Within the last couple of years, Apple’s true wireless earbuds have revolutionized the way we listen to music. And with the introduction of Airpods 2 and then the AirPods Pro, the company has improved many of the original model’s shortcomings. The bad news, however, is that even with all the improvements Apple has made over the years, the company hasn’t made it any easier to keep track of your AirPods case or prevent it from breaking. The same goes for the earbuds themselves.
Thankfully, replacing broken or lost AirPods, AirPods Pro, or their charging case isn’t as tough as it may seem. Here’s what you need to know.
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Let’s face it: Apple’s buds aren’t the cheapest way to go fully wireless, but they might be the easiest. With reliable connectivity and an effortless pairing procedure, you can easily spend just as much on a set of earbuds that won’t work, so it’s not difficult to see why people are flocking to them.
However, the wireless design does make it easier to misplace one of the pieces. If you’ve lost or damaged an AirPod or its charging case for good, here’s what it will cost to replace each component:
- Individual AirPods (second-generation): $69 each
- AirPods charging case: $59
- AirPods wireless charging case: $69
- Individual AirPods Pro: $89 each
- AirPods Pro wireless charging case: $89
Begin by making sure that you are signed in to your Apple account with the correct ID. Then, navigate to this support page.
Once here, select Lost or Missing AirPods to open up an additional menu screen.
Since we are only missing one AirPod, select One in the next section.
Here, you have several actions you can take. A clear place to start is Order a Replacement, but, occasionally, replacement AirPods are simply not available. Because of this, a more reliable choice may be to select Order a Replacement via Chat With an Advisor, where you can be specific about what you want. Apple also lets you give your details to Support for a later call or can instruct you how to order an AirPod from an Apple Store.
There’s more than one way to purchase a replacement component, but we like the above method above because of how straightforward it is for newcomers.
So, what if you still have all of the parts, but something’s not working correctly? Thankfully, Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Pro are protected by a one-year warranty. Service for any AirPods with diminished battery capacity or a defective battery within this time frame will be free. Battery problem maintenance that falls outside this one-year warranty period, however, will run you $49 for each broken AirPod or $98 for the pair. A replacement AirPods charging case will cost you $49.
If you’re the kind of person who values peace of mind, you might want to subscribe to AppleCare+, which caps replacement fees and covers some repairs. With an AppleCare+ plan, the new replacement fees are as follows:
- AirPods Pro: $29
- Charge case for AirPods Pro: $29
- AirPods: $29
- AirPods Charging case: $29
- Wireless charge case: $29
It’s that easy. If your AppleCare+ warranty is still in effect, you’re looking at a price drop of $29. When it comes to repairing damaged components, AppleCare+ covers two cases of accidental damage over a period of 12 months. This means in the standard coverage of two years, you’ll have access to four repairs for damaged AirPods. If one of your AirPods stops working, instead of having to give it up, you may want to use AppleCare+ to try and get them fixed.
AirPods Pro that were manufactured before October 2020 may develop a couple of different problems that have been traced back to manufacturing issues. These problems include:
- Crackling and static that appear to be related to noise cancellation, as they can get even worse in loud or active environments, or when talking on the phone.
- Active noise cancellation leading to audio issues, like losing all bass sound or actually increasing environmental noise instead of blocking it.
If you have these issues, Apple has created a free replacement program to replace either of the AirPods Pro buds (but not the case). To take advantage of this program, contact an authorized service provider or an Apple Retail Store and explain that you are interested. If online you can contact Apple Support, which we talk about below. Note that the program doesn’t affect any other models, and only lasts for two years after the retail sale of defective Pros.
One of the best options for replacing Apple devices is to contact Apple Support directly. You will need to know your AirPods, AirPods Pro, or charging case’s serial number before calling, however. You also can contact Apple Support in tandem with Apple’s Express Replacement policy if you need am AirPod replacement quickly.
To get your new device, reach out to Apple Support and hash out your warranty details. If you are eligible under its policy, the company will send a replacement. After that, all you need to do is send your faulty device back to Apple within 10 days of its replacement shipment.
The AirPods Max — Apple’s latest pair of dedicated headphones — are a singular unit, meaning replacing or repairing them is more straightforward. If you have AppleCare+, every AirPods Max repair will cost you $29. This should also cover replacements, if necessary. You also can choose to only replace the AirPods Max ear cushion if necessary, which is useful if an ear cushion tears. If you don’t have AppleCare+, you’ll have to call or chat and ask for specific replacement prices in your region.
However, there is one significant caveat for replacing the AirPods Max under warranty: By default, new ear cushions are not included. This means you either need to keep the cushions from your previous pair or buy/replace new cushions for your new model.