How To Spot FAKE AirPods: The Official Guide (2024)

Written by
Ch David
AirPods 2 (Left), AirPods Max (Middle), and AirPods Pro (Right) on an orange surface
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Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Ch David

  • You’re not sure if your Apple AirPods are real
  • And our experts are here to help

This is the ultimate guide — it works for all models.

How to Check if AirPods are Real

To check if your AirPods are real or fake, type their serial number on the The fastest way is to check the price, though.

1. Price Check

Listing comparison of an authentic pair of AirPods and its fake, highlighting the price difference
Price check for the 3rd Generation AirPods
  • Authentic: Goes for a well price considering they’re used.
  • Fake: Very low price, especially for a sealed pair.

(Retail) Original price of all Apple AirPods:

ModelLaunch YearMSRP (USD)
AirPods 1st Generation2016$159
AirPods 2nd Generation2019$159
AirPods Pro2019$249
AirPods 3rd Generation2021$179
AirPods Pro 2nd Generation2022$249
AirPods Max2020$549

Always steer away from suspect, too good to be true prices.

Finding it too hard? Reach out to our Apple experts:

2. Serial Number

Authentic Vs Fake AirPods Max Serial Number on the box
Comparison of the AirPods Max‘s serial numbers

2.1. Where to find it

  1. On the Device: If you have the original AirPods, check the inside of the charging case lid. For AirPods Pro and later models, the serial number is at the bottom of each earbud.
  2. In Settings: On your connected iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Bluetooth, find your AirPods listed, and tap the “i” icon next to them. You’ll see the serial number there.
  3. On the Box: The serial number is also on the original packaging, near the barcode.
  4. On the Receipt: If you keep your purchase receipt, the serial number is usually listed there too.

For more, read Apple’s official guide.

2.2. How to test it

Screenshot of the Apple Check Coverage website, highlighting the URL
  1. Go to this website:
  2. Type your AirPods’ serial number
  3. Confirm that you’re not a robot (the Captcha)

Now, let’s see how to interpret the results.

2.3. Authentic

Screenshot from an authentic check of the AirPods Max's serial number

Genuine AirPods will always have:

  • Purchase Date: Valid date from the past
  • Serial Number: Matches the one on your AirPods/box/settings app.
  • Extras: Warranty, AppleCare+ Coverage.

2.4. Fake

Screenshot from a fake check of the AirPods Max's serial number

This indicates that your AirPods are 99% fake. Don’t lose hope just yet — join us, and let’s see the other steps.

3. Bluetooth Icon

Authentic vs fake AirPods comparison of the Bluetooth icons in Control Center on iPhone
Picture from the Control Center on iPhone
  • Authentic: Has an icon of the AirPods model.
  • Fake: Standard Bluetooth icon for any device.

Every pair of AirPods has its symbol. Make sure that the Control Center shows the right one!

4. Find My

Screenshot from the 'Find My AirPods' page on Apple's website
  • Authentic: Shows where your AirPods are at all distances + all features must work.
  • Fake: Might work, but just for 10 meters (32 feet).

Yes, there are fake AirPods that show up on Find My AirPods, though they only work for a tiny distance from your connected iPhone.

Test all the features: Sound, Location, Connection.

Finding it too hard? Reach out to our Apple experts:

5. Box

Authentic vs fake AirPods comparison of the boxes (from the bottom)
These boxes are from the 1st Gen. AirPods
  • Authentic: No gap to the lid and has thicker text.
  • Fake: Lid doesn’t fit well and the text is slightly thinner

6. Charger

A few Apple Lighting to USB cables stacked on top of each other
  • Authentic: Lightning connector for charging. The case, whether for AirPods or AirPods Pro, connects via a Lightning cable to USB.
  • Fake: May have a USB-C instead.

Read more in Apple’s AirPods Charging Guide. Be on the lookout even for the little details!

Shortlist: Recognize fake AirPods

  1. Check the Packaging: Authentic AirPods come in high-quality packaging with a smooth, uniform finish. Look for typos or poor print quality which are common in counterfeits.
  2. Examine the Serial Number: Verify the serial number on the AirPods’ case and match it with Apple’s official website to confirm its authenticity.
  3. Assess the Price: If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Genuine AirPods are typically sold at a consistent price across major retailers.
  4. Inspect the Case and Build Quality: Genuine AirPods have a premium feel and finish. Check for misalignment in the lid or inconsistent gaps, which are red flags.
  5. Observe the LED Indicator: On real AirPods, the LED light is positioned firmly and emits a steady, uniform light. A dim or flickering light may indicate a fake.
  6. Look for the Lightning Connector: Apple’s genuine AirPods have a neatly made Lightning connector. If the metal area looks rough or the fit is poor, that’s a concern.
  7. Test the Functionality: Authentic AirPods will seamlessly connect to Apple devices and feature options like customizing touch controls, which fakes often lack.

FAQ: AirPods Legit Check

1. Why can’t my AirPods be detected?

Make sure your AirPods are charged and Bluetooth is enabled on your device.

If they still aren’t detected, try restarting your device and checking for interference from other Bluetooth devices.

Comparison: Real VS Fake AirPods 3 Connection

Issue persists? Make sure to get them checked out at your local Apple Store (or iSTYLE).

2. Is it OK to use fake AirPods?

Using fake AirPods is risky as they often have lower quality and might not meet safety standards. They can be a budget-friendly option if you’re aware of these potential drawbacks.

Not to scare you, but check this out:

Fake AirPods 3 - Broken
Fake AirPods Pro – Burned

There are chances for FAKE AirPods to blow up, yes.

3. Do all fake AirPods light up?

No, not all fake AirPods light up. The design and features of counterfeit products can vary widely, so some might try to mimic the lighting features of genuine AirPods, while others may not include this detail at all.

Read further: AirPods lights, explained.

Expert AirPods Check

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

David is the co-founder and co-CEO of Legit Check By Ch. David's experience: 5+ years of creating educational content in the fashion industry. 6+ years of authenticating luxury items. Currently, David is the Head Editor of the LCBC Library, where 1,000,000+ words have been published, in free guides, for over 1,000 items.
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