods in this photo? After reading this article, you can definitely.

Checking AirPods by Serial Number

This is the most reliable way to validate AirPods. Logically, real headphones will have a serial number, which can be checked on the official Apple website. It can be found on the AirPods charging case cover and on the box itself. And if the serial number on the box can be re-glued or counterfeited by especially cunning sellers, it is almost impossible to do the same with the serial number on the lid.

How to check AirPods for originality: A Complete Guide

Real AirPods always have a serial number written here.

This serial number can be checked on the website

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How to check AirPods for originality: A Complete Guide

Real AirPods can be checked on the Apple website.

How to check AirPods for originality: A Complete Guide

And if you see such an inscription, you should think about it. The serial number may have been interrupted.

As you can see, real Apple headphones can always be checked on the official website. In 99% of cases, you can stop checking AirPods here, but it is possible that someone can change the case and insert fake AirPods there. Very unlikely, but possible. Therefore, it is necessary to inspect the headphones themselves and the charging case for fake signs in the future.

How to check AirPods for originality?

Here are some tips to help you identify your copy of AirPods.

Speaker grill

Scrutinize all grilles, especially the speaker. In real AirPods, the grille is not particularly prominent and is neatly hidden. In a fake, the grille may be of a different color and stand out strongly.

How to check AirPods for originality: A Complete Guide

Grille of real AirPods (left) and replicas (right)

Bottom of AirPods

When you look at real headphones, you will notice a grille area, which is often called a diffuser.

How to check AirPods for originality: A Complete Guide

Real AirPods (left) has an oval bottom.

As you can see, the shape of the cone of fake headphones is completely different. The original AirPods is sometimes also slightly different, but it always has an OVAL shape rather than around. Also, you may notice a difference in the two white stripes around the edges. They not only differ in color but are also located noticeably deeper in fake headphones.

How to check the AirPods charging case for originality?

Even if the earbuds themselves are real, sellers sometimes go for a trick and try to sell the original AirPods with a fake charging case.

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Lightning Port Test

Flip the case over and look at the Lightning port, the connector through which you will charge the headphones.

How to check AirPods for originality: A Complete Guide

Lightning connector on original AirPods (top) and replica (bottom)

As you can see, the metal outline placed around the connector is thicker on fakes and has a different shape. Although the lighting angle is different between the fake and real AirPods, we can notice a color difference.

Look at the inscriptions.

This is where the Chinese most often “burn.” They cannot find the desired font thickness and material colors, so if you look closely, the difference in comparison with the original is immediately visible. In the copy, the hinge of the charging case lid is often brighter, as is the inscription “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China “.

How to check AirPods for originality: A Complete Guide

Original (left) and copy (right). The copy has a different font and is thicker.

However, we are still talking about a high-quality copy. If the fake is inexpensive, one of the inscriptions on the case may not be at all (or both at once).

Checking the AirPods Charging Case for Light

Place the phone with the flashlight on close to the charging case cover after opening it. The original cover will look like this:

How to check AirPods for originality: A Complete Guide

The original way to check AirPods for originality

How to check AirPods for originality: A Complete Guide

Try it too!

A copy of the inside of the lid can be very different, up to the fact that there nothing at all. True, to test headphones in this way, you need a dark room.

How to check the AirPods box for originality?

The mentioned methods are good if you have the ability to get the headphones out of the box – for example, when buying from the secondary market. But often, stores prohibit opening the box to violate the presentation, and many hide behind this phrase to sell a fake.

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But you can even recognize a copy by the box. First, notice the space between the lid and the box itself. In the original AirPods, it is tiny, and in a fake one – a knife can easily fit in there. Besides, the width of the gap is also different. The fake box will also appear bold.

How to check AirPods for originality: A Complete Guide

Gaps, font, everything produces a copy (right)

If you notice any of this, don’t buy these AirPods.

How else original AirPods differ from fake?

  1. The original AirPods were never released in any color other than white (at the moment).
  2. Real AirPods connect faster to your phone.
  3. It will take no more than 10 seconds to connect the headphones to the device.
  4. Fake AirPods have significantly less battery life.
  5. Some fake AirPods often play a female voice audio file when connected to a device – genuine AirPods only play Apple-specific sound.
  6. Some fake AirPods come with a USB-C port instead of the classic Apple Lightning port.
  7. Naturally, Find AirPods in Find My won’t work with fake headphones.

We hope this guide will always buy original Apple headphones and not run into a fake one. Most of these tips also work for AirPods Pro checks for originality. Maybe you also know some ways how to distinguish fake AirPods? Tell us in the comments. It will be useful to many.


Ruby has been a writer and author for a while, and her content appears all across the tech world, from within ReadWrite, BusinessMagazine, ThriveGlobal, etc.

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