How to replace lost or broken AirPods, AirPods Pro, or their case
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.
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
Replacing components outright
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.
On this screen, you can choose to replace a lost AirPod, replace the charging case, or even replace damaged AirPods Pro ear tips. For now, let’s assume you want to replace a single AirPod.
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.
Replacing components under warranties or AppleCare+
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.
Replacing defective AirPods Pro for free
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.
Contacting Apple Support
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.
What about AirPods Max?
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.
It’s easy to lose the Apple Lightning cable earbuds that come with your iPhone, but fear not: there are plenty of Lightning cable replacement earbuds and headphones available today. A lot of these earbuds are more affordable than Apple earpods, plus they come in cool colors and noise isolating design. Here is a rundown of some of the best replacement lightning cable earbuds & headphones on the market.
These lightning headphones are compatible with iPhone 8, XR, 11, and 11 Pro.
Shark Lightning Headphones Tear Resistant Cable with Volume Control Apple MFi Certified for use with iPhone, iPads, iPods
Not every pair of lightning earbuds offers a volume control like the original Apple earbuds, but these do. They’re also a distinctive blue color which makes them stand out from the original manufacturer headphones that come with your iPhone. These also have soft earbuds for noise isolation, which means you may find them more comfortable than other earbuds and they may sound better in loud environments. Works with iPhones, iPads & iPods.
Check Price on Amazon
Brightech Pure Lightning Earphones
Brightech offers a generally well-reviewed pair of Lightning connector earbuds in a sporty green color. They plug directly into the Lightning port on your iPhone, iPad or iPod and offer great sound and noise-canceling technology. They also offer a play/pause and volume adjustment control midway through the cable, just like the original Apple iPhone headphones do.
Check Price on Amazon
JBL Reflect Aware Lightning Earphones
JBL also offers a pricier earphone/earbud option with an Apple Lightning connector: the noise-canceling Reflect Aware Lightning Earphones, which also include a remote along the Lightning cord. The Reflect Aware is available in blue, black, teal, and red, and is only available for pre-order on their website with availability starting in May 2016.
Check Price on JBL.com
Frequently asked questions about Lightning cable headphones
Will these work with any iPhone or iPad?
Yes, these will work with any iPhone or iPad new enough to have a Lightning port. It doesn’t matter if your iPhone or iPad also has a legacy 1/8th inch headphone jack– these will work as headphones regardless.
What are the advantages of Lightning cable headphones vs regular headphones with a 1/8th inch jack?
Lightning cable headphones allow for devices to be built thinner, and they also can provide advanced noise-canceling technology and better waterproofing. Read more about the pros & cons of Lightning cable headphones here.
Can I get larger over-ear headphones with a Lightning cable, or am I stuck with earbuds?
It’s not just lightning earbuds; you can get lightning cable over ear headphones too.
AirPods Service and Repair
Replace a lost AirPod
Did you lose an AirPod or your Charging Case? You can buy a replacement for a left or right AirPod or the Charging Case. Your replacement will be new. See the replacement fees in the chart, below.
AppleCare+ for Headphones does not cover lost or stolen AirPods.
|AirPods Pro||Lost fee|
|AirPods Pro||$ 89 each|
|Wireless Charging Case for AirPods Pro||$ 99|
|AirPods||$ 69 each|
|Charging Case||$ 59|
|Wireless Charging Case||$ 79|
All prices are in U.S. dollars. Out-of-warranty and lost fees are subject to tax and a shipping fee of $ 6.95.
Not sure if it’s lost? Locate lost AirPods.
Replace a lost AirPod
Replace a lost Charging Case
If one or both of your AirPods or Charging Case need replacement because of physical damage, you can replace each damaged item for an out-of-warranty fee.
If your AirPods are covered by AppleCare+ for Headphones, you’ll pay only an AppleCare+ service fee per incident.
|AirPods Max||AppleCare+ fee (each incident)||Out-of-warranty fee|
|AirPods Max||$ 29||Ask your service representative|
For AirPods Max, the out-of-warranty price depends on the type of repair. Ask your service representative for an estimate.
|AirPods Pro||AppleCare+ fee (each incident)||Out-of-warranty fee|
|AirPods Pro||$ 29||$ 89 each|
|Wireless Charging Case for AirPods Pro||$ 29||$ 89|
|AirPods||AppleCare+ fee (each incident)||Out-of-warranty fee|
|AirPods||$ 29||$ 69 each|
|Charging Case||$ 29||$ 59|
|Wireless Charging Case||$ 29||$ 69|
All prices are in U.S. dollars. Out-of-warranty fees are subject to tax and a shipping fee of $ 6.95.
Replace a damaged AirPod or Charging Case
If your battery has a manufacturing issue and it’s covered by the Apple Limited Warranty, AppleCare+, or consumer law, we’ll service it for no additional cost. If your battery issue isn’t covered, we offer battery service for a fee. The Apple Limited Warranty doesn’t cover wear from normal use.
If you have AppleCare+ for Headphones, it offers replacement coverage if your AirPod or Charging Case battery holds less than 80 percent of its original capacity.
|AirPods||Covered by AppleCare+||Battery service fee|
|AirPods Max||$ 0||$ 79|
|AirPods / AirPods Pro||$ 0||$ 49 each|
|Charging Case, Wireless Charging Case (all)||$ 0||$ 49|
All prices are in U.S. dollars. Out-of-warranty fees are subject to tax and a shipping fee of $ 6.95.
Not sure if you have a battery issue? Get help charging your AirPods.
Get battery service for your AirPod or Charging Case
AirPods Pro ear tips
If your AirPods Pro ear tips have an issue that’s covered by the Apple Limited Warranty, they can be replaced for no charge. Contact Apple Support.
If you lose them or you want extra ear tips, you can buy two new pairs of ear tips through the Apple Online Store. If you order them through the Apple Online Store, there’s no shipping fee.
Get ready for service
When you return your AirPods for service, you'll need to take some additional steps, such as:
- Returning your Charging Case with your AirPods or AirPods Pro. We need the case as part of your service. You don't need to include the Smart Case that comes with AirPods Pro Max.
- Removing the ear tips from your AirPods Pro. Keep them, because we won’t be able to return them to you.
Service and support from the people who know your Apple products best.
Because Apple makes the hardware, the operating systems, and many applications, our experts understand how everything works together and can help resolve most issues in a single conversation.
Enjoy 2 years of peace of mind when you buy AppleCare+ for Headphones.
Every set of AirPods, Beats earphones, or Beats headphones comes with one year of hardware repair coverage through its limited warranty and up to 90 days of complimentary support. AppleCare+ extends your coverage to two years from your AppleCare+ purchase date and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months, each subject to a service fee of $29, plus applicable tax.1 In addition, you’ll get 24/7 priority access to Apple experts via chat or phone.2
One stop for support
AppleCare+ provides one-stop service and support from Apple experts, so most issues can be resolved in a single call.2
- 24/7 priority access to Apple experts by chat or phone
- Mail-in repair3: Mail in your headphones using a prepaid shipping box provided by Apple
- Carry-in repair3: Take your headphones to an Apple Store or other Apple Authorized Service Provider
- Express Replacement Service: We’ll ship you a replacement device so you don’t have to wait for a repair.
AppleCare+ provides repair or replacement coverage, both parts and labor, from Apple-authorized technicians.
Service coverage includes the following:
- Your AirPods, Beats earphones, or Beats headphones
- Included USB charging cable
- Up to two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months, each subject to a service fee of $29 plus applicable tax
Whether you’re sitting in the comfort of your home or office or on the go, you can call and get direct access to Apple experts for questions on a wide range of topics, including:
- Using Siri
- Bluetooth connectivity
How to buy
- Purchase AppleCare+ with your new headphones.
- Or buy it within 60 days of your headphones purchase:
- On your paired iPad or iPhone (go to Settings > Bluetooth > click on the ⓘ button for your headphones)
- At an Apple Store (inspection of headphones and proof of purchase are required)
- By calling 800-275-2273 (requires you to provide proof of purchase)
AppleCare+ available for:
- AirPods Max
- AirPods Pro
- Beats EP
- Beats Pro
- Beats Solo Pro
- Beats Solo3 Wireless
- Beats Studio Buds
- Beats Studio3 Wireless
- Powerbeats Pro
- Powerbeats3 Wireless
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