Knockoff version of AirPods Pro 2 are prevalent on secondhand market sites like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace.
Fake AirPods Pro 2 can be difficult to spot, given that Apple uses a minimalist design that’s fairly easy to replicate. Some fakes with poor packaging and sub-standard quality are easier to identify, while others are more sophisticated, even mimicking the AirPods Pro’ software features. Either way, if you suspect your second-generation AirPods Pro aren’t original, there are a few ways to verify this.
What to know:
- The easiest way to spot fake AirPods Pro 2 is just to pair them to your iPhone. When fake AirPods Pro are paired, iOS will alert users that their headphones aren’t genuine.
- Verify the serial number at checkcoverage.apple.com. If your AirPods Pro 2 are fake, the website will throw up an error message.
- Carefully lookat the packaging of the AirPods box, and if you notice spelling mistakes, double spaces, printing issues, and pixelation in photos, the AirPods Pro aren’t genuine.
Check Apple’s device coverage website
The easiest way to check if your AirPods Pro 2 are fake is by entering their serial number on Apple’s website.
To find the serial number, open the AirPods Pro case and check the underside of the lid. If you still have the AirPods Pro packaging, the serial number will be printed next to the bar code.
You can also check the AirPods Pro serial number on your iPhone or Mac. Here’s how to do it on iPhone:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap Bluetooth.
- Look for the AirPods Pro under My Devices.
- Tap the ‘i’ next to the AirPods Pro to view the serial number.
If you have a Mac, follow these steps to find the serial number:
- Make sure your AirPods Pro are in your ears and connected to your Mac.
- Click on the Apple logo in the menu bar and select System Settings.
- Scroll down to find your AirPods Pro in the list.
- Click on them to see the serial number.
Once you’ve obtained the serial number, head over to checkcoverage.apple.com. If your AirPods Pro are genuine, it should show the model number, purchase date, and any warranty information. You’ll be asked to enter a valid serial number if the serial number doesn’t exist.
Check for setup and battery animations on iPhone
Original second-generation AirPods Pro will display a pop-up menu on an iPhone or iPad screen when connecting them. If you don’t see this menu, it’s pretty much a guarantee that your AirPods Pro 2 are fake. Here’s how to pair AirPods Pro with iPhone:
- Enable Bluetooth on your iPhone.
- Open the AirPods Pro case with the earbuds inside and hold it close by.
- A setup menu will appear on the screen with a Connect button.
- If you’ve already paired your AirPods Pro with your iPhone, open the charging case with the AirPods Pro inside and hold it next to the phone. After a few seconds, a menu will appear on the screen showing the remaining battery level of each AirPod and the charging case. You can also go to Bluetooth in iPhone Settings and tap the ‘i’ next to the AirPods Pro. If the AirPods Pro are currently connected, this menu should display an image showing the battery level of the AirPods Pro and case, along with other settings.
If the AirPods Pro aren’t connected, there should be information about them in the About section, including the model name, model number, serial number, and warranty information. While in this section, check if there’s an option to view the AirPods Pro in the Find My app. Genuine AirPods Pro can be viewed on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and even Apple Watch in the Find My app.
Inspect the AirPods Pro and their case
The AirPods Pro earbuds, case, and packaging design can tell you a lot about whether they’re fake. The second-generation AirPods Pro are white, so if yours are any other color, they’re definitely not from Apple.
When looking at the second-generation AirPods Pro case, there shoot be a lanyard loop on the right side. Moreover, there should be a status light in the front. In addition, the AirPods Pro cases should have a button at the back. This pairs the AirPods with a Mac, Apple TV, or non-Apple device. The pairing button should sit flush with the case.
The charging port is another dead giveaway. Apple uses a Lightning port on second-generation AirPods Pro. If your AirPods Pro 2 have a USB-C or micro USB port, they’re definitely fake.
There’s also a speaker at the bottom of the case to help you locate it when lost.
Inspect the packaging
The quality of the packaging also says a lot about second-gen AirPods Pro. Carefully look at the packaging of the AirPods box, and if you notice spelling mistakes, double spaces, printing issues, and pixelation in photos, the AirPods aren’t genuine.
Apple includes documentation in the AirPods Pro box, so check if a manual, safety information, and warranty are included. A Lightning to USB-C cable should also be in the box. Four sets of ear tips should also be included.
Check for a verification alert on iPhone
Starting with iOS 16, when you attempt to pair a set of counterfeit AirPods Pro, an alert will appear that lets you know that Apple was unable to verify the buds as legitimate. This will help anyone buying a set of AirPods if they are able to test them on their iPhone before paying.
Inspect Airpods for missing features
Another way of spotting fake second-generation AirPods Pro is by checking if they’re missing a feature or function that should be available. Wireless charging support, for example, must be present on the AirPods Pro 2. If the charging case for these AirPods doesn’t support wireless charging, it’s a fake.
Another feature you should check out for on AirPods Pro 2 is the onboard volume controls. You can increase or decrease volume by sliding a finger up or down the capacitive "force sensor" section of the stem that you’d normally press for music controls. This works on either earbud, and you’ll hear a little click sound in that ear as you adjust volume. This feature is usually missing from the fakes.