AirPods Max ‘Condensation Death’ Issue Report Conflicting

AirPods Max 'Condensation Death' Issue Report Conflicting

Condensation Issues Plague AirPods Max: Are They “Death by Condensation”?


When Apple launched AirPods Max in December 2020, they were praised for their innovative design and exceptional sound quality. However, it didn’t take long for some users to notice a peculiar problem: condensation build-up inside the headphones. Two years and eight months later, this issue has become so prevalent that some users believe it is causing the units to fail, leading to what has been dubbed “condensation death.”

Tech news outlet 404 Media recently published a report highlighting numerous complaints from AirPods Max users across platforms like Reddit, YouTube, and Twitter (now X) as well as Apple’s Support Community. Users have reported water droplets forming inside the over-ear headphones due to humidity. In some cases, these droplets have even entered the speaker holes, resulting in water damage to the headphone drivers.

One post on the AirPods Max subreddit claims that the majority of hardware issues stem from condensation problems. These issues include random shutdowns, connectivity problems, audio playback failure, degraded audio quality, and other related problems. This condensation problem seems to have worsened after one of the hottest summers on record, leading to higher rates of malfunction or complete failure.

To mitigate this problem, some users have resorted to taping up the pin holes to prevent water ingress or cleaning the connections more regularly. These solutions are far from ideal because consumers should not have to perform these extra steps to maintain the functionality of their headphones.

Interestingly, 404 Media highlights a class-action lawsuit filed against Apple in California two years ago by plaintiffs claiming that a design defect leads to condensation accumulation inside AirPods Max ear cups after just one to several hours of normal use. The plaintiffs have reportedly been negotiating a settlement with Apple for the past few months. While Apple does not deny the condensation issue, its lawyers argue that it is more noticeable in AirPods Max due to their magnetic and removable ear cups.

According to the lawsuit, Apple repeatedly advises customers that AirPods Max are not waterproof or water-resistant and to avoid moisture in any openings. Apple’s lawyers also challenge the definition of “normal use” of AirPods Max and suggest that the plaintiffs may have omitted details about the circumstances when condensation occurs. They imply that activities like walking in San Francisco could be misinterpreted as more strenuous exercise akin to “an arduous hike up the hills to Twin Peaks.”

Despite these reports, many AirPods Max users have experienced condensation build-up without any noticeable performance issues. Additionally, there have been no eBay listings for water-damaged AirPods Max, and aftermarket repair businesses have not reported an increase in repair requests for these headphones. However, it is possible that users with faulty units have been seeking repairs directly from Apple, clouding the complete picture.

If you are an AirPods Max owner, we want to hear from you. Have you encountered any issues with your headphones that you believe are related to a condensation build-up manufacturing defect? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments.