Can AirPods Break When Dropped? How Durable Are They?

Author: James Potts | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

So, you’ve dropped your AirPods. Don’t worry! The damage might not be as bad as you think.

Dropping your AirPods on the ground probably won’t break them. They are designed to withstand the usual day-to-day wear and tear and are housed in a robust outer layer made from hard plastic. A  drop from a height of ten feet or less is easily survivable for the AirPods.

Designed for Day-To-Day Wear and Tear

Apple designed the AirPods, knowing that accidental droppings may occur. After all, they are just two small bits of plastic stuck in your ears, with no wires or cables attaching them to each other or anything else. The chances of them falling are fairly high.

That’s why the electrics are housed in a rigid Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic, a material known for its durability and resistance to impact and heat, and its stability, tensile strength, and surface hardness.

Long Lasting Durability

AirPods are not an especially cheap accessory, and they seem to be well worth the price tag in terms of longevity.

Most users claim to have AirPods that have lasted well over 2 years, with more still saying their pair has been going for 3 years and counting. And that’s all with multiple drops from various heights and all the accidental and usual mishaps that happen to any item in frequent use.

They’re not Indestructible, but Pretty Close to it

As you can see from the following video, the AirPods don’t seem to take much damage at all, even when dropped from heights of 10 feet.

The AirPods show signs of physical damage only when the tester drops the AirPods from a height of around 15 feet.

It’s also worth noting that all the features of the AirPods continue to work. The AirPods Pro have noise cancellation technology that continues to function right up to the drop from 15 feet. After this, unfortunately, that feature stopped working.

The AirPod Pros and Bluetooth themselves, however, continued to work and transmit music from the iPhone to the headphones, so they are still usable.

Aside from this, the AirPods still work as headphones, and at any height lower than this, all of the features continued to work, showing the electrics inside the ABS plastic shell were not compromised.

It’s pretty unlikely that you will drop your AirPods from such a great height in regular day-to-day usage, however. So if you’ve dropped your AirPods on the ground from your pocket or your ear, you’ll most likely find that they still look fine and function perfectly.

Durability of AirPods vs. AirPods Pro

While the technological differences between the two are clear and something to discuss in a different article, perhaps, the durability is pretty much the same. Both the AirPods and the AirPods Pro have similar resistance to impact.

Obviously, there are factors to take into account for both types of headphones. The height, the surface material the AirPods are dropped onto, how many times they have been dropped before, etc.

Perhaps something else to consider is water resistance – the AirPods Pro has sweat and water resistance technology far superior to that of the original AirPod. This, of course, won’t affect its sturdiness when dropped, but it might help if you drop them in a puddle!

What About the AirPods Case?

The AirPods case is a brilliant piece of design that not only keeps your AirPods clean and safe when not in use, but it also charges them too. But how does the case stand up to being dropped?

The outer shell of the case is made from a rigid polycarbonate plastic mix, which is known for its extremely high tolerance to impact.

There is more going on inside the AirPods case than the AirPods themselves, though. There is a battery, numerous magnets, and lots of connecting wires. This all adds to the weight of the case and the likeliness of any damage that does occur being serious.

You can see in this video that the AirPods case does take a bit more cosmetic damage than the AirPods themselves when dropped. The plastic, though rigid enough to protect the electronics and the AirPods inside, scuffs quite easily when dropped on a hard surface.

Something to be wary of if you do drop the case is that depending on the angle at which the case makes contact with the ground, the AirPods themselves may come flying out.

We know they’re durable enough to withstand a fall from a pretty great height, but if they’re jettisoned from the case at high speed, there’s a chance they may get damaged further or even lost.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the AirPods are not as flimsy and delicate as they may look. When dropped from the heights that they would normally be used at, the AirPods and AirPods Pro both continued to function completely fine and sustained no cosmetic damage either.

Only when the height was drastically increased to around 15 feet did the AirPods start to get damaged in any significant way. And even when the noise cancellation feature stopped working on the AirPods Pro and a crack started to appear on the headphone casing, the AirPods actually still worked!

So unless you’ve dropped your AirPods from a great height, out of a window, or into a body of water – they should be fine.

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About James Potts

James is an amateur guitarist and home-recording enthusiast. He loves all things music related - writing songs, playing in a band, and finding the best ways to listen to it. It all interests him, from the history of acoustic guitars, to the latest Bluetooth headphones, to his (ever-growing) collection of vinyl records.

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