Seeing a pair of fake AirPods Pro on the market is inevitable in this day and age of clones and cheap copies. As one of the best Bluetooth earbuds on the market alongside Samsung’s Galaxy Buds and Google’s Pixel Buds 2, it’s not surprising to see scammers make inferior copies of the AirPods Pro. Some of these fake AirPods Pro are high quality enough to even look and feel like the real thing! Because of this, knowing how to spot a pair of fakes is as important as buying one from reputable sellers. Before you grab your wallet or your credit card, take the time to learn how to spot the telltale signs of fake AirPods Max.
Inside This Article
- How to Tell If You Have Fake AirPods Pro
- Sellers and Re-sellers
- Packaging And Design
- Missing/Disabled Functionality
- Other Tips and Tricks
There are actually a lot of ways to know whether you have a pair of fake AirPods Pro. These tell-tale signs range from how suspiciously cheap a pair sells to failing the well-known magnet trick. Most of these tell-tale signs are not as obvious on “super copy” clones as they might need a more thorough eye on them. That said, you will be able to distinguish the real ones from the fakes after reading through this article.
To better help you spot a pair of fake AirPods Pro, or any AirPods for that matter, we will split this guide into three parts. The first part is about who and where you bought or are buying your pair of AirPods. The second part will have us take an in-depth look into its packaging and design. This step includes looking at the markings on the box, construction quality, serial numbers, and other physical differences. Most fake AirPods Pro will immediately be obvious in this step due to their usual shoddy construction.
The last part of this guide will focus on its software, compatibility, and functions. These steps may require pairing the AirPods Pro with your iPhone or other Bluetooth devices. It will look into whether the suspect AirPods have their full functionality or not.
Related: How to Connect AirPods to PS4
First thing’s first — when it comes to talking about fake AirPods Pro or other products, you have to trust the people you buy from. Knowing where to buy mobile accessories is even more important now that most people buy their items online. While it is still better to buy from physical Apple stores or established brick-and-mortar stores like Walmart, Target, or Best Buy, online stores are also good if you know where to buy them.
Buying an Apple product from stores aside from official Apple-approved sellers and re-sellers like the Apple online store or Apple’s Amazon store page is always a risky gamble. The very first sign of a pair of fake AirPods Pro is its seller. If the AirPods are sold alongside obvious fakes or clone devices, you cannot trust that seller.
Another way how to tell if AirPods are fake is the online seller’s reputation and reviews on the product page. If their product reviews are low (3/5 or below), then there is a good chance that the AirPods they are selling are fake. You should also look at the text and media with the reviews. There has been a trend of fake reviews on some online shops that give high ratings to boost the trust in a product page.
The price and condition of the supposed fake AirPods Pro for sale are also factors when judging if they are fake. Brand new and original AirPods Pro will usually sell at or above their manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Fake and super copies, meanwhile, will sell for far below this amount — if the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
Alongside its price, another thing to consider when suspecting fake AirPods Pro is its condition. Generally, refurbished or used units will sell for below their MSRP and would not be covered by Apple’s warranty. AirPods Pros sold by reputable sellers like Amazon’s Renewed Store are usually original Apple devices that have been professionally cleaned, fixed, and tested.
You can easily spot a pair of fake AirPods based on the packaging. Apple has long been well-known for its meticulous product standards, and this includes its packaging. The AirPods Pro follows standard Apple packaging and comes in a simple white box. This box has a photo of the device on the top, the Apple logo on both sides, device information on the southern side, and the AirPods Pro logo on the northern side. Its bottom, meanwhile, has a photo of the AirPods Pro and its case along with some warning symbols.
While these logos and information can be copied by fakes, they apparently cannot copy the box itself. Fake AirPods Pro boxes will have a noticeable difference in how fast the box separates. Original boxes have a snug fit and will take time before the lower half is free from the top. There are other tell-tale signs to tell fakes using the box and are as follows:
As we said earlier, logos, device information, and other text could be copied by fakes. Chances are, these copies were done imperfectly. Not only would you see misspelled or wrong words on these boxes, but you will also see wrong or misplaced logos. You can also see different fonts and typefaces for the really badly made fakes. These mistakes are enough of a giveaway to know a fake AirPods Pro from an original one. Another sign is the “whiteness” of the box, as Apple uses a specific bright white for their boxes. Darker or “yellowed” boxes are impossible for a new product.
You can also discern a fake AirPods Pro using the device’s serial number. This number can be found on the southern side of the box above the second barcode. You can then input this into Apple’s service and support page to check your product. Most bad fakes will fail this check, but super copies are known for copying actual Apple serial numbers to their boxes.
If you have tossed out your box or misplaced it and still want to check your unit’s authenticity, you are in luck. There is another place where you can look for your AirPod Pro’s serial number. This second print is on the inside of the charging/carrying case’s left earbud cover.
Some fake AirPods Pro boxes will also have differences in their device information stickers compared to real ones. Most fake boxes will have the device information as one big sticker. Original devices, however, will have their device information split into two to four stickers.
You can also know a pair of fakes by what is included in the box. All AirPods Pros should have shipped with its documentation, a Lightning to USB-C cable, three sizes of silicone ear tips, and its MagSafe charging/carrying case. While most fakes do include these within the box, those that do not are a telltale sign that it is a fake.
Similar to the print on the outside, you can also tell a fake by the smudged, misspelled, or misprinted documentation included in the box. While Apple has strict standards, there may be times when their pamphlets are misprinted as well, though. Deciding whether a unit is fake using this method should be done after looking for other signs.
Also read: The Best AirPod Cases
Light indicators and ports can tell you if your AirPods are knockoff. Original AirPods Pro units have two different colored light indicators — amber for charging and green for fully charged. If a unit has a different color, this is a definitive sign that it is a fake.
Aside from that, you can also look at your unit’s USB Type-C port to check its authenticity. Unless damaged by falls or hits, a pair of original AirPods Pros should have its port aligned. Badly made fake pairs will usually slide down and get misaligned after light use.
Also read: How to Charge AirPods
Since we have covered the physical signs of a fake AirPods Pro, let us talk about its functions now. Copies and fakes will not have Apple’s special W1 chip. This chip makes iPhones, iPads, and Macs recognize the AirPods Pros as AirPods Pros and quickly sync to it. Below are the main ways to know if your suspected fake AirPods Pro has the W1 chip.
If your AirPods Pro really does have the W1 chip, it should have a quick set-up functionality. Any original AirPods Pro will automatically sync to a paired Apple device after you have paired them once. Fake devices, on the other hand, will require you to hold and press the case button to sync with its paired device each time.
Fake devices will also have problems switching between paired devices. Without Apple’s W1 chip, the automatic switching features will be unavailable. This forces users to use the Bluetooth menu to switch pairing between the fake AirPods Pro and its paired devices. Fakes without the chip will also experience more unreliable connections and stuttering on both the microphone and speakers.
Original AirPods Pro also has an additional feature that allows users to track them on a map. Original units will automatically be registered to the Find My app once they are paired with any other Apple device. Fake AirPods Pros will not be able to be found through this app or use its other features. If you want to learn more about the Find My app and all its features, we have a pretty in-depth article on how to use it to find your original AirPods.
As we said earlier, there are a few other tricks you can use to check whether a pair of AirPods Pro are genuine. You can combine these sets of tricks with the other telltale signs on this list to definitively decide if a pair of AirPods Pros are fake or not.
Due to their construction, original AirPods Pros have magnetized parts. The magnetization means that genuine AirPods Pro earbuds will magnetically repel each other. You can test this out by placing the two buds on a flat surface and slowly pushing one closer to the other. If the one you aren’t moving stays stationary, it means it is not magnetized and may be fake.
Fake AirPods Pro, whether the badly made ones or the super copies, will not actually have ANC installed in them. While bad copies will not have this feature at all, super copies will sometimes show to have ANC on your connected device. The best way to know if a device does have ANC installed is to listen to it. Fake AirPods Pros will not have any noticeable difference in background noise even after ANC has been turned on.
All original AirPods Pros are supposed to look alike — meaning fake ones have some slight differences. If you have a verified original pair on hand, you can compare a few features between both devices. Genuine AirPods Pros will have grills with smaller holes when compared to fakes, as well as being aligned on both sides of the buds. Original pairs will also have speaker grill insides that are totally black due to their pitch-black IR sensors.
Truth be told, we have nothing against using a pair of earbuds that look like AirPods — we even recommended some of them. But, at least, they don’t trick customers into buying something they are clearly not. Hopefully, this article can help you tell if someone’s selling you a pair of fake AirPods posing to be real.