Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
57,334
20,155


The MagSafe Charging Case for the third-generation AirPods features sweat and water resistance, making the standard AirPods the first to feature an IPX4-rated charging case.

magsafe-airpods.jpeg

Apple promoted the sweat and water-resistance of the third-generation AirPods with the device's announcement last week, but the IPX4 rating applies to both the earbuds and the charging case. The AirPods Pro were the first AirPods to offer sweat and water resistance, but the feature only applies to the earbuds themselves, with the charging case featuring no accredited sweat or water resistance rating.

The IPX4 rating means that AirPods have ingress protection to withstand dripping, spraying, or splashes of water. It also means that AirPods cannot withstand water jets (IPX5) or water immersion (IPX7). The "X" part of the rating explains that the AirPods have not been rated for dust resistance.

The AirPods Pro also now ship with an updated Charging Case that adds MagSafe, but unlike the third-generation AirPods, the new case is not officially rated for any kind of ingress protection. Apple confirms on its latest AirPods Pro specs page that "The Wireless Charging Case and MagSafe Charging Case for AirPods Pro are not sweat and water resistant."

The third-generation AirPods feature improved sound quality, a new design with shorter stems, force sensor controls, spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, Adaptive EQ, Find My support, and more. These features debuted with the AirPods Pro, but Apple has now brought the standard AirPods up to spec with its "Pro" sibling, with the exception of silicone in-ear tips and Active Noise Cancellation (ANC).

Sweat and water resistance is now an area where the AirPods surpass the AirPods Pro, but the IPX4-rated charging case is not the only new feature exclusive to the third-generation AirPods; the earbuds also feature an all-new skin-detect sensor.

Instead of skin-detect sensors in each earbud, the ‌AirPods Pro‌ use dual optical sensors to detect if they are in a user's ear. While they effectively perform the same function, the optical sensors can simply tell when they are covered up, rather than specifically against skin. This means that if you put an ‌AirPods Pro‌ earbud in a pocket or on a surface, it could accidentally resume playback.

There have been no rumors to suggest that the next-generation AirPods Pro will feature the new skin-detect sensor and a sweat and water-resistant MagSafe Charging Case, but it seems highly likely that Apple will bring its mid-range AirPods to parity with the entry-level model.

airpods-3-shipped.jpg

The third-generation AirPods have also begun shipping to customers around the world ahead of the device's official launch tomorrow.

For more detailed information about the third-generation AirPods, see our comprehensive roundup. If you are undecided about buying the new earbuds, take a look at our buyer's guides.

Article Link: AirPods 3 Features First Water-Resistant AirPods Charging Case
 
Last edited:

Phone Junky

macrumors 68020
Oct 29, 2011
2,347
4,073
Midwest
I could have used water resistance on my AirPods Pro that I accidentally ran through the washer shortly after I got them. That was over a year and a half ago and they have worked flawlessly since then (after they dried out ?).
 
  • Like
Reactions: SantaFeNM

tomtad

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2015
550
1,045
Must have a seal then. Hopefully it helps with lint getting stuck in there as well.
 

sparkinstx

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2017
267
287
That's cool. What's the best way to clean an AirPods case, to get dirt and other debris out of the "tubes" in the case, and around the charging contacts? A toothpick? I would think a cotton swab might leave fibers behind, or worse, snag on and possibly damage the contacts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SantaFeNM

BWhaler

Suspended
Jan 8, 2003
3,693
5,859
These are a great update to an already outstanding product.

I can’t wait to see what comes of the AirPod Pros. That’s the product I want to upgrade to. Hopefully it will not be a long wait...
 
  • Like
Reactions: midkay

dumastudetto

macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2013
4,186
5,538
That's cool. What's the best way to clean an AirPods case, to get dirt and other debris out of the "tubes" in the case, and around the charging contacts? A toothpick? I would think a cotton swab might leave fibers behind, or worse, snag on and possibly damage the contacts.

I believe you can still buy new AirPods cases on their own.
 

GMacAppleUser

macrumors newbie
Aug 26, 2020
12
16
Huh, after my airpods pro survived the washing machine in their case I assumed I just didn't realize that was a feature- guess I was just super lucky lol
 
  • Like
Reactions: SantaFeNM

MrGimper

macrumors 604
Sep 22, 2012
7,886
10,130
Andover, UK
That's cool. What's the best way to clean an AirPods case, to get dirt and other debris out of the "tubes" in the case, and around the charging contacts? A toothpick? I would think a cotton swab might leave fibers behind, or worse, snag on and possibly damage the contacts.
I clean the case tubes with a cotton swap with contact cleaner. For the charging port, pods themselves etc, I use blu-tac to remove debris, wax etc
 
  • Like
Reactions: sparkinstx

LlamaLarry

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2008
148
47
Northern VA
Yeah, I washed by Gen 1 AirPods and case once, only pulling them from the dryer while I tried to figure out what the heck was making all that noise. The AirPods themselves worked fine, but the case was DOA (both would not charge the AirPods and would not hold a charge).
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
4,319
2,978
Between the coasts
That's cool. What's the best way to clean an AirPods case, to get dirt and other debris out of the "tubes" in the case, and around the charging contacts? A toothpick? I would think a cotton swab might leave fibers behind, or worse, snag on and possibly damage the contacts.
From Apple's support article https://support.apple.com/HT208729 (emphasis added):

Clean the charging case with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. If necessary, you can slightly dampen the cloth with isopropyl alcohol. Allow the charging case to dry. Make sure not to get any liquid in the charging ports. Here are a few more guidelines:
  • Remove any debris from the Lightning connector with a clean, dry, soft-bristled brush.
  • Don't use abrasive materials to clean the charging case.
  • To avoid damaging the metal contacts, don't put anything in the charging ports.

To get dust/debris out of the charging ports, maybe a vacuum?

Apple's advice is remarkably like the advice we get for cleaning our actual ears. ;-)
 
  • Like
Reactions: johnyslats

midkay

macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2008
280
613
These are a great update to an already outstanding product.

I can’t wait to see what comes of the AirPod Pros. That’s the product I want to upgrade to. Hopefully it will not be a long wait...
Same, looking forward to new Pros. All I really want is lossless audio, somehow... hope they find a way to make it happen.
 

iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
3,641
767
Meaning AirPods Pro update is closer than ever. Probably early 2022. I'd hold up getting APP now since I use my earbuds for workouts, and I bring the case in my pocket, so sweat resistance for the case is just as important as in the buds themselves.
 

henrikhelmers

macrumors member
Nov 22, 2017
88
110
The IPX4 rating means that AirPods have ingress protection to withstand dripping, spraying, or splashes of water. It also means that AirPods cannot withstand water jets (IPX5) or water immersion (IPX7). The "X" part of the rating explains that the AirPods have no form of ingress protection against solids or dust.
This is not entirely accurate, and makes the certification seem more magical than it is. Equipment often performs above their rating, but maybe not well enough to pass certification, or perhaps because the vendor does not feel comfortable encouraging certain behavior.

My Fujifilm gear is only labeled "weather resistant", which I think is a better take. One thing is the IP rating at time of purchase, but how water tight is it really after years of use? Treat expensive equipment sensibly.
 

benpaine30

macrumors newbie
Oct 25, 2021
1
0
Once again Apple has managed to make a device waterproof when it seems near impossible. I most likely wont be purchasing this device, however, I am very excited to see where this technology goes in the future. I feel like the next step is making their laptops waterproof as well. But I won't believe that's possible until I see it.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.