How To Tell If AirPods Pro Are Fake: Complete Guide

Did you know that there are fake AirPods pro on the market? There can also be fake earbuds. Even Macs and iPhones are getting clones circulating in the market. These fakes often cost Apple billions of dollars in revenue.

Apple products bring you world-class quality and top-notch performance. These are unlike any other in the market. But, they can be pretty expensive when considering the ones with the best features.

This leads buyers to find cheaper options. That is the leading cause of getting scammed if you’re not purchasing from an authentic Apple Store. That’s why Apple has worked relentlessly to add anti-fake options.

There is more than one way to tell if AirPods pro are fake or not. Let’s take a look at all these:

How To Check Serial Number For Authentic AirPods?

serial number on AirPods Pro

Each Apple product has a unique serial number. It is one-of-a-kind, and no two devices or products share it. Apple uses serial numbers to differentiate between different batches, products, and more.

So, the best way to learn about a fake Apple AirPods set is by looking at the serial number.

Once you find the Serial number, you can visit the official apple coverage website. You can quickly check the serial number to ensure authenticity.

So, where can you find this serial number, and how? 

1. By Using The Bluetooth Settings

Serial number on an iPhone device

Some many high-end copies and fakes can replicate the product entirely. But still, not everyone can replicate the Bluetooth features. If you use AirPods with an iPad or iPhone, you can quickly check whether it is fake. All you need to do is establish a Bluetooth connection:

  • Once you activate Airpods, you will have the Connect option on your iPhone. Press on it.
  • Go to Settings, then General. Find the ‘About’ option. Then you will see Airpods Pro in the options. There will be a Serial Number there. 
  • Once you connect AirPods with your devices, you can also go to the Bluetooth settings on your device. 
  • You first notice that the Connected Device Name will be original. It will show AirPods Pro if that’s what it is. And so on.
  • Click on the small (i) icon next to the name. This will take you into the information and settings.
  • There, you will find many things like battery indicators and noise cancellation.
  • There will also be the serial number for the AirPods given. All this together ensures that your device is genuine.

2. Check It On Airpod Case 

Serial number inside the airpods pro case

See, using the Bluetooth connection is best because it shows more than just a serial number. If your device lacks any of these features, it might not be authentic. It is difficult for anyone to copy the ecosystem completely.

  • If you’re just looking for the Serial Number, you can see it in the AirPods case.
  • When you flip open the lid, you can locate it on the inside area.
  • It is the underside of the lid. The serial number will be there.

3. Under The Ear Cushion For

checking airpods pro under cushion

Are you using the excellent AirPods Pro Max? If so, then you’re in luck. AirPods pro max comes with serial numbers of the AirPods, established individually.

So, you can remove the ear cushion of the AirPods. You can see the Serial number there. Then cross-check it.

4. Barcode On The Box

Serial Number Barcode on the box

The AirPods pro comes with a packaged box. You will have the barcode on the package, which is a serial number. If not, then the serial number will be listed alongside the bar code.

You can type this serial number on the official website. But remember, you need to make sure that all the serial numbers match:

  • All the serial numbers (on AirPods, box, charging case lid, and Bluetooth) should be the same.
  • They won’t be any different. If they do have a different number, they can be fake.
  • The exception to this is the serial number on the AirPods. They can be different as each one will have an individual serial to prevent fakes. You can check them individually on the website.
  • The box will most likely carry the serial number for each airpod in the box. 

Understanding Build Quality Of The Original AirPods 

Apple's AirPods Pro

The cheap knockoffs can’t even begin to copy the build quality. Apple uses incredible material and quality. But, it can be challenging for first-time users to distinguish.

You will know if you often buy Apple products at a glance or touch. But if you can’t figure it out. Check out these points for the build quality and differences.

Most counterfeit products have at least one of these issues:

1. It’s All In The Diffuser

Apple AirPods Closer Look

Check the quality of the diffuser on your AirPods. These are the small speaker-like designs on your AirPods. They usually have a slick grill that is premium in nature.

  • Some counterfeits often have a rectangular diffuser, not one with rounded edges.
  • A natural diffuser will be black, not gray, silver, or any other color. So, you can check that.
  • Even the outer lining of the diffuser will be black, not some other shade. So, make sure to note that.
  • The diffuser will be in alignment with the black dot next to it. The black dot is the IR sensor. It could be fake if your AirPods don’t have a black dot.

2. Genuine AirPods Pro Build 

the build quality of airpods pro

A genuine airpod pro will have an oval shape design, not circular. Apple Engineers spent several years designing the shape of their AirPods. It started with Apple Earbuds. So, this is an important consideration.

Other points are:

  • The AirPods should connect to the charging case magnetically. Yes, there will be magnets in each airpod that will stick it to the case.
  • The lower end of AirPods, where the charging port is, will be oval too. It won’t be circular or large. It will be sleek.
  • And as mentioned earlier, there will be a diffuser and IR receiver.

3. The Speaker Visibility On AirPods 

Visible speakers in Apple airpods

This is another important tell for the build of the AirPods pro:

  • The grill on the speakers (driver) of AirPods will be black and sleek.
  • It won’t be flat but rounded and comfortable. There won’t be any gray lining and such. They will look the same as the diffusers.
  • Another important point to note is that they are on the ear tip and not on the side of the buds.
  • The speakers inside the grill will be visible, despite the grill being black. So, pay attention to that. There will be two speakers visible through the grill.

4. The L & R Inscription 

The L & R Inscription 

Another essential point that many counterfeiters miss is the L and R inscription on AirPods Pro:

  • The Apple AirPods Pro keeps user-friendly design under consideration. Thus, they have L and R encryption on both sides.
  • The L is for the Left, and R is for the Right.
  • Many fakes fail to mimic this. Others put them wrong. Remember that L and R are at the bottom and on the Airpods. 

Looking At The AirPods Pro Case 

The fantastic AirPods Pro in a package

The case can tell you a lot about the originality of the product. For instance, the wireless charging case doesn’t have any ports. Apple doesn’t use micro-USB or USB-C ports. The company uses a lightning port, a signature to Apple.

Let’s take a better look at how you can discern: 

1. The Build Quality

The official Airpods charging case

Apple designs its case to be a seamless experience. The AirPods should settle in and be pulled out smoothly. If that doesn’t happen, and you get into the problem where it makes a sound, they might be fake.

Things like the build quality also apply to the Apple AirPods case. You should have an accurately built and smooth case.

2. Check The Lightning Port

the charging port on AirPods Pro Case

As mentioned earlier, the charging port on the case is a lighting port. It doesn’t use and lid or any other kind of connector. That is the first thing you should note.

Another point to note is the metal outline on the port. Apple has a slick one, which is barely visible and doesn’t have bevels. Meanwhile, most counterfeited ones have thicker outlines. Also, when you use an Apple-certified charger, it won’t work with fake ones.

3. Magnets 

The Apple AirPods Pro Magnetic Trick

As mentioned earlier, the case and the AirPods have a magnet. They firmly fit in the case because of these brilliant magnets. So, you might have to make sure if the Case has magnets.

It shouldn’t just be physical storage. Nor would there be springs. So, keep these things in mind.

  • There’s another magnetic trick that you can use. As both AirPods have small but powerful magnets, place them next.
  • Try to push one airpod into the other one. They should repel each other. If they attract or don’t have any magnet, they are fake. 

4. The Buttons 

Apple AirPods Pro Case Pairing Button

The Apple Case will have a pairing button, but there are a couple of things that you should know about it:

  • The button won’t be bulging outside the case. It will be sleek, flat, and slim. There won’t be any design flaws or bumps.
  • The button won’t be shaky. It will be firm and won’t make any sound upon pressing.
  • Upon pressing, it will pair your AirPods with the nearby Apple device. This will launch a quick connection feature.
  • The quick connection feature will open a menu on the device AirPods are connected to. If you don’t get any menu, then the button doesn’t work.
  • Once again, these are not power buttons but pairing buttons. If the case has a power button and not the pairing button, it’s fake.

5. Check The LED Light 

Apple AirPods Pro LED Lights

Make fake cases that won’t have LED lights or have them misplaced. So, you could check for the cues there. If there is an LED light, then:

There are three different colors that the LED light in the AirPods pro case will show you. These three are:

  • White
  • Amber (you could call it orange)
  • Green

Any other color would mean that the AirPods pro case is likely a fake, for example, blue light.

AirPods cases that only have a single light color are also fake. So, these are pretty good tells.

Things To Know About The Original Apple AirPods Pro 

The very first tell that you could check the Apple Logo on the products. But that might not be enough. Another great tell is usually the sound quality of the AirPods pro. Let’s be honest. The audio quality is one of a kind.

So, if you doubt the quality you’re paying for, you can quickly stop the scam. They are most likely fake. If you can’t tell from the sound quality, you can try the following:

1. In-Ear Tips 

Apple AirPods In-Ear Speaker Tips

There are a couple of pointers in the AirPods design itself. You received some of these tips above. But, you could also look at the front side of the AirPods. The design is inspired by earbuds and would have a thinner tip.

This tip is made to fit inside the ear hold. It ensures that the user would have a lossless sound without any intrusion. This also enhances sound quality.

2. The Force Sensor 

The force sensor on Airpods pro

Another great tell is the controls on the AirPods pro that you’re purchasing:

  • Do they have a button on them?
  • Do they have a touch sensor on them?

If so, then they are fakes. Apple AirPods come with Force Sensors. What’s the difference?

  • The force sensors are located at the bottom side of the AirPods. This design is different from conventional TWS that have controls on the earbuds.
  • Similarly, the force sensor uses different types of gestures. It doesn’t have simple touch controls. You have to pinch it or use the movement of your fingers to control it.

So, if you find AirPods that don’t have force sensors, they are fake.

3. The Connection Notification

You also got the tip on the design. AirPods pro is oval in build, not rounded or circular. They don’t come in any other shape, either. So keep that in mind.

Similarly, a big tell on fake AirPods usually is the connection notification. You receive a connection notification when AirPods connect to a device:

  • Did you hear anything like  “AirPods are connected” or anything similar?
  • Then the AirPods are fake.
  • The original AirPods don’t have voice notifications like “AirPods are powered on.” Nor do they have anything for connection notification.
  • When AirPods connect to a device, you will hear a simple tone without any voice. That’s the massive difference between fake and real AirPods.

4. The Easy Pairing 

holding the button for easy pairing

AirPods Pro comes with an easy pairing feature. It is when you just open the lid of the case. You might have to press the button on the case, but it will immediately connect AirPods to the device.

You don’t even have to pull them out to pair them. Of course, if you’re pairing the device for the first time, it will need a setup.

But apart from that, the pairing is quick. Apple also takes great pride in the pairing speed. It is fast and almost instant, which you will find mostly in original sets. Not the fake ones. 

5. Using The Find My App 

Using the Find My device app with Apple AirPods Pro

If you’re an avid Apple Ecosystem user, you would know about the ‘Find My’ app. The app allows you to track your devices like iPhone, Mac, iPad, and AirPods. Anything that you have, including the Apple Airtags. How do they help with fake AirPods?

  • If you have a genuine pair of AirPods pro, they will automatically add to the Find My app.
  • If you have to add them manually, then they might be fake.
  • Most fakes are impossible to add to the Find My app. So, that is a great tell.

Features Missing From Counterfeit AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro W1 Chip Set

Before we begin this part, this is a quick guide. We have discovered that most fake options lack at least one of these features. After all, it costs a lot to add them.

At that point, you’re just making high-end AirPods, and it would be better just to create a brand. So, you can check for any of these missing features in your AirPods pro:

1. Noise Control

When you visit the Bluetooth menu of your AirPods pro, you will come across Noise controls.

Noice control features
  • First of all, there will be three modes there. There will be Noise Cancellation, Off, and Transparency Mode. It will be a toggle.
  • Next, the force sensor works with Noise Controls. You pinch them, and AirPods will chime to tell you that noise controls have been activated.
  • It might be fake if there’s no force sensor or chime noise.
  • You can customize these noise controls and what the force control can do in the Bluetooth menu.

2. Active Noise Cancellation

Noise Cancellation options

Active Noise Cancellation on AirPods pro will drain the battery faster than normal. But, it will also cancel out the complete noise for you. Thus, you will have a brilliant experience.

  • Remember that you won’t hear any vibration or extra sound for ANC.
  • If you hear any sound, even minutely, it could be fake AirPods. 
  • Most fake products won’t even have ANC. Even if you can activate it on Bluetooth, the ANC won’t work. This is a big tell. 

3. Transparency Modes 

visiting the transparency mode

In Transparency mode, there will be Noise Cancellation. But, if someone talks to you, the ANC will stop. This is for the social areas like Gyms, where people might talk to you.

Transparency mode works much like the ANC Microphones in Apple. They aren’t perfect, but if they track the sound, they will make it audible.

The biggest tell is if the Transparency mode is even activated. If it is, then the AirPods might not be fake.

The fakes are highly unlikely to have Transparency, even if they have ANC. So, this is a great way to check for fake ones.

4. Ear Tip Fit Test 

The ear tip fit test

As we all know, nowadays, earphones come with three different earbuds. AirPods pro does the same and comes with Small, Medium, and Large earbuds.

These are the silicone cushions that fit in your ear. But we don’t always know the best fit for our ears. That’s where the Ear-tip fit test comes into play:

  • Apple’s AirPods pro comes with an ear-tip test.
  • It works with the sensors to determine the fit of the AirPods in your ear.
  • If you have a loose or tight fit, it will suggest you use different sizes of ear cushions.
  • This feature is mostly missing in fake AirPods pro. So, this is a big tell.

5. Spatial Audio

official spatial audio controls on Apple AirPods pro

The Spatial Audio feature is another often missing from the AirPods pro fakes. It is a very sought-after feature:

  • Spatial Audio is a separate feature that needs activation.
  • Upon activation, it gives you a surround sound experience.
  • You will feel like you’re in a theater.
  • You can also control the level of Spatial Audio for a customized experience.

Fake ones won’t have this option. This is one of the sound enrichment features.

6. Battery Status 

battery status for Airpods and the case

Another notable feature is the Battery Status on your Device.

When you open the Bluetooth menu, you will see the Battery bar and percentage for AirPods pro.

The interesting part is that it will show you both the battery for the case and the AirPods.

Most fakes will miss this point. They either show both AirPods or just the case. Sometimes, none. So, it might be fake if you have any problems with the battery indicator.

How To Spot Fake AirPods By Looking At The Packaging?

looking at the real and fake packaging Airpods Pro

There are plenty of tells to check when looking at the package. You can match the two if you have a friend or a previous packaging box. You could also visit online to check the packaging. Make sure that: 

  • The font shouldn’t have inconsistency. It will be the same size and the same color. 
  • Read and see if there is any missing or incorrect information.
  • If the font is in Chinese or another similar language, it will most likely be a fake. 
  • Check for the Apple Logo.
  • If you’re keen, you should read the information and see if there is any error message. It could be content or any minute information.

Now, another great thing to note is the design of the package. The suction you feel, and the way it slides out, are all designed by Apple for a purpose.

  • Rip off the cover of the box.
  • Hold the top of the box vertically to the flat surface. Not too high.
  • The inner box should slide without any issues. It will fall off after a final, strong suction.
  • This feeling that you have is equal to a dramatic reveal. Apple AirPods come with such a build in their package.
  • If this doesn’t happen, or if you have different packaging, they aren’t real AirPods pro.

How Can The Sellers Trick You For Fake AirPods Max? 

Sale free buy apple air pods discounts and all

First of all, if you’re buying from third-party websites, make sure to check the reviews. Don’t even trust Amazon, eBay, or any other website blindly. There are many fake sellers out there.

Here are some points to consider:

  • Read the product review and see what the customers say to the seller.
  • When you receive the product, check for the purchase date on the bill. It will directly impact the warranty.
  • Check if there is a refund policy. Most genuine dealers will have 15 days or more refund policy.

These are the points in case you find a worthy retailer. But remember to take note of fishy options:

  • Check if the discount, price, or offer is too good to be true. Always scour the internet and see if there are matching offers.
  • You’re buying Apple AirPods Pro. They are bound to be costly for the features and quality they offer. Don’t fall for cheaper sales.

The best way to avoid these issues is by visiting the official Apple Store in your area. If you can’t find an Apple Store in your area, then buy from the official website.

The best discounts you can get are Student Discounts and most cases.

Conclusion – Tell If AirPods Pro Are Fake 

It sure was a long ride for you. But the guide covers almost every point and factor. There are some easier tells and some hard-to-tell fakes.

Now, if you’re getting everything and it is still a fake or cheaper alternative, what’s the harm in using them? You’re getting everything an original Apple Airpod pro will bring, but more affordable.

And remember, if they are too cheap and original, they could be stolen. So, keep note of such possibilities, at all.

But, remember, if you are paying a hefty cost and still suspect, then make sure to check all these pointers.

We hope that you learned something valuable today. And we sincerely hope that you will always find the original products.

Meet the Author

Abdul Rahim has been working in Information Technology for over two decades. Learn how Abdul got his start as a Tech Blogger , and why he decided to start this Software blog. If you want to send Abdul a quick message, then visit his contact page here.