Fake AirPods or original AirPods Pro are easy to spot by their details. You can avoid getting scammed by counterfeit Apple earbuds by comparing widely available clones to genuine AirPods Pro.
The market is flooded with fake AirPods and AirPods Pro. It comes as no surprise given Apple’s incredible popularity. You can get them from shady third-party sites and through person-to-person resale sites.
Previously, in applerumours blog post, we’ve looked at how to tell if your AirPods are genuine, but here we’ll be taking a look at a known counterfeit set of AirPods Pro.
This is also an excellent example of how disingenuous parties can mimic Apple’s hardware and software.
Original AirPods Packaging
They didn’t look like normal AirPods when they arrived. A sealed AirPods box was nestled inside the cheaply-produced box. It’s already a red flag that all isn’t well.
The plastic wrap on the AirPods Pro box wasn’t taut. Shrinkwrap on Apple boxes is tight, whereas counterfeit versions are thinner. Apple has a pull tab for easy opening, which they replicated.
Even so, it isn’t as thick as Apple’s, causing the sides to bow slightly. Among the contents are the headphones themselves, the manual, and a Lightning cable.
Compared with the original AirPods version, the getting started guide is printed on thinner paper. In addition, the Lightning cable appears to be repackaged.
AirPods Pro hardware
Physically, the differences are impossible to discern. Identifying a fake requires nitpicking. The rear button is close, but not as flush to the case as the official version. Darker ink is used on the inside of the case and each earbud.
A seam from the mold can be seen at the bottom of the earbuds, below the charging contacts. They’re a little stiffer than Apple’s silicone ear tips.
Unless you have an official pair of AirPods Pro next to you for comparison, you may never notice these differences. The best takeaway is to be skeptical of anything that looks out of place.
Software and features
Fake sets can’t be determined by the software. Knockoffs can reproduce nearly all of Apple’s features.
Just like the original AirPods Pro case, a modal popup will appear when you open it. The feature was only available on real AirPods.
As soon as they are paired, they appear in Control Center and the Settings app. If you copy the serial number, this has also been spoofed. Although the coverage has expired, it will show up as an actual serial number on Apple’s website.
Active noise cancellation is not working on these fake AirPods Pro. Transparency, off, and ANC modes are all selectable in Control Center, but the earbuds don’t reflect your choices.
Not all fakes break ANC. Even cheap earbuds often have ANC, so a barely functioning model or just having them switch the label in iOS seems doable.
Saving money while shopping
Order from an Apple Authorized Reseller to ensure you’re getting the best deal on AirPods while ensuring authenticity.
Amazon has often the steepest discounts in effect on wireless earbuds since it is an Apple Authorized Reseller. Choose models that are shipped and sold directly by Amazon when you shop through the Apple store on Amazon.
Check every detail before paying for them if you purchase them secondhand. If possible, find out when they were purchased, check the serial numbers, and try them out.