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can you wear airpods in the shower

Can You Wear Airpods in the Shower [4 Things to Consider]

Technology and water don’t typically play well together – like first-generation Airpods, which needed to be kept far, far away from any water. But technology marches on, with a marked rise in waterproof and water-resistant devices.

Even (late-generation) Airpods are now classified as “water-resistant”, but what does that mean exactly? Are you free to wear Airpods in the shower safely?

While you can wear Airpods in the shower, it’s far from the best idea. The best Airpods can manage is water resistance, which can endure splashing water and little else. It’s “technically” fine, but far from safe – too many things could easily go wrong.

Sustained water pressure, or even falling on the shower floor, could break several crucial components in your device. Soap and shampoo exposure may corrode your Airpods, while rust and mold might develop in your Airpod speaker if you failed to dry it properly.

There’s a huge difference between “waterproof” and “water-resistant”. If you want to maximize the use of your Airpods, you’ll need to fully understand your device’s limitations.

IP Rating

airpods on a bowl

Ingress Rating, or IP protection, is a measure of how well a specific device is protected against intrusion from foreign contaminants. The first number rates an item’s protection against solids, such as dust, and the second number rates an item’s protection against liquids.

An IP rating of IPX4 (applicable for most Airpods) means:

  1. X – the device isn’t rated against solids, though dust and other solid particles are rarely a concern for Airpods.
  2. 4 – the device is rated to handle water splashing from any direction, being able to provide modest, consistent protection against such elements.

IPX5, for reference, is a rating that claims steady protection against low-pressure water streams.


According to Apple themselves, Airpods Pro (1st and 2nd generation) and Airpods (3rd generation) have an IP rating of IPX4. This means that they’re more than capable of handling liquids splashing around, and can safely be used in kitchens or while exercising.

Any Airpods released earlier than the above models are soundly excluded for good reason – they offer little-to-no protection against water whatsoever. If you’re using old Airpods, you should never use them in the shower.

Proper Precautions

While we’d strongly advise against wearing your Airpods in the shower, it’s still your decision to make. At the very least, you can take certain measures to minimize potential damages.

Keep your water pressure low while showering. High water pressure could potentially knock your Airpods out of your ear, increasing the chance of vital components being damaged.

Try to minimize head movement to reduce the chance of your Airpods slipping out. Even a short fall could lead to serious damages, but having it land on the shower floor – potentially being immersed in water or stepped on – could outright destroy your Airpods.

You also don’t want to let the water get too hot while showering, as steam could damage your Airpods without you even noticing! The moisture inside steam would seep into your device’s speakers, ruining sensitive electronics over time.

Soap and Shampoo Corrosion

Soap and shampoo have reactive chemicals that won’t mesh well with materials used in Airpods, leading to tarnishing, discoloration, or other chemical damage over time.

You need to be especially wary of shampoo, as it has a greater chance of coming into contact with your Airpods, which can cause any number of unwanted complications.

Even if the shampoo or soap didn’t have corrosive components, they’d still leave behind residue that could accumulate on your speaker meshes. These will degrade your Airpods’ sound quality, and may reach a point where your device can no longer function.

Proper Precautions

Try to learn forward while shampooing your hair, so the excess residue drips down your forehead rather than past your ears. If you’re about to grab your Airpods, be sure to rinse any excess soap or shampoo off your fingers (it’d be best to towel dry your hands first!).

If you suspect that residue has accumulated on your Airpods, wipe them down with a clean cloth. Don’t ever use water to clear residue, as you could damage your Airpods without meaning to.

Potential Mold Growth

airpod with mold

Mold thrives in warm, humid environments – and damp Airpods, unfortunately, fit the bill!

If you’re wearing Airpods in the shower, water or moisture could enter the device.

As Airpods get warm while in use, this creates an environment that encourages mold spore growth, leading to several potential problems.

Mold could cause irritation and health risks, and having them inside your Airpods exposes your ears to the source of contamination. Mold growth would also block your speakers, compromising your device’s sound quality and compromising their functionality.

Proper Precautions

Store your Airpods somewhere dry and well-ventilated. If you must expose them to moisture, be sure to wipe them down with a clean, dry cloth before returning the Airpods to their case. Apple provides guidance on how to dry their products, so follow their instructions closely.

If you think you have mold growth in your Airpods, stop using them immediately!

Cleaning your Airpods yourself is ill-advised, as Airpods are made up of many tiny parts. If anything gets lost or broken, you’ll be dealing with more problems (and greater expenses!). Get in touch with Apple customer service for help on how to handle this troubling situation.

Final Thoughts

“Can I wear Airpods in the shower?”

For early-generation Airpods, absolutely not – those have no protection against water whatsoever! Airpods Pro or 3rd generation Airpods are water-resistant, but can’t be subjected to anything more than light drizzles – and even then, the danger remains.

You can take precautions to make it safer to wear your Airpods in the shower, but it won’t ever be completely risk-free.