How to identify fake AirPods Pro, AirPods 3 or AirPods Max?

AirPods (2 and 3), AirPods Max and AirPods Pro are great products for listening to music. But beware of the many fakes on classifieds sites! These methods allow you to flush them easily.

With AirPods, Apple has established itself as a reference in nomadic music. Mocked at their launch because of their unusual shape, Apple’s wireless headphones were later copied – the same thing for the AirPods Pro (our test), although their less easily copied shape saved them. The AirPods Max (our test), for their part, are a bit expensive for those who don’t take advantage of all the helmet options. Finally, the new AirPods 3 (our test) can also be tested against the competition.

If completely legitimate brands try to unlock the secret of the true wireless earphones which at the same time is light, thin, comfortable, easy to pair and autonomous, the scammers relayed by shameless influencers doubled their smallness to copy the original. Some of these headphones on AirPods even with social media ads. Only the AirPods Max, which are more difficult to copy, seem more or less safe.

For headphones, while the third generation AirPods are on the market (about 199 €), and the AirPods Pro establish themselves as a high-end reference (about 210 € on sale) the devices are starting to found second hand. market or to gray markets, marketplace and other platforms for connecting buyers and sellers around the world. Amazon, although very legitimate, is full of them. And as expected, scams abound. Here’s how to flush them out.

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Check your AirPod serial number


From the AirPods launched in 2019, the Cupertino brand understood the concern caused by counterfeiting and added a serial number to each of the headphones. It is located below the tip that enters the ear, between the rounding and the stem. Since AirPods can be replaced individually, it is clear on both sides. You can also find it under the lid of the AirPods box – that reference is also on the first generation. With AirPods Pro, it’s the same: the serial number is on each earbud and inside the case.

On AirPods 3, same story: they can be found under the earpiece, in the trunk. Provide a magnifying glass, or look inside the charging case where a global serial number is written.

The serial number of AirPods 3 // Source: Photo Numerama

On AirPods Max, this is a slight difference: the serial number is visible under the left ear cup, by removing the magnetic pad. It’s written small, but it’s still legible. Attention: another number appears under the right auricle. It is not not the serial number.

airpods max
On AirPods Max, you can get a serial number by lifting the right ear cup. But it’s not the right one: you have to lift the left atrium to find it!

AirPods and AirPods Pro do not work with Apple Warranty and Service Validator, but you can use the case to verify that the set is original. AirPods Max one works. Just go to this address to check. In any case, the presence of a serial number on the AirPods is something to check to help separate the real AirPods from a fake.

Details to check on all AirPods

Most copies of AirPods are easy to find: Apple’s genius lies in miniaturization. So the clones are usually bigger. The thickness of the surface should not be greater than that of your iPhone, for example.

Some clones, on the other hand, are better made and you can be deceived, especially if you are sold the first generation AirPods without the serial number of the original version. The easiest way to find out if the AirPods are real is to check the pairing system: take the box with the AirPods and open the lid. The iPhone should detect the AirPods and offer automatic pairing.

Screenshot 2019-07-01 at 14.48.00
This fake sold on Amazon is a beautiful reproduction … but you can easily find a button

If the seller tells you that you need to press a button or go to the Bluetooth settings, it’s safe to bet that it’s fake: neither the AirPods nor the boxes have a pairing button. The button on the back of the case is used to pair AirPods with each other (for example, if you lose one and want to change it) or pair it with an Android device.

AirPods Max has different features: the control wheel similar to the Apple Watch, but also a carrying pouch sold with the product. If it’s not in the seller’s box, it’s fish.

New models

As for official sellers, you can find legitimate AirPods on, in the Apple space on Amazon (and nowhere else) and on Darty and Fnac (which also sell fakes on the Marketplace…) . Same observation for AirPods Max.

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