Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Markeyus Franks
AirPods are no doubt a revolutionary product that opened new dimensions for audio gear. The biggest impact was perhaps in the ways people included music in their daily health and fitness regimes. Most fitness freaks prefer to work out with music on and the experience has never been the same since AirPods appeared. You are free to work on those core muscles with your favorite motivational track by your side giving you endurance for more repetitions and distracting you from the pain and fatigue.
AirPods offer a helpful distraction but there are plenty of complaints about them falling out during intense cardio, especially running. Many consider running to be the best and simplest cardio as it works on the entire body. So is it the high intensity of running accompanied by the sweat generated that makes the AirPods fall out of the ears or is it just the fit factor at play here? We are here today to understand the mechanics of the AirPods falling out and know some tips, tricks, and hacks you can try to keep in place. We will also look at some alternatives that you can choose in case these hacks do not work for you.
Why Do AirPods Slip Out When Running?
Strangely, Apple went for a one-size-fits-all outlook when designing AirPods perfectly knowing that the outer part of the ear is not the same for everybody. Take Hakan Calhanoglu for example, his is upside down and there isn’t one image on the internet with him sporting AirPods or any other truly wireless earphones whatsoever. AirPods falling out while running is a reality and there are quite a few reasons for it.
When you are running hard, the body generates sweat, and a lot of it from the head drips around the ears. During high-intensity running, the body movement causes sweat to enter the earlobes or you even might have sweaty ears causing the skin to become slippery making the AirPods slip out. Human skin secretes oil from the sebaceous glands under the skin that might cause the AirPods to slip out as well. At times, a loose fit is responsible for the mishap. While running the AirPods act as a loose part and hence move along with the body and get displaced from its position causing it to slip out.
How to Keep AirPods from Falling Out?
This constant concern about whether your precious Pods are in or one of them simply decided to say an early goodbye is so unnerving. If you get distracted from the workout itself out of this concern, the entire purpose of having them on while you hit the tracks is failed. However, here are some easy hacks you can try to ensure your ‘precious’ is always by your side.
- The AirPods sit a bit shallow in the ear and when plugging them in, slightly rotate the AirPods to ensure a lock that allows the least movement inside the ears. The locking position is usually achieved when the tail falls in the notch between the Tragus and Antitragus parts of the ear. Keep adjusting until the tail wedges in the notch.
- Wipe the AirPods before inserting them into the ears with a damp (not soaking wet) cloth to remove any oil that has gotten onto its body from previous use. An oily surface of the AirPods would cause them to slip out while running when the skin secrets even more oil. Additionally, carry a small sweat towel or a wrist sweatband and ensure you keep wiping the sweat around your forehead and hairline while running.
- An uncanny solution that works for many is wearing the Pods upside down. If you feel the best locking position is achieved when the tail is kept up, you should try it.
- Anti-slip silicon covers and tip skins, AirPods grips and silicon in-ear hooks for AirPods are available in the aftermarket imparting grip and ensuring they stay put in your ears. However, these come at an additional cost and you might want to consider them only after the free hacks fail.
- Finally, if you care more for utility than style, twist the AirPods by up to 30 degrees so that the speaker faces the canal and you might find them sitting tight without any possibility of slipping out. The tail however would stick out away from the ears but then again, utility comes first for you.
Which AirPods are The Best for Running?
If you are an Apple fan and hell-bent on running with Pods, try the AirPods Pro which has a different design that addresses the falling-off concern of AirPods. The AirPods Pro comes with an in-ear canal design that has a silicon tip that goes inside the ear canal and offers a much tighter fit. In addition to the in-ear design, the silicon tips can be changed for smaller or bigger sizes offering more customization features for user-specific fit. The silicon tips offer more resistance to sweaty or oily skin than the plastic tip of the AirPods. They also come with Dual Beamforming Microphones that allow superb occasional conversation while running. Apple markets the AirPod Pro as sweat and water-resistant and hence they are best for running.
AirPods Alternatives That Work Great for Running
Now to look at some alternatives that should work great if AirPods isn’t your cup of tea. The models listed below are all highly rated on e-commerce portals with race reviews from users about their utility, price and most importantly fit for working out.
As the name suggests, the OpenRun Pro from Shokz is designed for only one purpose. To ensure there isn’t a lack of ‘constructive’ distraction when you are running. Mind that the Shokz product is not a truly wireless device. Its revolutionary open-ear design makes it sit on the sideburns beside the ears and a dual speaker cutout ensures uncompromising audio quality. The titanium wraparound ensures the headphone is stable even when you are running sprints and its IP55 sweat-resistant coating keeps it safe from sweat and allows its use under wet conditions.
Even with an open-ear design, the sound quality is premium thanks to Shokz’s proprietary TurboPitch technology that offers audio with good clarity and rich bass. The battery lasts for 10 hours and features quick charge support while dual noise-cancelling mics reduce noise during calls.
Priced a tad higher than the Apple AirPods Pro, the Powerbeats Pro is a great alternative for Apple fans as it uses Apple’s H1 Headphone Chip. The over-the-ear hook design keeps these in-ear buds in place during intense workouts. Its audio-sharing feature comes in handy when you are running with a partner as both of you can listen to the same song. The ear hooks are adjustable while multiple ear tips ensure proper noise cancelling. Powerbeats has also equipped the earphones with on-device track controls that you can use to change tracks on the go. The Powerbeats Pro pips the AirPods in technology through its support for spatial audio and auto-on feature when you put on the earphones for working out.
Powerbeats Pro is a high-performance workout-focused earphone that comes with sweat and water resistance and a big 9-hour battery. It is compatible with both Android and Apple devices and is even protected with AppleCare+ support.
At first glance, you might feel that the Bose Sport Earbuds will slip out the same way as the AirPods but that is because you haven’t noticed the minimalistic in-ear hook of these earbuds. Slightly sticking out at the top, these hooks offer excellent fit and rigidity to the earphones restraining any fall-out even when you are sprinting or running a marathon. With regard to the sound quality, the brand speaks for itself thanks to its rich legacy. The Bose earbuds are IPX4 rated which means they are protected from sweat but consistent use during rainfall is to be avoided. The Bose Sport Earbuds are truly wireless earbuds with an in-ear canal design featuring noise cancellation.
Bose Sport Earbuds offer touch controls but a lowly 5-hour battery life and come in a charging case that offers two more charge cycles. The right earbud is designed to detect usage and pauses music when removed from the ears.
AirPods slipping out is a genuine concern that users have posted on forums like Quora and Reddit. These plastic-made earphones frankly cannot handle high-intensity workouts like running. Perhaps this was the ultimate reason why Apple came out with the AirPods Pro which features an in-ear canal design. If you need to stick to your AirPods and don’t want to upgrade right away, the tips above should help you deal with the issue but our advice would be to try selling them off on Craigslist and going for the AirPods Pro or one of its alternatives listed above if none of these hacks works for you.
Apple AirPods Falling Out While Running – FAQs
Do AirPods Fall Out When Running in the Rain?
AirPods have a shallow in-ear design and do not go much inside the ears. If sweaty ears cause your AirPods to fall out, you can be absolutely certain that running in the rain will force them out much earlier. The cause here is not the rainfall and rather the design of the AirPods which offer little resistance along with a loose fit that causes these earphones to slip out during intense body movement.
Do AirPods Stay in During Exercise?
Various workouts do not require the entire body to move. If you are working on your core through planks or low-intensity sit-ups, the AirPods should stay in place. Freehand exercises, leg press, and other strength training exercises that involve you being seated and working on cable row, lat pulldown and hammer strength machines too would probably keep the AirPods in place. However, you should keep in mind that these exercises also make the body sweat which might cause AirPods to slip out and hence we advise you to keep a towel handy.