*Disclaimer: The written article is based on a summary of existing literature on the topic of infrared saunas. The article is for educational purposes and the information provided below cannot be taken as a promise to help with acute health problems or diseases. 14 references back the claims in the article. All references are numbered. You can access the text of the reference by clicking on the number.
Many people ask me whether they can take AirPods into a sauna. In this blog post, I’ll explain why doing so isn’t smart and can even permanently damage the product. I also offer a solution towards the end of this blog post.
But first, let’s consider why you cannot take AirPods into a sauna by considering the topics of waterproofing and temperatures inside a sauna:
Different Types Of AirPods & Waterproofing
Officially, three different generations of Apple AirPods exist (1; 2). The earlier versions of these AirPods of the product weren’t water resistant. Since the second generation of Apple AirPods, the product has an “IPX4” rating (3; 4; 5). In plain English, that rating means that the AirPods aren’t protected against dust but they are against short-term splashes of water.
But, getting a splash of water on the 2nd and 3rd generation of Apple AirPods doesn’t mean you can submerge the product in water. If the AirPods are ever submerged in water, you’ll likely permanently damage the product. Hence, you cannot swim with your AirPods. And, even exposing it to water, in the long run, is likely not beneficial.
The IP rating I talked about before also considers dust. But, as I’m considering the topic of saunas today, dust is far less of a problem than water. Suffice it to say that dust is bad for your AirPods.
There’s a second topic I’ll need to talk about. It’s not just water damaging your AirPods potentially, temperature matters just as much:
Different Types Of AirPods & Temperature
Secondly, temperatures have a huge influence on the survival of your AirPods too (6). Normal everyday temperatures aren’t the problem here though, unless you’re living on the North Pole or in a desert near the equator.
You can use your AirPods in temperatures of 0º and 35º Celsius (roughly 32º to 95º Fahrenheit (F)). And, if you’re not using the AirPods, you can store them at -10º and 45º Celsius (14º to 113º F).
So in most everyday situations, AirPods will do fine. Wearing AirPods in freezing temperatures can damage the product and in piping-hot weather. Next up, I’ll consider a situation that’s very extreme by everyday standards: the sauna. Let’s consider how hot different types of saunas get:
Sauna Temperatures And The Problem Of Using AirPods In Sauna
In a previous blog post on how hot is a sauna, I described the temperatures and humidity of several sauna models (7; 8; 9; 10). Here are some numbers for sauna temperatures - hopefully, you can immediately see the problem of using AirPods in sauna:
A dry sauna has temperatures of 80 - 90 degrees Celsius (176 - 194F) with low humidity.
An infrared sauna has temperatures of 45 - 60 degrees Celsius (113 - 140F) with low humidity.
A Finnish sauna has maximum temperatures of 110 - 120 degrees Celsius (230 - 248F) and is rarely colder than 70 degrees Celsius (158F). Humidity in Finnish saunas is also high.
Stream rooms have temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius (104F) but have extremely high humidity.
In all these cases - whether it’s a steam room, dry sauna, Finnish sauna, or infrared sauna - you’ll be exceeding the maximum temperature Apple recommends for their AirPods when you’re wearing them.
Moreover, storing AirPods in a steam room would technically be possible as you’re not exceeding the 45-degree Celsius (113F) maximum temperature. But in that case, you’ll also be exposing the AirPods to lots of humidity, so the perceived temperature would be much higher and damage would be highly likely.
And with that conclusion, let’s finally consider the most important question of this blog post:
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Can You Use AirPods In A Sauna Or Steam Room?
No, you cannot use AirPods in a sauna. Saunas almost always exceed the maximum temperature Apple recommends for using AirPods. Hence, your AirPods might take permanent damage if you use them inside any type of sauna - whether that’s a steam room, infrared sauna, or Finnish Sauna.
Don’t do it…
Can You Take AirPods Pro In A Sauna?
So, the first question was can you take AirPods in a sauna?
But you may think: “Can you take AirPods in a sauna” and simply don’t use them? The answer is the same again: in almost all cases, saunas exceed the maximum recommended storage temperature of AirPods by an extensive margin.
Hence, almost inevitably, you’ll damage your AirPods and make them unusable. Don’t even take your AirPods or Pros in a sauna if you won’t use them anyway. Of course, the question is, why would you want to take AirPods in a sauna anyway if you won’t use them? There’s no good reason to take the risk.
You may think: “But what about other models? What if I buy a Samsung product, can I use those wireless headphones in a sauna?” Let’s explore the answer:
Can You Take Other Wireless Headphones Inside A Sauna
What if you have Samsung wireless headphones? The answer, once again, is a resounding no (11; 12; 13). The Samsung Buds website states that their product isn’t water or dustproof. Also, these wireless headphones are primarily based on the same technology, so you’re not having a fundamentally different product whether you buy from Apple or Samsung.
Any type of moisture, whether from saunas or sweat or other reasons, should be avoided - especially long-term. Allegedly, the Samsung Buds2 overheat slightly quicker than the Apple AirPods, and might only withstand up to 32 degrees Celsius (about 90F) temperatures.
So don’t risk it…
Lastly, let’s consider a few rapid-fire questions about AirPods in sauna and related topics:
AirPods Frequently Asked Questions
Below I’ll consider a few rapid-fire questions about taking AirPods into a sauna or other similar scenarios:
What Happens If Sweat Gets In AirPods?
Water and sweat resistance differs according to your AirPod version (14). Technically, all Apple AirPods and related products such as the chargers, are sweat-resistant but not sweat-proof.
Let’s consider what that difference entails:
Sweat-resistant means that the AirPods can withstand tiny amounts of sweat that it’s coincidentally exposed to. Sweat-proof, on the other hand, means that the AirPods can withstand large quantities of sweat.
The concept of “sweat resistance” and “sweatproof” tie in with the earlier concepts of “water resistance and “waterproofing”. So, once again, tiny accidental amounts of sweat exposure to your AirPods are acceptable. Somehow submerging your AirPods in sweat or exposing them to large quantities isn’t okay and will damage the product.
Also, in time, the AirPods' water and sweat resistance condition wears down, as the Apple website itself states. So don’t overdo the sweat or water exposure!
And, normally, when you’re wearing the AirPods in your ears, you shouldn’t be exposing them to lots of sweat anyway. Which brings me to the next question:
How Do I Make My AirPods Stay In When Sweating?
If you’re sweating very heavily and your AirPods are exposed to lots of sweat, use a towel or wipe to remove the sweat around your ears. Again, AirPods aren’t sweatproof, they’re only sweat resistant.
And, with the water resistance and sweat resistance not being permanent conditions of the AirPod - i.e., it will break down with time - it’s best to limit sweat exposure in the first place.
Can I Wear My AirPod Pros In The Gym?
Sure, you can wear your AirPods Pros in the gym. Be sure to wipe any excess sweat - assuming you’re sweating heavily - from anywhere near the AirPods, though.
Again, even though AirPods are sweat resistant, that resistance wears off over time, so it’s best not to overexpose your AirPods to that sweat.
Can You Wear AirPods In A Hot Tub?
Technically, you can wear AirPods in a hot tub. The AirPods aren’t exposed to any high temperatures or water in that case, at least not directly.
Doing so is risky, though, for two reasons. First, hot tubs are hot, as the name already implies, and you may start sweating and exposing your AirPods to lots of sweat. Secondly, if an AirPod ever falls out of your air during your stay in the hot tub, it is likely permanently damaged and won’t work anymore.
So, use AirPods in a hot tub at your own risk…
Does Heat Drain AirPods? Heat And AirPod Battery-Life
Let’s break the question “Does heat drain AirPods” into more detail. If you mean that the battery charge of the AirPods is drained more quickly in the heat, then yes, that’s generally true. AirPods might also function less well in high temperatures such as 30 degrees Celsius (86F), even though they’ve been designed to withstand that temperature.
So, yes, heat drains AirPods in multiple ways…
Will AirPods Survive The Washing Machine?
AirPods will be exposed and submerged in water for a long time in a washing machine. So, independent of generation, AirPods will unlikely survive the washing machine. Therefore, double-check that you’ve not stored your AirPods anywhere in your clothes before you’re putting them inside your watching machine.
Washing machines are AirPods’ worst enemy…
Does The Sauna Drain AirPods?
Any type of sauna not only drains your AirPods but likely destroys your AirPods permanently because of the moisture and/or heat that’s far too excessive. Again, never use your AirPods inside a sauna. The risk is not worth it as I’ve described in detail above.
Bluetooth Connectivity: The Solution To AirPods In The Sauna
So what’s the solution if you don’t want to use AirPods inside a sauna? Simple: All our Clearlight® Infrared Saunas models have BlueTooth and AUX connectivity. That way, you can listen to your favourite music without ever risking exposing your AirPods to humidity, sweat, or excessively high temperatures.