Are the Apple AirPods Max Good for the Gym?


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So I got these Apple AirPods Max a few months ago, they’re a feature packed over the ear headphone. They look and sound great and I’d say that they’re probably my favorite headphones. 

But something I’ve been asked is whether it’s a good idea to wear them in the gym.

So I’m gonna use this video to explore and show you whether they perform well in the gym environment and whether it makes sense to use these in the gym.

I know they aren’t designed to be sports headphones at all – I get it.

I’m just looking to find out if the average person can get away with using them in the gym without causing them permanent damage, causing you harm and also without voiding the warranty on them, because I hope none of you ever know the pain of getting an Apple item fixed that isn’t covered under warranty that has broken because of your own wrongdoing!

So let me say this as well, I’m not telling you to do any of these things. If you void the warranty on your headphones while you’re in the gym, I’m not responsible (lol). Do so at your own risk!

I bought these with my own money, no third party has paid me for this review and without further ado let’s get down to it. 

I’m gonna go through the main questions you would need to ask to figure out whether these are actually practical to be used in a gym. 

So I’ve got my pair here and I’m gonna test them out.

Apple AirPods Max Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
  • IMPRESSIVE AUDIO QUALITY — Apple-designed dynamic driver provides high-fidelity audio. Contains Apple's H1 chip and software for breakthrough listening experiences.
  • FOCUS ON WHAT’S PLAYING — The active Noise Cancellation blocks outside noise so you can immerse yourself in music a lot better.
  • PERSONALIZED SPATIAL AUDIO — With sound that suits your unique ear shape along with dynamic head tracking, AirPods Max deliver an immersive listening experience that places sound all around you.
  • LONG BATTERY LIFE — Up to 20 hours of listening with Noise Cancellation and Personalized Spatial Audio enabled.

Brief Overview 

Are the Apple AirPods Max Good for the Gym 1

So the AirPods Max are Apple’s first-ever professional over-ear headphones. The components inside are of a very high quality and the sound quality you get out of them is really impressive. 

I own a lot of headphones and earbuds that I’ve used over the years both doing reviews on this channel and just being a person who loves good sound quality these are probably in my top two favourites just because they do everything so well. Not to mention, the noise cancelling on them is really impressive.

But as you probably know, they’re not cheap, they’re headphones I really take good care of, so I don’t wear mine in the gym at all. 

Are the Apple AirPods Max Good for the Gym?

It’s never even been an idea I’ve entertained in the slightest.

I currently use my AirPods Pro earbuds when I’m in the gym

Another thing I really like about them is that they can double up as wired headphones too. You of course need to pay extra for this luxury by buying an extra cable, but it’s always good to know you have that option if they run out of battery power on a long journey.

But I’m not going to focus on how much I like the sound quality or what features they have. I’m solely gonna focus on using these in the gym. 

So let’s get down to the first question. 

Are the Apple AirPods Pro Sweatproof?

Are the Apple AirPods Max Good for the Gym 1

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about headphones you wear in the gym is whether they can handle sweat. I’ve got wireless over-ear headphones that I’ve literally had for years that aren’t advertised as gym or sports headphones BUT I’ve worn them in the gym and sweated in them without any problems at all, also worn them on rainy days and they’ve been fine. 

“These AirPods Max are not sweat-resistant or waterproof in any way.” 

I wore them for about an hour of cardio 3 times in a week and they did get somewhat sweaty, but the performance wasn’t hindered in any way. 

I’ve sweated quite a bit with these and they still function. I think you’d get away with it for a while,  but I’m not sure they’ll maintain this ability for the long term. 

I think that in the long term, they would be likely to malfunction if you wear them for sweaty cardio sessions on a regular basis. 

I think whether a headphone that isn’t labelled as sweatproof malfunctions due to moisture damage or not comes down to the build. Some headphones have cushioning that is thick enough to absorb and not enable the user’s sweat to even reach the electronics, another factor that CAN play a part is how much the user sweats in his or her head too..

The cushioning on the AirPods Max is designed to be breathable and comfortable for the user, but it isn’t designed to be moisture-wicking or anything like that. So they aren’t going to handle sweat very well.

Can You Wear AirPods Max In The Sauna?

This may sound like a silly question, but many people ask it. And the answer is, no. I wore them in the sauna and after ten minutes the sound quality diminished.

The sound quality began to diminish quite badly and they became very hot, obviously not a good idea. 

After I took them out and turned them off for about an hour they were fine. But still, not a good idea.

I definitely would not recommend wearing these in a sauna or a steam room. I feel like you may get away with it a few times, but the components are not designed to work optimally at high temperatures.

I’ve not opened them up and seen the component makeup inside, but there might even be glue inside holding some parts together that 125-degree sauna heat could loosen up over time and render these headphones useless. 

Can You Wear AirPods Max In The Shower?

Are the Apple AirPods Max Good for the Gym 1

I’ve never really been a fan of wearing headphones in the shower, I know some people do and I know that a lot of headphones today have waterproof ability, but It’s not something I personally do. I personally prefer to use a wireless speaker.

The answer is, no, you can’t wear them in the shower because they’d be likely to stop working.

I didn’t test them in the shower because I knew what would happen.

They are not labelled as being waterproof or rainproof in any way – if you want to keep the sound quality at its best, just don’t do it.

I believe if you pay extra you can get a warranty for Applecare liquid damage, but that doesn’t mean you should wear them in the shower

If your heart is set on over-ear headphones, below I’ve suggested 3 alternative headphones that perform really well in the gym. So do check them out.

Watch the Full Review

Do The AirPods Max Stay On Your Head When Working Out?

This is a common question usually asked when it comes to earbuds, of course there’s more opportunity for a small earbud to fall out and get lost. I’ve tested quite a few of them on this channel.

Over-ear headphones like these AirPods Max are of course going to stay on your head A LOT better than an earbud would. So I wouldn’t even worry about the possibility of them falling off your head. It would take a lot of unnatural movement to get these off your head. 

Are the Apple AirPods Max Good for the Gym 1

There are a few moves that could make them fall off your head, maybe if you’re using battle ropes or if you’re doing anything that requires you to raise your arms over your head quite fast like maybe medicine ball slams or even pull-ups could make them fall off your head. 

But during my workouts, I was completely fine. They fit snugly and did not cause any concern at all.

I even ‘skinned the cat’ on the Olympic rings and hung upside down to see if they would shift or feel like they were about to slip off, and they didn’t at all. So top marks for that, but honestly, I didn’t expect them to fall off. 

Wrap-up and Alternatives

Main Strength
Noise Cancelling
jabra 85t 500 1
Jabra Elite 85h
Check Prices
Main Strength
Super long battery life.
Noise Cancelling
philips 500 1
Philips A4216
Check Prices
Main Strength
Great budget option.
Noise Cancelling
treblab Z2 1
Check Prices
Main Strength
Comfortable fit.
Noise Cancelling

I genuinely think these are great-sounding headphones, there’s no denying that.

 But when it comes to wearing these for working out, I personally don’t think it’s a good idea.

Their not being sweatproof or waterproof is a big deal and water ingress can make them stop working. 

In comparison, I know they are not over-ear headphones, but my AirPods Pro earbuds have performed pretty well and they’ve handled rain and sweat without losing their functionality so I’d recommend them as a better option for headphones to wear in the gym.

If your heart is set on an over-ear pair of headphones, instead of the AirPods Max as mentioned in the description below, I’ve suggested 3 top picks that I think would be more suitable alternatives.

So go check them out before you pull the trigger on these AirPods Max.

Do you wear AirPods Max in the gym? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


Avatar of Stuart Patrick
Stuart Patrick
Stuart Patrick is a health and fitness lifestyle journalist who writes for ListedFit.com.

“I've spent a lot of time trying to get in shape and change my body and I realised there are so many untruths in the health and fitness industry that can slow down or stop your progress, so I share my knowledge and experience to help others to cut through the BS.”

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