One of the biggest qualm most of us have with the AirPods is that it is not water-resistance. Despite the lack of official ratings, AirPods have generally fared well when immersed in water. CNET compared AirPods with other truly wireless buds that are water-resistance and surprisingly, AirPods fared better than some of its rivals.
CNET chose three truly wireless in-ear headphones and subjected them to a myriad of water-related tests. The AirPods, Samsung Galaxy Buds (IPX2) and Beats Powerbeats Pro (IPX4) were pitted against each other. The IPX2 rating translates to surviving drops of water falling on it, like during rain or even sweat. Meanwhile, IPX4 rating is conferred to devices that can survive a strong splash of water for up to ten minutes.
The first bout of the test was a sweat test. Real life situations were recreated and the three headsets were tested.
To test the claims, Lexy and I took simulating a sweaty workout at the gym. We wore each pair of earphones and sprayed each other in the face with water until droplets trickled down the sides of our heads.
The folks at CNET removed the devices after the workout session and dried them. All three devices passed the test with no damage whatsoever.
The second test was brutal and involved dunking each pair of headphones in a fish bowl.
We dunked each pair into a clear fish bowl with a foot of water for five seconds. It’s worth noting that the AirPods went about two seconds over because of bad time-keeping on our part. We just love pushing the AirPods beyond what they are designed to do.
This is where we expect the AirPods to fail right? No thats not what happened. All three headphones emerged unharmed by the test. There was no deterioration or any impact on audio quality.
I am pretty sure most of us have tossed clothes in the washing machine without realizing that our ear-phones are inside the pockets. A test on similar lines was recreated.
We took each set of buds out of their cases and zipped them up in a jacket pocket before throwing them into separate washing machines with a few more items that needed washing. All three machines were set on a normal 30-minute cycle with cold water and laundry detergent.
In this test, the Samsung Galaxy Bud gave away and faint music could be heard from one of the earbuds while the other one was completely dead. Thankfully PowerBeats Pro worked just fine. AirPod had taken very little damage and it sounded muffled.
The AirPods had a better recovery: both had decent volume, although the music didn’t sound as crisp as before all of our water challenges and the audio clip recorded from the microphone still sounded muffled.
The test teaches us a thing or two about truly wireless in-ear headphones. Firstly, none of them are completely water-resistance and it is almost always a bad idea to bring it in contact with water. That being said, the water resistance rating will offer you some sort of assurance when you get wet in rain. Did you ever drop your AirPods into the water? Let us know if AirPods survived or met a watery grave!