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How to replace lost or broken AirPods, AirPods Pro, or cases

When it comes to premium wireless earbuds and headphones, the Apple AirPods and AirPods Max are two of the best products money can buy, and we never get tired of talking about them.

And the latest generation of the AirPods Pro boasts improved sound quality and ANC performance, making them an ideal everyday wear. And for those of us who can’t live without a set of over-ear cans, it doesn’t get much better than the AirPods Max.

However, we are talking about consumer tech devices, which means there’s a small chance something unfortunate could happen to your treasured AirPods. Whether you’ve run an earbud through the dryer one too many times and need a replacement, or you've totally lost an AirPod or charging case and weren't able to locate them using Apple's handy Find My feature, never fear, Apple isn’t going to leave you stranded.




15 minutes

What You Need

  • A pair of Apple AirPods or AirPods Pro

Replacing busted or missing AirPods, AirPods Pro, and their charging cases is handled by the company’s support team, and we’ve made this guide to help you kick-start the process.

How much do replacements cost?

Apple's AirPods true wireless design makes them compact and easy to take with you, but it also makes it easier to misplace one of the pieces. If you’ve lost or damaged an AirPod or its charging case for good, here’s what it will cost to replace each component from Apple. Bear in mind you may be able to find cheaper prices at third-party retailers:


  • AirPods Pro 1st and 2nd generation: $89

  • AirPods 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation: $69


  • MagSafe charging case for AirPods Pro 1st and 2nd generation: $99

  • MagSafe charging case for AirPods 3rd generation: $69

  • Lightning charging case for AirPods 3rd generation: $69

  • Wireless charging case for AirPods 2nd generation and earlier: $79

  • Wireless charging case for AirPods Pro 1st generation: $99

  • Charging case for AirPods 2nd generation and earlier: $59

Apple AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C and MagSafe review
Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

How to get a replacement

Apple makes it extremely easy to replace a single AirPod, a pair of AirPods, AirPods ear tips, charging cases, as well as AirPods Max items.

Here's a step-by-step overview of the replacement process.

Step 1: Begin by making sure that you are signed in to your Apple account with the correct ID. Then navigate to this support page.

Steps for how to replace lost or missing AirPods.
Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends

Step 2: Once here, select Lost or Missing AirPods to open up an additional menu screen.

Steps for how to replace lost or missing AirPods.
Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends

Step 3: On this screen, you can choose to replace a lost AirPod, replace the charging case, or even replace damaged AirPods Pro eartips. For this guide, let’s assume you want to replace a single AirPod Pro. Once you select the product you want to replace, you'll start the process to Order a Replacement. At this point, click Get started.

Steps for how to replace lost or missing AirPods – get started.
Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends

Step 4: If you're logged in to your Apple account, you'll see all your devices, including your AirPods if they're registered. If you don't see them, you can simply enter the serial number for the AirPods. Once they're located, select the left or right AirPod you want to replace and select Continue.

How to replace AirPods.
Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends

Step 5: Next, you'll see the estimated price for the replacement. Fill out all the shipping information and additional details and complete the transaction.

Screen shot of AppleCare for AirPods.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Replacing components under warranties or AppleCare+

So, what if you still have all of the parts, but something’s not working correctly? Thankfully, Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Pro are protected by a one-year warranty.

Service for any AirPods with diminished battery capacity or a defective battery within this time frame will be free. Battery problem maintenance that falls outside this one-year warranty period, however, will run you $49 for each broken AirPod or $98 for the pair. A replacement AirPods charging case will cost you $49. If you need to replace the battery for your AirPods Max headphones, you'll be spending $79.

If you’re the kind of person who values peace of mind, you might want to subscribe to AppleCare+. For two years of coverage on AirPods, AirPods Pro and Beats, it'll run you $29, and $59 for AirPods Max, and you can add it up to 60 days after you buy them.

AppleCare+ caps replacement fees and covers some repairs. With an AppleCare+ plan, the new replacement fees are as follows:

  • AirPods Pro 1st and 2nd generation: $29

  • Charging case for AirPods Pro 1st and 2nd generation (MagSafe and Wireless): $29

  • AirPods 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation: $29

  • All charging cases for AirPods 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation: $29

When it comes to repairing damaged components, AppleCare+ gives you unlimited accidental damage coverage for the two years you have the plan. Do keep in mind though that every time you create a claim and send your product in to Apple, you'll be charged a repair fee of $29, on top of the $29 (or $59) you already paid for the AppleCare+ plan.

A person listening to the Apple AirPods Max.
Riley Young / Digital Trends

What about AirPods Max?

The AirPods Max — Apple’s pair of over-ear headphones — are a singular unit, meaning replacing or repairing them is more straightforward.

If you have the $59, two-year AppleCare+, every AirPods Max repair will cost you $29. This should also cover replacements, if necessary. You also can choose to only replace the AirPods Max ear cushion if necessary, which is useful if an ear cushion tears. If you don’t have AppleCare+, you’ll have to call or chat and ask for specific replacement prices in your region.

However, there is one significant caveat for replacing the AirPods Max under warranty: By default, new ear cushions are not included. This means you either need to keep the cushions from your previous pair or buy/replace new cushions for your new model.

Apple AirPods Pro Second Gen charging case with USB-C.
Caleb Denison / Digital Trends

Can I upgrade my charging case?

Apple introduced a new feature to its AirPod Pro Gen 2: USB-C charging! Of course, this means that newer versions of the MagSafe case ditch the Lightning port in favor of the latest USB standard.

Fortunately, the company is letting owners of the MagSafe Lightning case upgrade to the USB-C model, which includes improved UWB location tracking and an IP54 rating for dust and water protection. The cost to do so is $99.

It’s also important to mention that Apple no longer offers replacement AirPods Pro Gen 2 cases with Lightning. So if your original case becomes lost or damaged, you’ll have to upgrade to a USB-C model.

AirPods from Podswap.

Using third-party services

Apple Support isn't the only place you can turn when looking for an AirPods replacement, especially if you want to save some money. There are several third-party resellers of refurbished AirPod replacements, with one of the standouts being TheRightOne. The site offers refurbished replacements for single AirPods, AirPods Pro, and charging cases in a range of generations, as well as replacements for Beats and Samsung Galaxy Buds products, too. Prices are reasonably, too, with a single replacement AirPods Pro (1st gen) costing around $65 compared to Apple's $89.

All of its products are clean, sanitized, reconditioned, and thoroughly tested, according to its website. Snagging yourself a replacement is as easy as browsing, searching, and buying online. TheRightOne also offers a 60-day warranty and 30-day return period of there happens to be an issue.

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