You're ruining your AirPods if you do this one thing
PSA: Your Apple earbuds aren't water-resistant.
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People who love their AirPods really love their AirPods. They wear them everywhere: Walking to the train station, doing the dishes, taking a phone call at work, and, perhaps most commonly, working out.
But according to some experts, wearing your AirPods to the gym is a very bad (and very risky) idea. We asked our own tech guru to weigh in on the debate and share which wireless earbuds may be better for your daily sweat session than that pricey pair from Apple.
Why you shouldn't wear your AirPods to work out
One word: sweat. After all, AirPods are neither sweat nor water-resistant. "Simply put, sweat—and any kind of water—will damage headphones permanently if it gets inside," our executive editor, TJ Donegan, explains. "The AirPods don't take any special measures to prevent this from happening, so your best bet is to just not use them while working out."
Even if you're someone who doesn't sweat a lot or who has worn their AirPods to they gym a few times without a problem, TJ doesn't recommend taking the risk. "You may get away with it once, or twice, or 100 times, but it only takes one time for your AirPods to be permanently damaged," he warns.
What happens if your AirPods get water damage?
Unfortunately, you're likely out of luck, TJ says. "AirPods are almost impossible to repair, and the buds cost $69 each to replace if lost or damaged," he explains. And while he says you can replace the buds for $29 if you had the foresight to pay for Applecare+, it won't cover any damage caused by using the AirPods in a way that Apple didn't intend. "Though you could just as easily say you spilled liquid on them [which is covered], it's a risk," he adds.
What about AirPods Pro?
Good news if you've been eying up (or recently splurged) on the new AirPods Pro—according to Apple, they are sweat- and water-resistant. Not only that, but TJ—who tested them out for himself—says they're the best earbuds Apple has ever made. "They offer best-in-class connectivity, portability, a design that will work for just about anyone, and they sound better than the original AirPods by a country mile," TJ raves.
The best earbuds to wear to the gym
Along with Airpods Pro, there are plenty of other wireless earbuds that can stand up to the sweatiest of workout session. While TJ cautions that "waterproof" and "water-resistant" can be misleading, so always do your research first, he recommends the Jabra Elite Active 65t. "They're a little cheaper than AirPods that are on sale, but have similar battery life, proper sweat-resistance, and better sound quality," he says.
And if you're looking for that simple connectivity that Apple is so famous for? TJ recommends the Apple-owned Beats Powerbeats Pro, which have all the same AirPods magic with much better sound quality, an ear hook design that will stay in everyone's ears, and actual sweat-resistance.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.