The sauna or steam rooms have a plethora of benefits that have been enjoyed for decades, such as helping to relax muscles, cleanse the body from harmful chemicals, and boost blood circulation using heat or steam. If you are reading this, you might be enjoying many of these benefits.
Or perhaps, you are a beginner. There might be many questions about the sauna experience at this stage, and one of them relates to music. Some people just can’t live without music and takes it with them wherever they go. That means a hot, steamy sauna in our case.
We know that many of you audiophiles have one question on your mind: can you wear Airpods in a sauna or steam room? The answer is definitely no. The company does not recommend using Airpods in extremely hot environments like a sauna or steam room as they are only IPX4 rated for sweat and water resistance, with a safe operating temperature range of 0º to 35º C (32º to 95º F).
Read on to learn more about why you should avoid using Airpods in a sauna or steam room, as well as some of the other risks associated with doing so. This information also holds true if you consider other major earbuds by JBL, Jabra, Beats, and Bose.
Can You Use Apple AirPods in the Wet Saunas or Steam Room?
Before using any electronic device you must have an idea of how the steam room or wet saunas works. There are two elements involved in a sauna: Heat and moisture. Both are dangerous for electronics, especially earbuds which have sensitive circuits.
Let’s have a look at how a sauna works:
A sauna usually involves a room heated by hot rocks or an electric stove, along with a wooden bench for sitting on. Steam is created from water poured over the hot rocks, which helps to increase the temperature and humidity in the room.
The purpose is mainly to make you sweat, and sweat profusely as it helps to flush toxins from the body, reduce inflammation, and improve circulation as described earlier.
The operating temperature of a wet sauna is very high at 150°F and 195°F, whereas for steam rooms, it is considerably lower at 110 to 120°F.
Due to lots of moisture and heat in the steam rooms, any Electronic device could be at risk of melting, getting damaged, or even worse; exploding from overheating (we are definitely exaggerating here). Apart from that, there is a potential for a fungal infection inside your ears.
Just like any other reputable brand Apple provides guidance on temperatures for all its products. This includes AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max which states that they shouldn’t be used in environments exceeding 35 degrees Celsius (95°F).
You can see the differences. Surely, if you can push your pair a little, but do it at your own risk. We would not recommend you wear your AirPods in a steam room or sauna, or any other environment that does not satisfy the manufacturer’s specifications.
What about Airpods Pro, aren’t they WaterProof?
Are AirPods Pro Series waterproof? The answer is No, AirPods are not waterproof, rather they are water resistant. The 3rd generation and Pro series have been designed to tolerate exposure to sweat and water. Your AirPods can probably handle a little bit of moisture but you should try to avoid exposing them to water on purpose.
However, the original AirPods, AirPods(2nd gen), and AirPods Max are not waterproof nor they are water-resistant. So you should never expose them to water/ moisture. If your AirPods come into contact with water accidentally, the best way to clean them is by using a soft, lint-free cloth and then letting them dry naturally.
Even with the water-resistant Airpods Pro, you shouldn’t perform the following activities:
- Using them while showering.
- Take them into a hot tub, sauna, or steam room.
- Wearing them in heavy rain.
Keep in mind that water resistance doesn’t remain the same during the entire life cycle of the Airpods. The seal deteriorates with time, use and damage.
However, if you have recently bought them, you might want to take the chance with the water-resistance seal by wearing your AirPods in the sauna. Many want to test the limits under the impression that the warranty will cover everything. There is a catch.
According to Apple’s Warranty Policy, the regular one-year warranty doesn’t cover any physical damage like water damage or overheating.
Therefore, you should avoid wearing your AirPods in extremely hot environments like a sauna or steam room since they can get damaged and there is no warranty that would cover them.
Can you use Apple AirPods in the dry sauna or Infrared Sauna?
You eliminate the chances of moisture penetration by switching to a dry sauna, but the high temperature remains your problem. Plus, there is also a risk of static shock.
In the dry sauna, the air around you heats up first, and then it raises the temperature of your body. The dry, hot air is highly likely to build up static electricity on the Airpods. The metallic construction of the Airpods makes it a good conductor, hence the chance of getting a static shock is very high.
You can try an anti-static spray, or anti-static lotion to mitigate the risk of these shocks, but there is no practical solution for the temperature.
In the case of an infrared sauna, the situation is very different. Here as the name suggests the infrared radiation from the heater directly heats up your body, and the surrounding environment remains at the ambient temperature.
If these radiations are not focused on your face, theoretically there is no harm in using the Airpods. But long exposure to direct infrared radiation has been linked to the damage of electronic devices, so there is still some risk involved.
You might be wondering what exactly happens to the Airpods when they overheat. Let’s find out.
What Happens when Airpods Get too hot?
Exposing any electronic device to a high temperature than officially recommended, especially, for an extended period can damage it, and AirPods are no different. There are several things that could go wrong with the AirPods, but the most common and major damage is battery performance.
It has been observed that when AirPods are used in hot conditions, their battery performance reduces significantly. This effect can be temporary or permanent, as Apple uses tiny lithium-ion battery cells inside their Airpods which are more susceptible to loss of capacity when they overheat.
Also, when AirPods overheat, they may become completely unresponsive or there may be a perceptible lag in sound. In extreme cases, the AirPods get damaged beyond repair.
Is there any dedicated earbuds for Sauna?
The most straightforward answer to this is negative. There are no earbuds that have been designed or endorsed for use in a sauna specifically. There are several models that satisfy the criteria of humidity protection and are also reliable to some extent, however, the heat factor still remains a concern which makes most companies reluctant to give their earbuds sauna-proof status.
However, if still want to use earbuds in a sauna then look for ones with solid build quality, and water and dust protection. Plus, the exposure time in the sauna should be limited to 15-20 minutes for safety reasons.
There are many tinkerers who tried wearing their earbuds in a sauna, and their experience suggests that if you stick with the above criteria, most earbuds are able to survive in a sauna, especially if it’s an infrared one.
We would suggest you invest money in a decent Bluetooth speaker from JBL, UltimateEars, or any other reputable brand, that offers passable water resistance. Keep the speaker out of the sauna room if there is little risk of your speaker getting lost or stolen.
Airpods and Sauna might be the two best things in your life, but they don’t get along. Saunas no matter if they are dry, steam, or infrared have two ultimate enemies of Airpods (or any electronic device): Heat and Moisture.
Well, you can somehow deal with the steam with the water resistance you get in the latest Airpods Generation and Pro Series, the high temperature in the sauna is always there to do the damage. We can only wish for sauna-proof headphones or earbuds at this stage, but then, technology moves at a breakneck speed these days.