Apple can now test your AirPods for earwax

AirPods with Wireless Charging Case and iPhone in the background
AirPods with Wireless Charging Case and iPhone in the background (Image credit: Joseph Keller/iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is giving stores new audio testing tools for AirPods.
  • It can determine whether issues with your AirPods are mechanical or... biological.
  • It works by pointing the AirPods at your phone's microphone.

Apple is rolling out a new testing kit to stores which will allow staff to perform audio tests on its first and second-generation AirPods to determine what might be causing audio problems.

First noted by Apple leaker fudge:

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Apple is rolling out a proper audio test tool for AirPods 1 and 2. New phone holder with AirPod attachments pointing AirPods at phones mic. No more guessing if it's a gunked up disgusting AirPod or customers bad hearing. Works similar to existing iPhone Audio test in principle

A source has confirmed to iMore that these kits have been rolling out to Apple stores over the last day or so and that Fudge is spot on with regards to their functionality. The testing kit consists of a simple tray to hold your iPhone and AirPods, pointing your AirPods directly at your phone's microphone. the AirPods will then play audio and a test can determine what might be causing audio issues with AirPods.

As Fudge notes, the tool will allow Apple technicians to test AirPods without having to get too close and personal with headphones that spend extended periods of time inside customers' ears and might just be full of wax. Of course, AirPods suffering from audio issues because of any kind of wax build-up can be fairly easily cleaned, and the tool should help identify whether customers need to perhaps replace their AirPods, or just give them a good wipe down.

It's unclear whether this works with Apple's AirPods Pro, but definitely works with the first and second-generation of AirPods.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

  • AirPods mean AirPods Pro, right?
  • Absolutely do, rumors got me too excited haha. Fixed and thanks!