Back in 2020, when Apple introduced AirPods Max, some customers noticed that the headphones were facing condensation issues inside the ear cups. At the time, Apple never acknowledged that there was a widespread situation. However, almost three years later, there are still a lot of AirPods Max owners who still complain about condensation inside the ear cups.
As reported by 404 Media, “Condensation Death” is not only “driving users nuts,” but is also said to be the cause of many cases of malfunctioning AirPods Max. But what exactly is this issue and how many users is it affecting?
Condensation issues in AirPods Max ear cups
If you’ve never heard of it, some people have noticed that the AirPods Max ear cups get extremely wet after wearing them for long periods of time. As we once explained, condensation usually happens when a cold object is adjacent to warmer, humid air. Since AirPods Max are made almost entirely of metal, they’re more prone to condensation.
Condensation can happen with any headphones, but the situation seems to be a bit more alarming when it comes to the AirPods Max. In some scenarios, a large amount of sweat or humidity forms into water droplets inside the ear cups. As a result, this liquid ends up leaking through the speaker holes and can damage the headphone’s internal components.
And although we haven’t been reporting on it, 404 Media has noticed that there are still a lot of complaints about condensation problems with AirPods Max across the internet. There are multiple posts on the Apple Community forums and other social networks about users having condensation issues with Apple’s premium headphones.
A Reddit post about AirPods Max repairs claims that most “hardware issues originate from condensation issues.” In some cases, AirPods may randomly stop working or lose audio quality due to constant condensation.
The general consensus among users is that the problem is that the ear cups are made of aluminum, and that air flow into the cups is blocked while a user is wearing them. The aluminum stays cooler than the general air (or a person’s head), which creates humidity and causes condensation.
Apple says users should be more careful with their AirPods
While users are still complaining about condensation, Apple doesn’t seem to believe that this is a big issue.
The report notes that customers in California have been negotiating a settlement in a class action lawsuit against Apple for two years over problems with the AirPods Max. However, while Apple’s lawyers don’t deny that the headphones are susceptible to condensation, they’ve been arguing that users should be more careful about how they use AirPods Max in certain situations.
Since Apple doesn’t acknowledge this as a widespread issue, there’s no clear repair policy for situations like this. While some affected customers were able to get their AirPods Max replaced for free under warranty, others weren’t so lucky.
The report speculates that the issues affecting AirPods Max aren’t widely discussed in the news because the product isn’t exactly that popular. In the past, Apple has also been reluctant to acknowledge issues such as performance throttling on the iPhone or the Butterfly Keyboard flaws on MacBooks, and only did so after massive repercussions of these problems.
It’s worth noting that Apple still sells the AirPods Max for $549 (although you can find them for less on Amazon) and there are no hints that a new generation will be released any time soon.
What can affected users do?
If your AirPods Max eventually stop working due to condensation and Apple denies a free repair, there are a few things users can try to fix the headphones. For instance, some technicians claim that disconnecting the headband from the drivers and disinfecting the connectors with isopropyl alcohol may bring the AirPods Max back to life.
Some users also claim to have put electrical tape over the pinholes inside the AirPods Max ear cups to prevent condensation from leaking into the connectors.
Have you ever noticed condensation issues with your AirPods Max? Let us know in the comments section below.
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