Apple's $500 AirPods Max susceptible to water damage, say users
Apple's costly AirPods Max is susceptible to sweat-related damage, say frustrated users, highlighting the importance of IPX ratings for headphones.
Complaints are pouring in from AirPods Max users who claim that excessive sweating is wreaking havoc on their $500 audio gear. This issue, which has irked users since the product's launch, revolves around water condensation gathering around the inner drivers of the headphones.
The problem appears to kick off when elevated temperatures lead to moisture droplets forming on the inside of the earcups, close to where the delicate drivers reside. As time passes, these water droplets seep into the speaker holes, causing catastrophic damage to these premium headphones.
A Reddit post on this subject, pinned for its importance and cited by MacRumors, outlines the laundry list of issues stemming from this condensation conundrum. Users have reported everything from random power-offs and connectivity problems to audio playback failures, necessitating frequent restarts and even full factory resets.
Curiously, Apple has remained mum on this potential design flaw. However, reports are flooding in from Reddit and Twitter users who claim that Apple has been accommodating in replacing their damaged headphones due to water-related issues.
The Crucial Role of IPX Ratings
But why do some headphones succumb to water woes while others remain unscathed? It all boils down to their construction and their Ingress Protection (IPX) rating, which denotes their ability to fend off water and dust infiltration into the electronic components.
The "IP" in IPX stands for Ingress Protection, indicating the device's capability to resist intrusion by solids and liquids. In the realm of headphones, the most common rating is IPX4, designed to protect against sweat-related damage. However, some top-tier waterproof earbuds boast IPX8 ratings for even more robust protection.
The crux of the issue with Apple's AirPods Max is their conspicuous absence of any water or dust resistance measures. Consequently, condensation finds its way in with disconcerting ease, inflicting harm on the delicate internal components.
Interestingly, this is not the first time this problem has reared its head. In 2021, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Apple, echoing the same water damage concerns. The outcome of that legal battle, however, remains shrouded in uncertainty.