Many of us enjoy listening to music on Apple AirPods, thanks to its numerous benefits. And during winter, it can double as our ear-warmers. However, these entertainment-filled ear-warmers might also need some protection during the cold.
Keep reading to find out if AirPods can get damaged by cold, what to do in case of damage, how you can keep your AirPods safe during winters, and everything else there is to know about the usage of AirPods in the cold season.
Can AirPods Get Damaged by Cold?
If you’re at a location where the temperature drops below 30° Fahrenheit, you must ensure you don’t leave your AirPods out in the cold. Per the official guidelines, you shouldn’t use your AirPods anywhere where the temperature is lower than 32° F or above 95° F.
If you use your AirPods in higher or lower temperatures, they might face a drop in battery life or shut down completely.
Using your AirPods above or below the noted temperatures for a short period might be okay. However, extended use might lead to irreparable damage forcing you to replace the damaged pieces.
Your AirPods are like any other electronic device you might own; they don’t do well in extreme cold or heat. Moreover, your AirPods contain lithium-ion batteries susceptible to damage from the cold.
Extended exposure to cold can speed up battery drainage and lead to lessened battery life. Avoid charging your AirPods after exposing them to extreme temperatures is also advised.
The Official Guidelines by Apple – Optimal Temperatures for Your AirPods
While your AirPods can do well in most temperatures, keeping them away from extremely hot or cold atmospheres is best. Specifically, you should try using your AirPods in temperatures between 32° F and 95° F to avoid any issues.
Furthermore, when storing your AirPods, you should ensure you’re keeping them in places where the temperature is between 14° F and 113° F, so there’s no damage to the AirPods or their battery life.
According to Apple, extremely high or low temperatures can lead to your AirPods changing their behavior to adjust their temperature. While the official website claims the shortened battery life and shutting down of the device as ‘temporary,’ some users have reported permanent damage to their devices after extended exposure to extreme cold.
Can I Wear My AirPods Outdoors in The Cold?
You can wear your AirPods outside in the cold. However, we wouldn’t recommend taking them from freezing weather to a scorching atmosphere immediately. Doing so can lead to condensation inside your AirPods, ultimately causing damage. You can quickly fix this with the brown rice and Ziploc trick.
If you notice condensation, it’s best to take a Ziploc bag filled with rice and seal your AirPods inside tightly. While the brown rice will absorb some water from the condensation, you might still notice some damage to your pods. This trick is not a mere fairytale; it truly works. However, keep in mind that once you put your AirPods in a Ziploc filled with brown rice, you won’t be able to take them out for 24 hours.
Can I Leave My AirPods in The Car During Cold Weather?
It’s not okay to leave your AirPods in the car during icy weather. Apple advises AirPods users to avoid keeping their devices in parked cars for extended durations as the temperature in parked vehicles can exceed the recommended range for storing them [14º to 113º F].
If you’ve left your AirPods in the car during cold weather, you should bring them inside and ensure the indoor temperature is within the official range [32° F to 95° F]. After this, you should pat the AirPods and their case dry with a towel or a piece of paper.
To eliminate any condensation left behind, use the brown rice and Ziploc trick and then charge them to 100% before using them again.
What Will Happen If I Leave My AirPods Outside in The Cold?
Leaving your AirPods outside in the cold will deplete their battery faster than usual and might even damage battery capacity permanently. Ultimately, your device won’t run as long even on a full charge, and charging it when it’s still cold can further damage the device’s battery.
If you take your AirPods outside in the cold for long hours and then put them for a charge, the software will not allow them to charge above 80%.
Steps To Take After Leaving Your AirPods in The Cold
If your AirPods are not working correctly or have completely shut down after exposure to extreme cold, you can take a few steps to remedy that instead of investing in a new pair right away.
The following are a few ways you can salvage your AirPods and, hopefully, save some of your money:
Reset and Fully Recharge Your AirPods
Wait for a few hours after returning to a warmer location or consider using the brown rice and Ziploc trick and then reset and fully recharge your AirPods. Doing so might reverse any temporary damage and make your pods functional again.
Bring Them Back to Room Temperature
You can bring your AirPods back to room temperature by exposing them to heat within the recommended ranges or leaving them at room temperature for a few hours. Or, again, the brown rice and Ziploc hack might also do the trick and absorb any water droplets left from possible condensation.
What To Do If I Dropped My AirPods in The Snow?
Your AirPods will likely be fine if you’ve dropped them in the snow and retrieved them swiftly. However, if they’ve been chilling in the snow for some time, you might want to dry them thoroughly before charging or using them. And, of course, use the old brown rice and Ziploc trick.
This old trick will ensure there are no water droplets, and your AirPods are completely dry and warm.
How To Keep Your AirPods Safe in The Snow?
Hypothetically, your AirPods are protected if you wear a hat, a mask, or any other winter headgear over them in icy weather conditions. You could also use them for a relatively shorter duration and then store them in an insulated bag to help them maintain optimal battery temperature.
You should always ensure your AirPods are fully charged before heading out in the cold and store them in a warm, dry place when you’re not using them. In addition to keeping them in optimal temperature ranges, you should avoid turning them on after you’ve moved to a warmer location to prevent damage from condensation or charging them when they’re still freezing.
It’ll also be a great idea to invest in AppleCare+, which covers your AirPods for two years from the day you buy them. Since AirPods are tiny and fragile, they’re susceptible to damage, and getting AppleCare+ would be nothing short of wise.
Can I Replace AirPods Damaged by The Cold?
If your AirPods have sustained damage due to extreme cold, you must invest money in a new pair. The manufacturer’s warranty on your AirPods only protects you against manufacturing defects, and that too only for the first year of service from the day of purchase.
Exposure to extreme cold, accidental or on purpose, is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. According to Apple, if your AirPods or their case has sustained unintentional damage, you can replace them for an out-of-warranty fee.
However, the official Apple website does not mention this fee, so it’s best to take your pods to the local Apple store or contact a customer service representative.
How Can I Make My AirPods Last Longer After Cold Weather Damage?
While you can’t reverse permanent damage to your AirPods, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your AirPods last longer than expected after experiencing damage from the cold. First and foremost, you should avoid repeating the mistake of exposing your AirPods to extreme temperatures again.
Secondly, you should always time your charging because charging them too frequently can lead to irreparable damage. Whenever your AirPods are on a full charge, they experience mechanical stress, which shortens the battery’s lifespan.
Timing your charging routine also makes the optimized battery charging feature more efficient. On this end, you should also ensure you’re not fully discharging your AirPods and their case. Deep discharges can lead to permanent battery damage because they trigger a short circuit when you’re charging them again.
This outcome is also why you’re alerted when the charging falls to 20%. You should optimally keep your AirPods’ battery between 25 to 85% and follow the exact instructions for their case.
It’ll also be helpful to remove your AirPods’ case cover when charging them and keep them away from water.
While Apple products are highly durable, you can’t expect them to be invulnerable in every condition. If you expose your Apple products to extreme cold or heat, you will notice signs of damage.
From your AirPods experiencing battery drain to completely shutting down, extreme cold can wreak havoc on these tiny devices. And while there are some DIY methods to troubleshoot accidental exposure to cold, if they fail, you’ll have no choice but to invest in a new pair.
I quit my full-time job and started my journey as a freelance copywriter and content writer, and I believe it was one of the best decisions I’ve made so far because I absolutely love it. I’ve been writing tech-related guides, how-to’s, articles, and informational pieces for a long time, and I especially love testing and reporting on various types of headphones.