EarPods from Apple - how to distinguish the original from a fake

how to distinguish an original from a fake EarPods earpods Technique

You can buy original EarPods here

EarPods are wired headphones developed by Apple and released in 2013. They have a unique design and comfortable design. These headphones come with iPhone, iPod touch, iPadand can also be purchased separately.

how to distinguish an original from a fake EarPods
how to distinguish an original from a fake EarPods

Do not confuse headphones EarPods from AirPods. Airpods are also developed by Apple, but in 2016 they are wireless, that is, they work using bluetooth, come with charging and cost 6 times more than wired EarPods! But, all Apple headphones are faked on a large scale. Therefore, before you buy EarPods, you need to learn how to identify fakes and visually quickly distinguish them from the originals.

Read also: how to check airpods for originality

How to distinguish a fake

Apple always emphasizes that its customers purchase branded gadgets exclusively from authorized sellers. The manufacturer monitors its reputation and emphasizes the prestige of the brand by having an extensive own distribution network. Therefore, original EarPods are extremely unlikely to be found in kiosks located in underpasses or at bus stops.
Apple EarPods
Продукция компании Apple имеет большую востребованность. Поэтому EarPods не могут продаваться со скидкой, которая уменьшает их стоимость в 2-4 раза. Оригинальный девайс обладает ценой близкой к рекомендациям Apple. Поэтому, если наушники обладают стоимостью ниже чем закупочная у фирменных EarPods, то это однозначно подделка.

You can buy original EarPods here

The packaging of the original EarPods during the initial examination should not cause negative emotions. The branded box matches the size of the contents, not allowing the device to move freely.

The original box is well made. The nest for the case has the right dimensions, so nothing dangles in it. There are no inscriptions in the form of Chinese characters on the original box, there is barcode and other information in English. The original packaging looks like this:


EarPods original packaging
EarPods original packaging

Next, you need to examine the existing inscriptions. They should not have obvious printing defects. All characters in the original are made in the same font. To identify the replica, knowledge of English helps a lot. It is important to read all the inscriptions, make sure there are no spelling errors.

Read also: how to distinguish an apple watch from a fake

original EarPods packaging on the back
original EarPods packaging on the back

At the bottom of the box there is a barcode with other information. There should also be no spelling errors, printing defects.

original packaging of EarPods on the bottom
original packaging of EarPods on the bottom

Read also: how to check JBL column for originality


You need to check the package. The original includes:

  1. A box consisting of 2 parts - a white cardboard and a transparent lid-case.
  2. Two documents: instructions and warranty certificates for the type of thin books.
  3. Case.
  4. Headphones.
EarPods package
EarPods package


You can buy original EarPods here

It is recommended to start identifying fake EarPods after opening the package by inspecting the case. In the production of counterfeit, little attention is paid to it, so noticeable defects often remain.

EarPods case
EarPods case

Additional packaging for headphones, that is, a case, resembles a capsule. At first glance, it can be difficult to distinguish a high-quality fake case from a real one.

Case of fake and original EarPods from Apple

The plastic of the original case has a slightly bluish tint. The material is absolutely smooth to the touch. Chinese fake capsules have a yellowish, rough surface, burrs around the edges.

Read also: how to tell a refurbished iphone

The case consists of two parts - a transparent cover and a bottom made of white plastic. In the second part there are sockets in which the headphones themselves are placed. This part of the branded product has a uniform white color, symmetrical nests with clearly calibrated dimensions. Headphones are well fixed in them.

Check Apple EarPods by barcode:

Enter 13 digits of the barcode:

The original case is ideally designed for EarPods. They move freely in it, are easily removed, but do not fall out on their own.

The fake case is made of cheap plastic. It is rough and gives off yellowness. On closer inspection, you can often find stains and blotches of any color. The second half of the fake capsule is stained unevenly. Gray streaks may be observed on the surface of the plastic. And the nests are larger than they should be.

Fake EarPods case
Fake EarPods case

In the branded version, the white part of the capsule is exactly the same color and shade as the headphones themselves. For fakes, the shade of the plastic of the capsule differs from that of which the headphones themselves are made. Just replica cases are made separately from the headphones themselves. This is done by different industries, so it is not possible to achieve the same shade of plastic.

The back of the capsule should be polished and shiny. For fakes, it is not polished, so it remains matte.

If there is no Apple logo on the back of the capsule - a certain 100% fake. But, on some fakes there is a logo.

How to spot a fake EarPods case
How to spot a fake EarPods case

High-quality replicas often still have a logo or its likeness. Therefore, it is necessary to examine it carefully. The original has a number of features:

  1. Extruded neatly
  2. Has sharp edges
  3. Optimal extrusion depth maintained

The logo on the replicas is squeezed out in a completely different way. The extrusion depth of the image is not respected, so its edges may be blurred. This is noticeable both visually and to the touch.

Capsules are placed in a protective package in the form of a transparent film. But, on fakes stick a sticker with a barcode and other information. The originals come with a protective film without any stickers.

EarPods Stickers
EarPods Stickers

The transparent lid of the case must be free of defects. Fakes have scratches, sagging. It can bend if you press it with your finger.

Headphone case cover
Headphone case cover
The transparent lid of the case must be free of defects
The transparent lid of the case must be free of defects

For fakes, this cover flies off or, on the contrary, it is very difficult to remove. The original case opens and closes easily.




Place of purchase Company store Crossing or kiosk at the bus stop
case Manufactured with great precision from high quality materials May have flaws
Marking Painted with greyish indelible paint Applied with black budget paint
Control buttons Work smoothly and clearly Seize and have play


You can buy original EarPods here

Original EarPods are able to serve their owner for a long time if they are treated with care. The lifetime of copies is from several weeks to a couple of months.

The shape and length of counterfeit headphones may differ from the original ones. This can only be found out if there is an original on hand for comparison.

There may be differences in weight. Usually the weight of the original is more.

Differences in headphones in weight
Differences in headphones in weight

Wire connections

The rubber plugs on the replicas are not attached to the plastic part of the earpiece itself. The plug can be easily pulled and pulled out. Or accidentally touch the headphone cord, and it will fly out.

The original headset has special rubber plugs that have a shape and elasticity that do not allow them to freely fall out of the plastic part of the EarPods.

For copies, the insertion can fly out even if the earpiece is accidentally touched. The cap is purely decorative.

Read also: How to distinguish an original iPhone from a fake

The fake cap has no function other than decorative. In the case of the original, if you pull this plug, it will remain in place.

Headphone wire connections and plugs
Headphone wire connections and plugs

In the place where the wire with the plug connects to the earpiece itself, there are slots and various gaps. Original products do not have such defects.

wire with plug
wire with plug

Check joints need to be carefully. A fake may have a gap on the left earpiece, but not on the right one, or vice versa.

There is a hole in the bottom plastic part of the headphones. The originals are black, while the replicas are grey.


You can buy original EarPods here

The headphone indicates whether it is left or right. Copies of the letters "R" and "L" are applied poorly, the paint is erased very quickly. The fakes also have black letters, while the originals are lighter - closer to dark gray.

Headphones indicate left or right
Headphones indicate left or right

Sometimes there are fakes on which the markings are not indicated, that is, the left or right earpiece.

In some cases, the letters "R" and "L" may be missing altogether. This is 100% a sign of the fake origin of the headphones.

Fake and original Apple EarPods

Similarly, gray high-quality paint is used to mark the microphone. At the same time, a fake often has blurs, fuzzy contours, flaws in the image application.

Microphone on fake and original Apple EarPods

When examining the markings, it is recommended to pay attention to the quality of the plastic. For a fake, it may have rough joints. On the surface of the counterfeit, noticeable defects are often found, for example, sagging or blotches of a different color.

Fake and original Apple EarPods


In the originals, the grid pattern is at a 45° angle. IN copies can be located at any angle, but still not exactly. This applies to grids that cover not only speakers, but also diffusers.

Mesh on EarPods
Mesh on EarPods

The mesh of the original is made of durable material - perforated metal. In replicas, it bends, as it is made of textured fabric or even foam rubber. If you press it with your finger or try to clean it with a cotton swab, the mesh may tear.

What headphones do you prefer?

The diffuser holes of the original headphones are completely symmetrical.

The replica will be given by the very location of the diffuser holes. Any asymmetry indicates the fake origin of the headphones.

You can buy original EarPods here


The original splitter has optimal softness and strength. In a fake, it is hard, not rubberized enough. Any available inscription can also report a fake, especially if it is in Chinese. The splitter of wires for fakes may have defects, usually in the form of burrs and noticeable joints.

Splitter on the original and fake
Splitter on the original and fake

On the splitter, a fake may have the inscription "HTP". The originals don't have it.

Wires and serial number

Check the manufacturer's country by barcode:

Enter 13 digits of the barcode:

You can buy original EarPods here

In branded headphones, the wire is soft, elastic and has a fairly thick rubber coating. And in copies it is tougher and thinner. Therefore, fakes quickly fail, as the wire bends, cracks and breaks at the point of attachment to the metal plug.

If you strongly bend the wire of a fake, then the additional plastic overlay may crack.

The wire of the copies “springs”, and because of this, the headphones can fall out of the ears, twist, tangle.

The wire on the original EarPods is white. For fakes, it has a gray tint.

The cable length for fake headphones is 100 cm, while for originals it is 110 cm. In this case, the length of both wires that go after the splitter must be the same.

There should be no burrs or other irregularities on the wire.

The serial number and manufacturer are printed on the wire. This marking must be applied at a distance of 20 cm from the plug. Counterfeits are missing markings, or they contain the wrong serial number.

Serial number and manufacturer printed on wire
Serial number and manufacturer printed on the EarPods wire

First on the label is the inscription "Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China' followed by the serial number. The code consists of 12 digits. The fourth digit in it indicates the date of manufacture of the headset.

Wires for fake and original Apple EarPods

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But, if the seller tells you that these headphones are from the sixth iPhone, and on the wire the fourth digit in the account "3" (2013 production year is indicated), then these are already headphones from the fifth smartphone model. Otherwise, he sells fakes!

For fakes, on the wire, 2012 production may be indicated, when EarPods were not yet released. Or 2020 - that is, it turns out that these headphones are already selling and they are “from the future”.

The marking font must be clear, even, and the text without errors.

Marking font on the wire from the headphones
Marking font on the wire from the headphones

If there is an inscription, a fake often has printing defects or spelling errors. Characters can roam relative to the string. The original must always have the same type of font, which cannot be said about copies.

Wires for fake and original Apple EarPods

Control buttons

You can buy original EarPods here

Fake buttons:

  1. Emits loud clicks when pressed
  2. Can be hard to press
  3. Don't work at all

In the case of the original, the buttons are pressed smoothly and without clicks.

When you press the copy buttons, the plastic flexes. A gap is formed at the junction of the two plastic parts. The original plastic is better and harder, so this phenomenon is not observed.

Volume control buttons on the original
Volume control buttons on the original
Volume control buttons on a fake
Volume control buttons on a fake

In lower-grade fakes, there are noticeable gaps in the control buttons even if they are not affected.

Gaps in fake Apple EarPods

Sometimes underground Chinese manufacturers produce headphones with a simulated remote control. Such control panels may not have buttons, or they are, but they perform a purely decorative function. In the most low-grade fakes, there are no buttons at all. This can be detected the first time you turn on the EarPods.


The microphone icon on the fake is applied with low-quality paint, so it is quickly smeared or completely erased. He is usually pale and can "float".

Microphone icon on original and fake EarPods
Microphone icon on original and fake EarPods

A fake microphone can:

  1. Don't work at all
  2. Transmit sounds extremely quietly, even if the person speaks very loudly
  3. Make noise and various interference

The microphone on the original EarPods works fine. A person can talk on the phone in a whisper using a headphone microphone. At the same time, the radius of the microphone distance from the speaker can be about 1 meter, and the interlocutor will hear him well!

When buying EarPods in a specialized store, you should immediately check the operation of the microphone. To do this, connect the headphones to the phone, turn on the microphone and record sounds on the recorder. First speak loudly, then in a whisper. Then, listen to the voice recording, determine the quality of the microphone.


Apple is the leader in headphone performance. The original microphone has high sensitivity and good noise immunity. You can even talk with it in a whisper.

Original headphones are capable of transmitting good sounding music. The sound itself is deeper than the copies and there is a good bass. Copies transmit sound worse. But, some fakes can still transmit sound with relatively high quality.

Advice! If you buy headphones in a specialized department, and not through an online store, then be sure to immediately test the sound of music of various genres and volumes.

If you have already used the original EarPods, then you will quickly distinguish a fake by the sound quality. In the case when you buy a product for the first time, pay attention to the sound of the lower and upper registers. If the sound is blurry, then you have a fake.

Copies do not have noise reduction. External sounds will interrupt the music. The strength of the sound of fakes is also not regulated.

Types of headphones

You can buy original EarPods here

There are two similar types of EarPods, but they still have slight differences.

Read also: how to check xiaomi headphones for originality

EarPods with regular plug:

  1. Connect to the device using a 3.5 mm plug
  2. Possess a semi-closed type of acoustics
  3. The microphone is on the wire.
EarPods with regular plug
EarPods with regular plug

EarPods with Lightning Connector:

  1. Connect to your device with a flat Lightning connector
  2. They have a closed type of acoustics
  3. The microphone is built into the headphones themselves
EarPods with Lightning connector
EarPods with Lightning connector

You can identify a fake by inaccurate manufacturing of the plug. The original does not have any gaps and cracks. Metal contacts must not show signs of corrosion.

Plug in original and fake Apple EarPods

Video: how to distinguish a fake from the original EarPods


You can buy original EarPods here

The cost of original EarPods with a 3.5 mm plug starts from 2000 to 2300 rubles. The price depends on the store where they are bought, delivery, government duties, etc.

The price tag for EarPods with a Lightning connector can be the same or slightly higher, by about 200-300 rubles.

A fake can be bought for 300-1000 rubles through an online store or at a kiosk in the subway. But, there is also a big risk of buying a replica at the price of the original in the department that sells smartphones and accessories, or from an online marketplace for used goods.

Therefore, check for authenticity and purchase EarPods in trusted stores, or order from the official website of the brand.

What kind of music helps you in your daily life?
Sounds of nature
Anyone, as long as I'm wearing Apple EarPods!
Voted: 57

What to do if you sold a fake?

Where to go if you sold a fake?


Andrey Kozhevnikov

Blog author. 7 years of experience as a Merchandiser. Specialist in the definition of quality products. Distinguished more than 5,000 fake goods. My motto: there is no limit to perfection!

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Add a comment

  1. Stepan

    You raised a difficult topic, but relevant. Headphones are more difficult to distinguish from a fake than smartphones, since they are technically simpler. Here only by external signs, which speaks of the quality of the elements of the case and wires.

  2. Max

    Вот у меня уже вторая пара оригинальных наушников, но на них нет серийника на проводе