One would usually expect features such as water resistance to feature on premium products. However, the MagSafe Charging Case for the third-generation AirPods is IPX4-rated sweat and water-resistant, making the vanilla AirPods the first to feature a water-resistant case.
When Apple announced the third-generation AirPods at the “Unleashed” event last week, most assumed that only the AirPods themselves would be IPX4 rated. As it turns out, these budget-centric AirPods have a sweat and water-resistant case as well. To put that into perspective, the AirPods Pro was the first AirPods model to offer sweat and water resistance, but only for the earbuds and not for the case.
The IPX4 rating means that the AirPods have been certified to withstand dripping, spraying, and splashing of water. The certification means that the AirPods cannot withstand jets of water (like IPX5 certified devices) and immersion in liquids (like IPX7 certified devices). The “X” in the name of the rating denotes that the AirPods have no ingress protection against solids and dust. They are only protected against liquids.
Although the new AirPods Pro also ships with an updated Charging Case that supports MagSafe wireless charging, Apple confirmed that the “Wireless Charging Case and MagSafe Charging Case for AirPods Pro are not sweat and water-resistant.”
Interestingly, water-resistance for the case isn’t the only feature differentiating the third-generation AirPods. They also feature an all-new skin-detect sensor to play and pause music when the earbuds are put in and removed from the ears. The pricier AirPods Pro relies on dual optical sensors for in-ear detection. A potential downside of the latter is that if you put an earbud on a surface or in your pocket, playback could resume accidentally.
The third-generation AirPods have begun shipping to customers ahead of the official launch tomorrow.