How to Spot Fake AirPods while Shopping Online or in Person

by Shanth Swaroop March 03, 2020

How to Spot Fake AirPods while Shopping Online or in Person

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”
-Oscar Wilde

Whether you’re a technophile who enjoys tech-heavy products or someone who just enjoys the aesthetic sense of the things, Apple AirPods are universally desirable...

But they’re costly and that adds to its appeal.

It gives the owners a feeling of exclusivity and aspirants to want to be seen as a member of that club.

Simply put, Apple AirPods are the new black.

If you got it, flaunt it!’ is how the saying goes. Funnily, this saying has been incorporated with another adage - ‘Fake it till you make it!’. Hence, it is hardly surprising to note the sheer number of fakes around.

If imitation was truly a form of flattery, then AirPods would definitely be the most flattered earphone in the world.

But this post is for you, dear discerning music-listener. We understand and appreciate your desire to buy original because YOU understand that quality comes at a cost. And so we have compiled a list of signs and features that will help you spot the fake right away.

Now, there are many ways to go about this. But, the ways can be split down into two basic categories - physical inspections and online inspections. As mentioned, there are signs and markers to check in a scenario where you’re physically in possession of AirPods. But in this article, we’ll be focusing on spotting fakes online or on any site that you think is dodgy.

Before we begin, do remember that Headphone Zone prides itself on being a brand that enforces extensive checks to make sure of the originality and authenticity of all our products.

Every product is sourced from legitimate channels so that YOU, our customer, get the quality and experience you paid for. Your satisfaction is important to us.

So be rest assured that when you order something from us, you get a product that is 100% authentic. If you wish to head straight to where ‘the Apples’ hang on our tree, head here.

Read on to enrich your detective skills on how to spot a fake while shopping online

  • Bright in White


    This is by far the most failsafe method to check for authenticity. So far, Apple has not released the AirPods in any colour but white.

    So if you spot any other colour variant that’s anything but the classic Apple white, it’s a fake.

  • It’s All in the Name

    If the product page of a website does not explicitly mention the name ‘Apple’, it’s famous logo and the ‘Apple, Inc.’ brand name, chances are that the product is fake.

    Also, if you see weirdly long and unnecessarily descriptive product-name, that’s a red flag too.

    Some examples of these are - “Brand New Genuine Apple AirPods Wireless Earphone Original Bluetooth Headphones for iPhone Xs Max XR 7 8 MacBook Apple Watch’’ or something super long like “Wireless Bluetooth Headphones-Wireless in-Ear Headphones-Running Headphones for Women Men-Sport Bluetooth Earphones-Best Sport Wireless Earbuds-Outdoor Portable Bluetooth Earphones1” and so on.

  • Weird Product Reviews and Badly Written Reviews

    It’s always a good idea to check the reviews of a product before buying. One big giveaway about fakes is a huge number of negative reviews.

    This is ought to get the alarms going as AirPods are one of the most loved earphones around. Secondly, some manufacturers of these fakes, cut-copy and paste reviews from elsewhere on their page.

    So if you come across a product page with confusing reviews that also seems badly written, it’s probably fake.

    Just make sure that such reviews are in good quantity. Most authentic products also tend to have some spam reviews.

  • Too Good to be True Prices

    If something sounds too good to be true, chances are that it already is.

    So, if you happen to come across a deal that has a ridiculous price difference as compared to the standard MRP of AirPods, please pause. You’ve not managed to step in through some online equivalent of Narnia.

    The product is most definitely a fake. Let it go, mate.


Shopping at a Retail Store?

Okay so it might be possible that you find yourself in a predicament where you’re buying a pair of AirPods at a retail store.

You are right in assuming that you still might end up buying a copy.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on that front too.

Here are a few ways to make sure that the Apple you’re buying is from the right tree, figuratively speaking.

The points mentioned above hold steady to quite an extent in this scenario too

Just remember that the Apple AirPods is a truly premium product from a company that prides itself on its aesthetic sense. So, right from the packaging, print and overall presentation will have a classy finish.

Do make sure to keep an eye out for that.

  • The Serial Killer Check

    This is by far the most fail-safe method to spot fakes. Every Apple product has a serial number. For AirPods, you can find the serial number once you open the case, as seen in this image from 9to5Mac below:

    Once you have the serial number, just enter it on Apple’s website below:

    Once entered, it’s judgment time as Apple will instantly let you know whether the product is a fake one or not.

    There, however, is a slim chance that someone might’ve switched the AirPods to sell you fake ones in an original case.

    Hey! Don’t look at us like that. It’s quite possible. The ingenuity of the fake-masters is without limits. 

  • The 5 Charging Case Checks

    There are ways to check if even the charging box is a fake one. Give it a proper seeing-to.

    Watch out for 5 things specifically:
    1. The sync button on the back of the box has a soft clicking action with very little sound.
    2. The charging indicator on the original lights up with a white light when in charging.
    3. When you keep the AirPods in, they should fix in place with a magnetic pull.
    4. The “Designed by Apple in California / Assembled in China” text on the box of an original is thicker and of a different font in fakes. 
    5. Check the charging port. Obviously, it ought to be Apple Lightning Port. But fakes are known to put a C-type charging port; definitely an imposter. 

    If there’s any deviancy from the above, chances are that it’s not authentic.

  • The Grill Check

    Once done with the box, do give a thorough seeing-to to the AirPods themselves.

    Check the shape of the grilled area on the microphone (they’re called diffusers) for starters, it ought to be oval.

    Fakes tend to have circular or slightly oval diffusers. Now check the diffuser closer to the ear. An original AirPod will always the diffuser here aligned perfectly with the circle nearby.

    Even the quality of the grill used can suggest mischief at play.

  • The Packaging Check

    Lastly, you might want to check the packaging box the AirPods are being sold in. For starters, right from the Apple Logo, to the images and even the “AirPods” written in bold on the side of the box are good markers to look at.

    If you find text that is too reflective, shiny and has a bumpy feel to it, it’s a fake. Apple’s aesthetic sense is all about being subtle. 

  • The Weight Check

    This one might seem a little tricky but Apple has invested heavily in research and cutting edge technology to give you one of the finest true wireless headphones.

    It’s near-impossible for fakes to recreate the same, in terms of tech, materials used, among others.

    The reason we mention this is that no matter where you are, an authentic Apple charging case with the AirPods inside out should weigh exactly 46 grams when measured. There’s no way a fake can achieve this. 


And there you have it - a fairly exhaustive yet smart guide to help you spot fakes. Aslo, with respect to the last point, if you’re ever in doubt about an AirPod’s authenticity, we just hope you have access to some sort of weighing scale.

Ludicrous, yes.

But the people making fakes leave no stone unturned in scamming you out of your money. It makes sense to make sure you’re at least as battle-ready as possible.

But, we digress, all of this is indeed too much of a hassle. Just pick a trusty headphone website *cough* Headphone Zone *cough* that assures you of stringent quality control and customer satisfaction.

If you wish to save yourself the trouble and just go ahead and buy an authentic pair of AirPods or AirPods Pro, then head here. We only provide original products with a manufacturer-backed warranty.

Happy Listening!

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Shanth Swaroop
Shanth Swaroop

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