Are Refurbished AirPods Good or Bad?

As with any refurbished Apple item, renewed AirPods are reliable, and well-maintained, and act as a perfect choice for anyone who wants premium earbuds without paying an arm and a leg.

I’m a technology fiend who’s used Apple products for most of my life. My experience with the devices, both new and refurbished, has allowed me to see the differences between a returned item and one that comes right out of the box.

This guide will further expand on that by breaking down the pros and cons of getting refurbished AirPods. It will do so by looking at Apple’s renewal process, the best place to get such items, as well as why they may not be for everyone.

Key Takeaways

  • When bought from a reputable company, refurbished AirPods are a great purchase that is almost indistinguishable from a new item.
  • Saving money, a stout warranty, and Apple’s rigid satisfaction process are all reasons users should get refurbished AirPods over ones right out of the box.
  • For all of their benefits, refurbished AirPods take more time to vet than new ones, can lead to consistency problems, and may require you to purchase additional ear tips.

Airpod Refurbishing Process

A lot of users treat “refurbished” as a bad word. However, that fear is largely unfounded. While there can be some consistency issues, as long as you purchase the renewed device from a trusted store (or directly from the source) you won’t have any problems.

That goes double for Apple products. The company takes great care of its refurbished items, going over them with a fine-tuned comb to ensure they have the same (or nearly the same) quality as something you would get from their store.

Refurbished items, not to be confused with used, are simply ones that were returned to Apple for one reason or another. Sometimes they were opened, sometimes they were not. Either way, they are checked for quality, cleaned, and then repackaged.

In that way, it’s almost impossible to tell brand-new AirPods apart from refurbished ones. Both work extremely well, have no internal issues, and are made with the highest quality. Renewed ones are even cleaned and tested before going back into the box.

Buying Refurbished AirPods: The Pros

While many users stay away from refurbished items, Apple or otherwise, the products come with quite a few benefits that make them worth going off the beaten path. The first of those is most definitely the price.

No matter how you cut it, refurbished products are cheaper than buying brand new. That’s the main draw of getting a renewed item, and the number one reason to choose it over a never-returned model. It’s especially great with Apple products because of their price.

The company is known for making expensive items, and AirPods are no exception. The headphones are a hefty investment, and even with discounts they cost a lot for most people. That’s why lowering that price tag even further goes such a long way.

Another reason getting a renewed Apple product is better than getting one from another company is their refurbished guarantee. They take great care to ensure all of their returned products are like-new, which is important for offsetting any consistency issues.

Not only that, but they have a great warranty too. As long as you get your AirPods from either Apple or a similarly trusted source (such as a big box store) you won’t have any problems making sure they hold up over time. If something does happen, you’re covered.

Buying Refurbished AirPods: The Cons

As great as refurbished AirPods are, the devices aren’t perfect. You do lose a few aspects when choosing to get the items at a lower price point, especially if you want to buy through a second-hand source.

The biggest issue is consistency. As mentioned, Apple has a great refurbishing process that’s backed up by a solid warranty. However, they aren’t the only company that sells refurbished AirPods. There are many places where you can get them.

That extra selection is great, but it also means it’s easy to get AirPods that aren’t up to snuff. Scams are common, and you always need to watch out for them. Buying from a trusted source eliminates that fear, but it means you need to take more steps when getting your earbuds as well.

Though it doesn’t normally matter with other refurbished Apple products, you need to make an additional purchase here. As AirPods are headphones, getting new ear tips is a good idea. Apple cleans its refurbished items, but it’s a good idea nonetheless.


The following paragraphs look at, and answer, some of the biggest questions surrounding refurbished AirPods.

Do Refurbished AirPods Come Sealed?

Yes. While they are not factory sealed, as they typically have been opened at one point in time, refurbished items are still wrapped up in a way that’s hard to distinguish from a brand-new item. They come in plastic just like anything else.

Do Refurbished Items Come With a Warranty?

All refurbished Apple products come with a rock-solid one-year warranty to add another layer of protection to the product. They each get the Apple Certified Refurbished promise to add to that peace of mind.

What Do Refurbished AirPods Come With?

The renewed items come with everything you would expect from new ones, including any accessories or cables necessary to make them run. They are even packaged in a new sealed box.

Final Words

Not all Apple users are going to want refurbished products, but they are an amazing way to get some of the best tech on the market without paying too much. AirPods run at a premium, and while refurbished ones are still expensive, the discount is absolutely worth it.

Have you ever owned refurbished AirPods? How did they compare to more traditional ones? Let us know in the comments below!

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