How to Distinguish the Fake Apple Earpod from the Real One

The EarPods, sold together with iPhone and iPod, are the most popular earphones. However, even the best earphones are still fragile. Or you may need another backup for it. If you do a quick research on ebay/amazon, plenty of sellers are selling the EarPods. However, many of which may just selling crappy copied ones instead of new ones. Here in this article, we will walk you through some simple ways to distinguish the fake Apple EarPods from the real ones.

 

Step 1: Check the Package

Note: this method can be used only for distinguishing copied EarPods with copied package.

The real EarPod package is flat and smooth in its surface, if you take a look at the light reflection, you would easily find out the differences. If there is no dark shadow, it's a real package.

 

Step 2: Check the sound when pressing the buttons

The OEM EarPod is designed to have very slightly “click, click” sound when you press any buttons on it, while for the fake one, you can clearly hear the noise 3 feet away from it. Take a closer look at it, the gap between the two plastic boards of OEM EarPods are thinner than fake ones.    

 

Step 3: Check the bass holes in the EarPod (Clearest Way)

The OEM EarPods will conduct an airflow to the bass holes at the bottom of it which be designed for better bass sound. If you cover these holes with your fingers, less bass music can be heard.

For fake ones, the “bass holes” are just for “decorating” purposes. 

 

Step 4: Check the luminousness of the EarPod

Under the flash light, the genuine EarPods are nearly light-tight, will for fake ones, you can clearly see what's inside. The OEM EarPods has much complicated inner structures to guarantee the bass sound, which makes it thicker than others.

If you have any questions or want to share any ideas with us, don't hesitate to leave your comment below!

 
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  1. BY Vinoth Murugesan
    |

    Base hole test is worked for me 😀 finally I have a genuine apple earphone

  2. BY Reira
    |

    XD this is fun. I happen to have 2 original EarPods. Bought physically from Apple store and 2 fake. One of the fake is extremely high quality.
    I find the cover bass method the best. I couldnt tell my high quality fake from original for all other methods, only covering its base showed it’s true color. Both original EarPods got affected when I covered the bass whereas the high quality fake doesn’t get affected.

    Also original EarPods mic quality is better

  3. BY Didier
    |

    What I also check is verifying if the earbud is made of 2 or 3 parts. If the bud is made up of at least 3 parts, it’s fake.

    You can see the bud is made up of parts by seeing the lines that seperate them :p

  4. BY Joyo
    |

    great article and great shots. I got fooled on Groupon and bought two earbuds for $20. Both broke in a couple months – wish I read your article before that.

  5. BY Eduardo Cantu
    |

    I bought some Ear pods off Walmart but the volume control piece is making a loud clicking noise could they be fake? really want to know so i could return

    • BY Caitlyn
      |

      Try some of the other tests above

  6. BY McC
    |

    Bought a pair of these on Digitalsave for £9 because they were meant to be genuine, but only after looking through all the reviews, which seemed to be alright. Got them and tried out these tests on them, and though no light showed and the case looked genuine, the bass was affected 0% when the holes were covered, no code or writing on the wires whatsoever, as well as the wires beig quite thin ( which i associate with fakes ive mistakenly bought in the past). Am I right in sending these back, and buying a set from Argos at normal price?

    • BY SE
      |

      I bought a pair of these as well from Digitalsave and my suspicion was aroused when I could see no writing on the two genuine pairs of apple earphones I already own. The pair I bought from Digitalsave has the writing there on the lead near the jack. However I think it must have worn off the two pairs I already own. When covering the bass holes to check, you need to be careful that you cover both holes on both earphones. When I did this I could hear the difference. Also, the leads are exactly the same length as the original and the earbud is made from two pieces and you can’t shine a light through it. It does sound from your description that your earphones are fake, but I think mine are genuine and the bottom line is they sound OK.

      • BY kaye
        |

        Hi SE, this distinguish way is applicable as the copy technology is upgrading, you’d better buy it in the Apple. Thank you for your comment.

  7. BY Steve
    |

    This is a fantastic guide.

    Also, the genuine article has micro printing on the main wire “Designed by Apple in California, assembled in… and a number.”

    I bought a pair at Target a while back. Totally looked like a legit Apple box. And they were $30. I remember paying more for what i thought was the real thing because one would just assume that Target would sell *GENUINE* Apple accessories in their Apple section.

    Well, someone over in the Purchasing dept either got duped or is intentionally shady because the ones I bought were total counterfeit, and they were sold as legit Apple earpods.

    I should have returned them right away, but I figured they’d be fine. Months down the road though, the started to fall apart. On the plug end, the plastic fitting would slip loose, and the fittings at the bottom of the ear pieces would also come loose. Eventually one one ear stopped working all together so I bought a new set and now I am comparing them side-by side.

    The Genuine apple ones are like 6 inches longer. This is a huge difference. Now they can actually REACH my PC speakers more comfortably. The wire insulation is also smoother. the old ones are clearly cheap rubber and when you run them through your fingers or pull them from your picket, they grab like crazy. The apple ones are satin smooth. Nice material.

    The fake ones have fake “bass holes” as well, and doing the light trick, you can see right through the plastic where the Apple ones block light.

    The remote on the Apple set is nice and clicks. The fake ones, the buttons are bad and just kind of mush down with no click.

    Also, the dead giveaway that the Target ones were fake… the middle where the wire splits there’s “TCU” engraved in there. Um. WAT?

    So… bottom line: Check them out right away and be sure to return counterfeit merchandise to the store. If they give you shit about taking them back, tell them you’ll file a complaint with the FTC and dispute the charge with your credit card co.

  8. BY John
    |

    I just got 2 pair of the Walmart headphones in the mail and tested them using the bass hole trick. These really do seem legit as I swapped between the earpods that came with my iPhone 5 and the Walmart ones, and the sound quality seems identical (with deep, rich bass tones). That’s one hell of a deal at $10. The packing slip says they are from Altatac in Los Angeles.

  9. BY Walmart
    |

    I saw some earpods at walmart online and they cost $9.66 im woundering is they are fake but still i feel like they are original because man people recomend it and its the best seller on the website and people rated it a 80% must buy

    • BY Unicorn Poopies
      |

      They were from the offical Walmart storefront I bought 3 and they were genuine apple earpods. As of now the deal has ended. I wish I had bought more.

  10. BY Tshepiso
    |

    I would like to get these earphones and they sell them with a reasonable price at zasttra.com. The only way I will be able to check if they are the original ones is when they have been delivered. So I would like to know if zasttra.com sells the right ones.

    • BY Venkat
      |

      Couldn’t find New Apple earpods on Zastra. Hope you bought old iPhone 4 style earphones. If you paid less than $5 then It’ll be Fake. Even fake is available for $10 or more just to show/make customer beleive it’s Genuine.
      Check Return policy before shopping these kind of accessories on Unknown/New sites.

  11. BY Nadim
    |

    I found one in ebay with great price (2 will cost total of $11.62), what attracted me regardless the cheap price is that the sign of apple on the back, he said that is apple brand and new, plus the title said it’s original apple earpods, I bought for myself and few of them to sell and make some descent profit, after selling some with no complain, one of the potential buyers wanted to check it first, I gave him mine which is the same (so I keep the new unopened in case he decide not to buy, he said it’s fake and showed me a video comparing original and fake, I went to apple store and gave them mine to check after telling them the story, they took it inside and after checking it, they came back with the news: it’s authentic apple brand, they also printed paper showing the reason of my visit and the result of it, I asked about the video the guy showed me, they said: we don’t know what kind in the video, so we can’t judge.
    Now I jave that printed proof in case someone asked.

    • BY Sam
      |

      Can you please provide a link of those headphones you’ve putchased. I am really interested to buy for my self. Thanks!

  12. BY Gary Macdonald
    |

    Really helpful piece, thanks. Just bought a set of iPhone EarPods in an “independent” shop in Edinburgh and the quality, once out the packaging, made me suspect they were fake. Found your page and am now sure they’re complete fakes. No apple branding on rear of box, failed the “click” test, failed the luminosity test and no design/manufacture wording on the cable.
    Sad some people have nothing better to do with their time than create fakes. The shop will be getting a visit from trading standards. I’d use your site again-cheers!

    Gary

    • BY kaye
      |

      Glad it helps! Also thanks for your supporting!

  13. BY Venkatesh R
    |

    The main trick to find fake is to check the Imprint on the cable.
    Original earpod will have “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in Vietnam” followed by a Serial Number. Fake cables wont have these imprinted.
    It’s no where mentioned in this article.

    • BY Nageswararao chilukuri
      |

      Let me know the fake EarPods can have printed designed by Apple in California assembled in Vietnam and serial number on cable

      • BY Venkatesh R
        |

        Nope. Fake earpods/lightning cables won’t have “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in Vietnam” followed by a 12 Digit Serial Number.

        Refer : https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204566

  14. BY blasphemer
    |

    Makes. no. difference.

    Apple or fakes, all are made in China.Get over it.If the fakes cost 1/10th of the price of the original, you can’t say you were scammed, since you got what you paid for.

    • BY DoctorDri
      |

      Not at all. Have you used cheap ones? The quality is horrible. Apple ones are good.

    • BY Haseeb
      |

      Exuse me i think you don’t use real one bcoz real earphones have too much bass in its small speakers….

      • BY Kevin
        |

        And they also sound sick with a bass boosted song with the original with fakes you could hardly hear shit

  15. BY Waseem
    |

    Great just great I am about to go and buy me earpods helped a lot I am sure now that I will buy original ones—♥♥♥♥

    • BY kaye
      |

      Hope it helped!

  16. BY Sunil Chaudhary
    |

    Great great thankx…extremely hepful..#3 is the best..thanx for sharing this info..Bass check is excellent and it works..i have to buy a new one now nd u will get the credit for the new original one..

  17. BY Erina Flaun
    |

    i was bought an earpods that they said it’s an original one but i’m curious whether if it’s original or fake one bcs i bought it on an online store (not a reliable seller)

    then i found this page on net and guess what?! i failed at #4 for the luminousity. i think mine is high copy 3. slightly dissapointed actually bcs yea i’ve spend much money for this new “earpods”.
    but thankyou for the info!!! this page is soooo helpful! wish i could read this page earlier..

    • BY kaye
      |

      there are truly so much shanzhai products on the market which makes us hard to distinguish the real one from the fake ones, hope there are more reliable sellers.

  18. BY FrancoRyan
    |

    I had a so called original copy from a not reliable seller. I really thought it was orig but it failed #3 for bass hole. My real original one, slight covering of finger to the hole will make a big difference on the bass sound. The so called orig, nothing happens when i cover it. I wish i could have read this earlier. But thanks a lot.

  19. BY NiceOne
    |

    Step 4: Check the luminousness of the EarPod

    Nice one, you can clearly and quickly know if it is fake. Thumbs up !!

    • BY Kaye
      |

      Thanks for your compliment!

  20. BY MADMAN
    |

    I’ve been searching the net how to differentiate the genuine Apple Earpods vs those fake ones one fleabay and this is by far the clearest guide I’ve found. Thanks for taking the time to post this. Keep it up.

    EDIT: I just noticed that this is an online shop too 🙂 You’re on my bookmark now

    • BY May
      |

      Hi MADMAN, thanks for reading and subscription, so glad that it helps. Always check back on our shop and blog, you’ll get more latest info. 😀

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