X-ray Reveals Key Differences between Authentic Apple AirPods and Counterfeits

X-ray comparison Reveals Differences between Authentic Apple AirPods and Counterfeits | The Enterprise World

Counterfeit Apple products have become a significant concern in recent years, with the proliferation of knockoffs flooding the market. The issue gained attention when U.S. officials seized more than a thousand counterfeit AirPods and Apple Watches earlier this year, highlighting the scale of the problem. In response to this growing challenge, Apple has established a dedicated team to combat the illegal production of its products. Counterfeit Apple items may appear convincing on the surface, but a recent X-ray comparison has unveiled the stark differences between genuine AirPods and their counterfeit counterparts.

X-ray Examination Reveals Key Discrepancies

Jon Bruner, an individual associated with Lumafield, recently shared a groundbreaking X-ray comparison between authentic Apple AirPods Pro and two pairs of counterfeit AirPods, alongside some counterfeit MacBook chargers. This detailed examination was made available through social media, the company’s blog, and a YouTube video, shedding light on three major distinctions that set the authentic and counterfeit AirPods apart.


The authentic AirPods boast meticulously-engineered button cell batteries in each earbud. These batteries are designed to fit perfectly within the compact form factor while providing optimal power efficiency. In stark contrast, the counterfeit AirPods house lithium-ion pouch cell batteries. Not only are these pouch cell batteries less sophisticated in construction, but they also pose potential safety concerns. The rectangular pouches are crammed into circular spaces, leading to an ill-fitting configuration.


The X-ray comparison images revealed that genuine AirPods are a marvel of miniaturization and precision engineering. Apple uses a combination of rigid and flexible printed circuit boards to densely pack components, ensuring the efficient utilization of every millimeter of space. Conversely, the counterfeit AirPods feature simpler electronics assembled from off-the-shelf components. This results in reduced functionality, with fewer microphones and less control circuitry, ultimately compromising the sound quality of the counterfeits.

Build Quality:

Lumafield described the observed differences in build quality as “dramatic.” One of the counterfeit AirPods lacked wireless charging entirely, with no visible coils in the X-ray comparison scans. The other counterfeit model had wireless charging coils but was missing the magnets that securely attach the real AirPods case to Apple’s Watch charger. In an attempt to mimic the genuine product’s heft, the counterfeit AirPods resorted to using internal weights with no other function than making them feel heavier. This deceptive tactic compensates for the substandard materials used in their construction, which not only affects the tactile experience but also compromises the structural integrity and overall lifespan of the fake products.

To provide consumers with a more comprehensive understanding of these differences, Jon Bruner collaborated with Adam Savage to create a video showcasing the real and counterfeit AirPods, as well as some Apple chargers after conducting the X-ray examinations.

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