Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Since the AirPods Max headphones were released on December 15, there have been a growing number of complaints from MacRumors readers who have run into a problem with condensation.

Image via MacRumors reader Jordan921

Some AirPods Max owners who have been wearing their headphones for a prolonged period of time have noticed condensation forming inside the ear cup. From MacRumors reader ssong:
So I've had my AirPods max for just under a week and have noticed that after prolonged usage there's a decent amount of condensation inside the ear cup.

it's quite noticeable when you detach the magnetic ear cushions from the ear cup.
The condensation seems to happen regardless of temperature, and most people have reported seeing it after several hours of use, but for some, it shows up within an hour or two. One user has claimed that the condensation has led to issues with Active Noise Cancellation, but this has not been echoed by other AirPods Max owners and no one else has reported problems caused by condensation.

Other AirPods Max owners have said that the same issue has happened with headphones from other brands. From MacRumors reader JBGoode:
I get this on my Sony WH1000XM3. I've had them for a long time and it's no big deal. Have none of you owned over the head cans before? Your ears are gonna a sweat and there will be some condensation. I think it's pretty common for this type of headphones.
The AirPods Max are not water resistant and those who are affected by the condensation are concerned about the longevity of the headphones with the water droplets pooling inside. The ear cushions are not affected and remain dry despite the condensation inside the ear cups.

Some AirPods Max owners have returned the headphones, while others have picked up AppleCare+ in case of future problems. Apple has not yet commented on the issue.

Article Link: Some AirPods Max Owners Complain of Condensation in Ear Cups


Aug 14, 2010
The way I’m reading this is that this is occurring regardless of activity or temperature, even after a few hours of just sitting at a desk. The hypothesis is that the design is trapping heat and creating condensation (the ear pads themselves aren’t even wet), so it has nothing to do with sweating and might actually be due to a faulty design.


Jul 9, 2008
So since receiving my APM I definitely have had less “noticeable” condensation due to the cloth cups. When wearing for longer periods with my XM4 and NC 700 it’s noticeably more and sometimes I would need to dry my face off as the pleather material doesn’t aid in dispersion. But on the point of the thread, the condensation is only noticeable on the APM because you can remove the cups to view it. On any other cans that don’t have removable cups you can’t actually remove them to see the condensation build up which inevitably dries into the material. My personal opinion.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.