Ever find yourself asking – how do I know which AirPods I have? Don’t worry. You’re not alone – many AirPods owners have asked the same question on the Internet. That’s because unlike different versions of iPhones or iPods that have different sizes and designs, all versions of AirPods seem to look alike.
Differentiating them by merely glancing at them is difficult. They all look like white-colored wireless earbuds in stylish, all-white cases. How to tell which Generation of AirPods you own? Let’s discuss the nitty-gritty of these Apple products & find out how to differentiate between them.
Do you have a particular question about knowing which AirPods you have? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
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When Did AirPods Come Out?
Imagine starting a company in the ultra-competitive consumer tech industry. Imagine that within three years, your newly established company will generate more revenue than Spotify, Shopify, Snapchat, & Twitter combined. That’s exactly what Apple did with AirPods. These wearables were initially launched as iPhone 7 & 7+ Plus accessories in September 2016.
The Apple AirPods first gen went ‘viral’ pretty quickly. By 2019, Apple had launched AirPods Pro – an improved version of the first-gen model. Of course, by then, Apple was already raking in more than $7 billion in annual revenue from AirPods sales.
Type of Apple AirPods
Apple currently sells 4 different types of AirPods:
- AirPods 2nd-Generation (the entry-level product in this segment)
- AirPods 3rd-Generation (mid-range)
- AirPods Pro 2nd-Generation (with noise-canceling features)
- AirPods Max (“over-ear” headphones)
The first three products on this list are designed to fit right inside your ear canal. They’re called “in-ear monitors,” & they provide immersive listening experiences. The AirPods Max models are “over-ear” headphones designed to cover your entire ear. You can also purchase the original AirPods Pro from third-party websites (Apple doesn’t sell them directly anymore).
Here are some more versions of AirPods that the company doesn’t sell anymore:
- Apple AirPods Gen 1
- AirPods (2nd generation)
- AirPods Pro (1st generation)
When Did AirPods Generation 2 Come Out?
AirPods Generation 2 came out on March 20, 2019. The key difference between first-generation and second-generation AirPods is that the latter features the H1 chip. It also offered hands-free voice command (“Hey Siri”) support.
How to Tell if You Have AirPods 1 or 2?
There are several ways to differentiate between AirPods 1 & 2. Here are the simplest ways to do so.
Step 1: Identify AirPods Model Number
How to Find AirPod Model Number?
There are two ways to detect your AirPods’ model number. You can either do it from your iPhone settings:
- Pair your iPhone and your AirPods
- Go to the Settings app
- Select Bluetooth
- From the list of connected devices, identify your paired AirPods.
- Tap on the “More Info” icon (look for an “I” sign)
- The tab that opens will display the model number
You can also inspect the underside of each AirPod to find the model number imprinted on them. Once you find out the model number, use the following list to determine which version of AirPods you own. Some AirPods feature two model numbers – one for the right and one for the left:
- AirPods 1st Generation: AirPods A1722, AirPods A1523
- AirPods 2nd Generation: AirPods A2031, AirPods A2032
- AirPods 3rd Generation: AirPods A2564, AirPods A2565
- AirPods Max: AirPods A2096
- AirPods Pro 1st Generation: AirPods A2084, AirPods A2083
- AirPods Pro 2nd Generation: AirPods A2698, AirPods A2699, AirPods A2931
The AirPod 2nd generation model number is A2031 & A2032. If you find these numbers imprinted on your right/left AirPods – your AirPods are 2nd Generation. The same applies to the other models on this list. But what if you don’t find your model number on this list? For example, Apple A1722 is the model number of 1st Generation AirPods.
We didn’t mention that on this list because Apple no longer sells that model. Thankfully, checking the model number isn’t the only way to identify AirPods. Here are some other ways of doing so.
Step 2: Assess Your AirPods Serial Number
To find out your AirPods serial number, see the numbers imprinted on the underside of your AirPods case. Then visit Apple’s service coverage page. Enter the serial number here to see your AirPods’ model/generation-related details & their warranty status.
Step 3: Assess Your AirPods’ Charging Case
There are many differences between AirPods 1 and 2 charging cases. For example, in standard AirPods 1 charging cases, the status light is on the inside. In wireless AirPods 2 charging cases, the status light is on the outside, on the front of the charging case. Here’s a good video depicting the visual differences between different AirPods charging cases.
If that’s not enough, you can check your AirPods charging case’s model number & serial number & confirm your suspicions regarding what AirPods you have. To get these numbers flip open your AirPods charging case and detect the numbers underneath the lid. Then, use the following list to match your finding:
- AirPods (1st & 2nd generation) Model Number: A1602 (Lightning Charging Case)
- AirPods (1st & 2nd generation) Model Number: A1938 (Wireless Charging Case)
- AirPods (3rd generation) Model Number: A2897 (Lightning Charging Case)
- AirPods (3rd generation) Model Number: A2566 (Mag-Safe Charging Case)
- AirPods Pro Charging Case Model Number: A2190
- AirPods Pro 2nd generation Mag-Safe Charging Case Model Number: A2700
Check the serial number imprinted on your charging case to confirm your findings. Match your findings with this list:
- AirPods Pro Charging Case Serial Number: 0C6L or LKKT (The serial number will end with either of these two numbers)
- AirPods Pro Mag-Safe Charging Case Serial Number: 1059 or 1NRC (The serial number will end with either of these two numbers)
How to Check AirPod Generation?
There needs to be one right way to check what Generation of AirPods you own. There are many. Use all the techniques mentioned on this list to confirm the true identity of your AirPods. Review their model numbers, serial numbers, charging cases, and visual/design features.
After all these assessments, you can pinpoint which Generation of AirPods you own. Use this guide to answer the question “How do I know which AirPods I have?” once & for all!
Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.
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