Apple AirPods Max, AirPods, AirPods Pro: How To Check They Are Not Fake

AirPods, AirPods Max, and AirPods Pro are great music products. But beware of counterfeits that abound on classified ad sites! These methods allow you to find them easily.

With the AirPods, Apple has played a big role. Mocked at launch for their unusual shape, Apple’s wireless earbuds were subsequently massively copied – the same with the AirPods Pro, although their less-replicable shape spares them slightly. The AirPods Max, on the other hand, are a bit expensive for those who do not take advantage of all the options of the headset.

If completely legitimate brands try to unravel the secret of the truly wireless earphone which would be at the same time light, thin, comfortable, simple to pair and autonomous, crooks relayed by shameless influencers redouble their pettiness to copy the originals. Some of these headphones like AirPods end even in social media ads. And if for the moment the AirPods Max, wireless headphones with active noise reduction, are spared the phenomenon of the homage supported, there is no doubt that they will be copied in turn if success is achieved.

For headphones, while the second generation AirPods are marketed (around € 150, or even less during sales periods), and the AirPods Pro have established themselves as a high-end reference (around € 279) devices are beginning to be found on the second-hand market or on gray markets, marketplace and other platforms for international relations between buyers and sellers. Amazon, however very legitimate, is full of them. And as expected, scams are plentiful. Here’s how to find them.

The serial number on AirPods Max, AirPods Pro and AirPods 2 2019

From the AirPods launched in 2019, the Cupertino brand has understood the concern posed by counterfeiting and has added a serial number to each of the headphones. It is located under the tip that goes into the ear, between the flare and the stem. As AirPods can be replaced individually, it is obviously on both sides. You will also find it under the lid of the AirPods box – this mention is also on the first generation. On AirPods Pro, it’s exactly the same: the serial number is on each earbud and inside the case.

On AirPods Max, it’s a little different: the serial number can be found under the left ear cup, removing the magnetic pad. It’s written small, but it’s still readable. Please note: another number appears under the right ear cup. It’s not not the serial number.

On AirPods Max, you will get a serial number by lifting the right ear cup. But this is not the right one: you have to lift the left atrium to find it!

The one on AirPods and AirPods Pro does not work in the Apple warranty and service validator, but you can use the one on the case to verify that the set is original. That of AirPods Max works. You just need to go to this address to verify. Either way, the presence of a serial number on AirPods is one thing to check that can help separate real AirPods from a fake.

The details to check on all AirPods

Most copies of AirPods are really easy to spot: Apple’s prowess lies in miniaturization. The clones are therefore often much larger. The thickness of the rod should not be more than that of your iPhone, for example.

Some clones, on the other hand, are better made and you could be fooled, especially if you are sold first-generation AirPods which therefore do not have a serial number in the original version. The easiest way to see if AirPods are real is to check the pairing system: take the box with the AirPods in it and open the flip. IPhone should detect AirPods and offer automatic pairing.

This counterfeit sold on Amazon is a beautiful reproduction … but you can easily spot a button

If the seller tells you to press a button or go to Bluetooth settings, chances are they are fake: neither AirPods nor cases have a pairing button. The button on the back of the case is used to pair AirPods with each other (for example if you lose one and want to change them) or to pair them with an Android device.

The AirPods Max have distinctive features: the control wheel similar to that of the Apple Watch, but also a carrying pouch sold with the product. If it’s not in the seller’s box, it’s fishy.

New models

Side official sellers, you will find legitimate AirPods on, in the Apple space of Amazon (and nowhere else) and on Darty and Fnac (which also sell counterfeits in Marketplace…). The same goes for the AirPods Max.

Article originally published on July 01, 2019 and updated on August 21, 2021

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