Apple AirPods Pro 2 were released in September 2022, and it wasn’t long before scammers flooded the market with cheap knockoffs. With a hefty price tag of $249+ and talk of being Apple’s premium Samsung Buds contender, it’s no wonder fake AirPods Pro 2 became a hot counterfeit item so quickly.
Now, it’s harder than ever to know the difference. Without a bit of know-how and background info, it’s easy to get duped into a scam. We’re here to help make sure that doesn’t happen.
Below, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about fake AirPods Pro (2nd generation) so that you can avoid scams and find good deals on authentic earbuds.
What Are Fake AirPods Pro 2?
Fake AirPods Pro 2 are imitation earbuds built to look like Apples’s AirPods Pro 2, but they lack the sophisticated hardware and software to warrant the high price tag. Scammers use cheap materials that lack iOS compatibility and often break down much faster than the authentic AirPods.
Apple doesn’t create fake AirPods Pro 2, so you’ll get no customer support if (more likely when) your AirPods stop working. You’ll be on your own.
Unfortunately, there’s not one tell-tale sign of a fake pair of Apple AirPods Pro 2. Expert scammers have nailed the design, and some will even sell the AirPods Pro 2 at a premium to fend off any initial buyer suspicion. You’ll need to inspect the nitty-gritty details to find the counterfeit giveaways.
Where Are Fake AirPods Pro 2 Sold?
Scammers sell fake AirPods Pro 2 all across the internet and local listings. So unless you’re buying from Apple, Best Buy, or another credible tech store, you’ll have to deal with fake products to some extent.
Here are the most common places scammers are selling fake Apple AirPods Pro 2:
- Facebook Marketplace
Scammers operate on other e-commerce platforms, too, but these are often the most prevalent. And that’s because these sites sometimes have mind-blowingly low legitimate discounts on high-quality tech items.
How to Identify Fake AirPods Pro 2
1. Check the Box
Apple is meticulous about its packaging, so if you still have the box your AirPods Pro 2 came in, check here first. The box may look legitimate at first glance, but there are a few areas to check.
The AirPods Pro 2 come in a very familiar, minimalist white square box. The earbuds are the only thing you’ll see on top of the box, printed beautifully, and even embossed.
Stickers on the side of the box, and the printing on the bottom reassure you that these are 2nd generation AirPods Pro with a MagSafe charging case (hard to tell otherwise, at least at first).
The box itself should fit quite snug. If the inner box and its lid come apart very easily or don’t line up correctly, this is a sign that something may be amiss.
The lettering used for the AirPods name and the Apple logo on the box are another area to check. If these are reflective and not flat gray, for example, you may be dealing with a counterfeit.
Getting to your new true wireless earbuds is the usual ordeal for Apple products – you hold the top of the retail box, with the bottom part sliding out slowly, so you can really savor the moment.
Inside the box you’re greeted with your new AirPods Pro 2 wrapped in protective plastic, a Lightning-to-USB Type-C charging cable, paperwork (no Apple sticker though), and not the usual three, but four pairs of ear tips.
Those are extra small, small, medium and large ear tips too choose from, with the medium ones already pre-applied to the earbuds.
2. Check Your Case
The original AirPods Pro 2 charging case has a few new things going for it, visible almost immediately. First, it now has a metal lanyard loop to the right, which is a nice little touch to see make a comeback in general. But perhaps even more noteworthy – the AirPods Pro 2 case now has its own speaker on the bottom, and thus, a little speaker grill next to its Lightning charging port. Yep, no USB Type-C, but fake models will sometimes have a USB-C port at the bottom instead.
Besides that, the AirPods Pro 2 case is a familiar rounded rectangle, with a solid-feeling lid, and a metal hinge. On the front of the case, we still have a single LED light, and on the back of the case is the Bluetooth pairing button you’ll likely never need to use. If your case doesn’t have either of these features, it’s a fake.
3. Closely Inspect Your AirPods
For some reason, the very ends of the AirPods seem to be difficult for counterfeit manufacturers to match. On the original AirPods, the bottom should be an oval-shaped vent. If this is circular, it’s likely counterfeit.
Original airpods Pro 2 have the familiar straight stems, with touch-sensitive spots that serve as playback controls. We also have generally the same glossy plastic build as always. If the headsets lack any of these features, it’s a fake airpods Pro 2.
4. Check the color
Now let’s talk about the AirPods Pro 2’s color options – there are none. As you may have expected, the AirPods Pro 2 only come in glossy white, for both the case and the earbuds themselves. If you see a different color, it’s a fake airpods Pro 2.
5. Try pairing
Pairing genuine AirPods Pro 2 with an iPhone is as easy as ever – simply unbox your new earbuds, open their case close to your iPhone, and a pairing prompt will pop up on screen. It’s a very quick and easy process.
However, if you’re pairing them with an Android phone, you’ll have to go the longer route – navigating into the Bluetooth settings on your phone, then finding and tapping your new AirPods to pair them that way. If they’re not appearing, press and hold the circular button on the back of the AirPods Pro 2 case until the LED on the front starts flashing, which means they’re in pairing mode. If the airpods Pro 2 are not detected by your devices, they’re probably fake.
6. Check the Serial Number
The most definitive method of making sure your AirPods Pro 2 are the genuine item is checking the serial number with Apple. If the company has never heard of the serial number, you’ve probably got a fake.
To check, open the lid of your AirPods case and look on the underside of the lid. It’s on the section that is closest to the charging status LED when the case is closed.
You can also check on the underside of the right earbud, even though the type is smaller, and it’s more difficult to see here.
Once you’ve found your number, head to https://checkcoverage.apple.com and enter the serial number.
What to Do If You Purchase Fake AirPods Pro 2?
Mistakes happen. If you accidentally purchased fake AirPods Pro 2, not all is lost. Depending on when you bought the earbuds and where you bought them from, there’s still a lot you can do to recoup your money and right the wrong. The processes differ depending on the platform you purchased the product:
- Wish: Contact Wish’s customer service to take advantage of their 30-day return policy. Check their list of exceptions to make sure your purchase qualifies. Wish is notorious for selling fake products, so always be cautious buying on the platform.
- Craigslist: Craigslist won’t be able to protect you from scammers and counterfeits. You’ll need to do your due diligence to avoid getting scammed. However, if you believe you’ve been scammed, Craigslist still appreciates you reporting the fraud so that they can protect future buyers.
- Facebook Marketplace: Facebook Marketplace doesn’t provide protections for sellers and buyers.
- Walmart Marketplace: Request a refund via the Walmart Marketplace Promise to recover your funds.
- Amazon: Contact Amazon customer support to file an A-to-Z Guarantee to start your refund process.
- eBay: Contact eBay to ask for their money-back guarantee.
Contact the FBI’s digital division to submit a fraud report. They’ll provide additional advice, and this information will hopefully help them catch the bad guys.
Where to Buy original Apple AirPods Pro 2
You can find authentic AirPods Pro 2 at various in-store and online retailers. Here’s a shortlist of the most reliable places you can buy real AirPods Pro 2:
- Best Buy
You can find real pairs of AirPods Pro 2 on popular e-commerce sites like eBay and Amazon, but you’ll always run the slightest risk of getting scammed. That’s not the case with the authentic websites listed above.