How To Tell If AirPods Are Fake (2023)

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Ch Daniel
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Last Updated on August 17, 2023 by Ch David

You can tell if AirPods are fake by testing their serial number on the Apple Check Coverage online service. If it says that a purchase date cannot be validated for your pair, you’ve 100% got a fake. Authentic AirPods always have a valid date of purcase!

Looking to learn how to spot fake AirPods? Scared of getting scammed? Look no further, as we’ve compiled the most complete legit check guide for Apple AirPods.

Remember, fake AirPods will always compromise on quality. To highlight the most common places where these compromises are made, we’ve put together the comparisons you’ll find below.

Note: If this is not what you’re looking for, read other AirPods authentication: AirPods Pro, AirPods Max.

Without any further ado, let’s jump into the fake vs real AirPods authentication guide.

How to know if your AirPods are fake

To know if your AirPods are fake or real, run their serial number on the Apple – Check Coverage service. Fake AirPods never have a valid date of purchase, while all of the authentic pairs have one.

Replica manufacturers cannot replica this. It is 100% impossible to breach into Apple’s system and insert a purchase date for a pair of fake AirPods.

Let’s check it out!

1. Serial number

This is absolutely the most reliable tell in our guide on how to spot fake AirPods. It makes sense why real AirPods will come with a serial number that would be confirmed by Apple on their official website.

AirPods serial number fake check
  • Not sure where’s the serial number of your AirPods? Here you can see Apple’s tutorial for all of the spots where you can find the serial number.
  • Over there in the highlighted area, you will find a code that’s unique to every AirPods case.

Have a look at the picture below with an authentic Apple serial number so we can make it clear for you to find this code:

How to spot fake AirPods by serial number
  • Once you get that code written down, you will have to go to
  • Over there, simply pop in the serial number and this is how we’ll find if your AirPods are fake or real.

Here’s what the authentic results look like:

Checking authenticity for Apple AirPods
  • An authentic pair of Apple headphones will come with confirmation points from their official website.
  • This should clear out 99% of AirPods legit checks.
  • However, it’s not impossible that someone might switch the case and put in fake AirPods. Very unlikely, but not impossible.

Therefore, this is why we’re not stopping this AirPods legit check guide here.

2. Diffuser

fake airpods
  • The diffuser found here must never ever be misaligned.
  • The fake example we’ve attached above seems to not be properly aligned with the circle that sits next to it.
  • Besides that, if you closely inspect the grille, you will notice a difference in quality.

3. Bottom

Having a look at the actual headphone, you will notice a grilled area — that’s what we’ll refer to as the diffuser.

Have a look at the real vs fake AirPods comparison below:

real vs fake airpods
  • As you can see, the shape of this diffuser is different.
  • The shapes vary on authentic AirPods as well, but they should always come in an oval shape.
  • Fakes, on the other hand, seem to get this diffuser shape closer to a circle, rather than an oval.
  • Besides, highlighted in a square you will notice the difference in the two white strips at the bottom.
  • Not only is there a difference in colour, but the fake AirPods have these strips placed at significantly deeper levels as well.

4. Lightning port

This is on the charging case of your AirPods.

How to authenticate AirPods
  • The metal outline that wraps this port is thicker on the fakes, thus having a different shape.
  • There’s a difference in colour as well.

Relevant read: Check out our guide on how to authenticate Apple watches as well.

A quick mention:

  • The steps we’ve written so far are the BEST ways to authenticate this item
  • The next few steps are still reliable methods…
  • … but they apply to non-top-versions of replicas available for this item

If in doubt, we recommend double-checking the steps we’ve explained above this line.

5. Charging case

airpods fake vs real
  • For starters, the circle button is placed higher than it’s meant to be on the fake AirPods case.
  • Next up, the “Designed by Apple in California / Assembled in China” text is not only thicker on the fake AirPods case, but also printed in a different shade of grey.
  • As a consequence, the spacing between the hinges and the text is different. We’ve highlighted the difference in the grey boxes.

Last but not least, we’ll address the difference found in the hinge area. Here’s a closer picture comparison:

how to spot fake airpods
  • The way the hinge is segmented is significantly sharper on the fake AirPods case.
  • That, once again, shows a lack of craftsmanship and quality, since fake manufacturers are compromising for the sake of a cheaper price.
  • On top of that, the replica case used this mirror-like material on the hinge — which reflects everything more than the material found on the authentic case.

6. Light-up indicator

how to verify my airpods authenticity
  • The light-up indicator on the fake AirPods case is misplaced.

This flaw is not always found on the replica AirPods since it’s obviously a blatant mistake, but we felt like adding it to our guide just so you will be reminded to have a quick check of this detail as well.

7. Box

For obvious reasons, the quality lacks on the box that comes with the headphones since fake manufacturers don’t care that much about the small details.

7.1. Bottom details

For starters, we’ll have a look at the bottom side of the enclosed box.

how to tell if airpods are fake

Over here we can notice three things:

  1. The space between the cover and the box is super tight on the authentic box. On the fake AirPods box, you can see there’s more space and that gap is fluctuating in width.
  2. The font on the fake box is thicker than its authentic counterpart.
  3. Last but not least, the lightning cable illustration on the fake box is truncated on the bottom part.

7.2. AirPods text

AirPods box real vs fake
  • Moving on to the side, the AirPods text is significantly different.
  • For one, the classic San Francisco font is not used on the fake AirPods box.
  • Besides that, the fake text has reflective properties, while the authentic box has this textbox simply printed in grey.

7.3. Profile stickers

how can i spot fake airpods
  • As you can see, multiple separate stickers are attached to the authentic box.
  • Besides that, it seems like the fake AirPods come with Chinese text in the upper left corner.
  • Whether there is or isn’t Chinese text anywhere on the box can vary based on the region where the Apple AirPods were purchased from.
  • However, it looks like regardless of the region, the text found on the fakes is slightly thicker.

7.4. Apple logo

how to tell fake airpods
  • Moving on to the side with the Apple logo, it seems that once again the fakes have this area printed with a reflective material, rather than simply printing it in grey.

7.5. Interior side

  • Last but not least, upon opening the box you will notice the covering cardboard with instruction papers.
  • Yet again, the properties of this text are different.
  • The fake AirPods have “Designed by Apple in California” printed in black, instead of grey.

Shortlist: How to tell if AirPods are real or fake

  1. Authentic AirPods were never released in any colourway other than white (for the time being).
  2. The authentic AirPods connect faster to your phone. It’s estimated that it shouldn’t take longer than 10 seconds to connect the headphones to your device.
  3. The battery life is significantly shorter on fake AirPods.
  4. Some fake AirPods have a female voice audio file playing when connecting to your device — authentic AirPods only play a sound that’s specific to Apple.
  5. Some fake AirPods come with a USB-C port instead of the classic Apple Lightning port.
  6. Naturally, Find My AirPods under Find My will not work with the counterfeit version.

We’ve finished this authentication guide by mentioning there are technical differences in counterfeit AirPods.

It almost goes without saying that this happens since replica manufacturers don’t plan on perfectly replicating the Apple chips that are found inside the original AirPods — and most likely, nor do they have access to what Apple has developed.

Expert AirPods authentication service

If you have read this guide and are still uncertain about whether your AirPods are real or fake, the Legit Check App offers an authentication service to put your mind at ease.

Should you either not be confident in your ability to follow this guide or are simply lacking time, all you have to do is send us high-quality pictures of your Apple AirPods and we will get back to you with the results within 24 to 48 hours.

The results will also come with a report on why we believe your AirPods are fake or authentic.

Need our opinion on your item’s authenticity? It’s a service we provide.

Get a fully-detailed report for why you have a real or fake item. Takes less than 48 hours!

Alternatively, use our free resources: written guides and video tutorials.

Thank you for reading this,

Ch Daniel and Ch David

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About the Author

Ch Daniel is the co-founder and co-CEO of Legit Check By Ch, one of the world's leading companies in product authentications. Daniel's experience: 8+ years in the luxury industry, 7+ years in the authentication industry, 10+ years of business development. Currently, Daniel is overseeing the development of new products of Legit Check By Ch.
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