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Should you get AppleCare+ for your AirPods?

 

Choosing whether or not to get AppleCare+ for your AirPods can be a tough decision. While you’d probably like to protect your expensive earbuds, you might be hesitant to spend more money on an already pricey purchase. If you're thinking "isn’t that what regular AppleCare is for?," read on. We’ll take a deep dive into AppleCare for AirPods, what’s covered (and what isn't), how it compares to AppleCare+, and whether or not an extended warranty is worth it for you.

What is AppleCare and what does it cover?

With the purchase of any Apple products, you receive a standard, limited product warranty called AppleCare. For many Apple products, including AirPods, standard AppleCare provides 90 days of technical support and one year of hardware repair coverage. This includes replacing, refunding, or repairing AirPods that have inherent hardware issues or defects that occurred during the manufacturing process.

 While this sounds beneficial (and it can be), there are many common circumstances that you might not realize will not be covered by standard AppleCare. You'll be on your own if the damage falls into these categories:

  • Accidental wear and tear: AppleCare does not cover accidental wear and tear on your AirPods and charging case. What exactly does that mean? Example: your pet chews one of your AirPods or you accidentally wash them in the pocket of your jeans, you’ll have to pay the full repair or replacement fee. 
  • Physical damage to the AirPods or charging case: While standard AppleCare covers internal hardware issues and manufacturing defects, it doesn’t cover any damage that occurs to the exterior of the AirPods or charging case.

Let's be honest - if something is going to happen to your AirPods, it will more than likely fall into the accidental 'user-error' category that is not covered by AppleCare. If this sounds like you (and everyone else that owns AirPods), you may want to consider an extended warranty.

So what is AppleCare+?

AppleCare+ is an extended warranty option that increases both the length and extent of your coverage. While AppleCare is a standard, limited warranty included when you purchase your AirPods, AppleCare+ extends your warranty for two years from the purchase date and provides coverage for many of the circumstances that standard AppleCare does not. Check out this article for more information. 

What does AppleCare+ cover?

Here’s a breakdown of AppleCare+ for AirPods and what the coverage includes:

  • Extended warranty: Extends your warranty to two years from the time you purchase AppleCare+. AppleCare+ can be purchased anytime within one year of your AirPods purchase. 
  • Accidental damage: While standard AppleCare offers a one year warranty on hardware defects but no coverage for wear and tear, AppleCare+ coverage does. While you still won’t get free repairs with AppleCare+, chances are good you’ll save money if something happens to your AirPods. AppleCare+ allows you to repair your AirPods (or AirPod charging case) for $29 per incident with no limit on the number of claims. FYI: Repair fees can range from $59 to $89 per incident when they are incurred outside of warranty.
  • Battery replacement: If your charging case holds less than 80% of its original charging capacity, with AppleCare+, Apple will replace or repair it for free. 
  • Priority customer service: With AppleCare+, you’ll have 24/7 access to priority Apple customer service for help with installation or other questions you may have about your device.

What doesn’t AppleCare+ cover?

While AppleCare+ covers accidental damage and physical wear and tear, if your AirPods or charging case are stolen or lost, unfortunately you’re on your own. Per AppleCare Support, "You can buy a replacement for a left or right AirPod or the Charging Case. Your replacement will be new. AppleCare+ for Headphones does not cover lost or stolen AirPods."

In other words, with AppleCare+ you’re not insured for complete replacement coverage, only for certain damages. Theft and loss is not covered.

How much does AppleCare+ cost?

The cost of AppleCare+ depends on the product you have. For AirPods, AirPods Pro and Beats, two years of coverage costs $29. For AirPods Max, two years of coverage costs $59. While most repairs covered by AppleCare+ are covered at $29 per incident, for the AirPods Max, the price may be higher depending on the claim. This is an example of why it's always important to read the fine print when it comes to coverage details and hidden fees. If the upfront price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

It’s important to note that the coverage period starts when you purchase the AppleCare+ plan, not when your standard AppleCare warranty expires.

Are there other warranty options besides AppleCare+?

Yes. If you’re undecided about AppleCare+, it’s smart to explore other warranty options. Companies offer comparable product coverage that is often more competitively priced than AppleCare+, and provides better overall coverage. With MulberryCare, you'll get the same coverage free for the first year or at a fraction of the cost for an extended warranty. For the AirPods Max, you can get 3 years of MulberryCare coverage for $32.99 (compared to 2 years of AppleCare+ coverage for $59). You'll also pay zero deductible and there is no limit on the number of claims. Sound too good to be true? Here's how Mulberry is able to save you so much money.

MulberryCare warranties are available through the free Mulberry browser extension, where you’ll get access to 1 year of free product protection. You'll also be able to see your coverage options for extended terms, like the 3 year plan for the AirPods Max.

Is an extended warranty worth it for your AirPods?

Ultimately, whether or not you should invest in an extended warranty like AppleCare+ or MulberryCare depends on you and your lifestyle. If you're accident prone, frequently on the go, or tend to be rougher on your belongings, investing in an extended warranty like AppleCare+ will probably save you money in the long run.

If you’re extremely careful with your things, don't have pets, kids or friends around that might jeopardize the life of your AirPods, don't take your AirPods out of the house, or you aren’t worried about paying full price for replacement AirPods, the standard AppleCare warranty will probably satisfy your needs. For the 99% of us that don't fit into this category, install the Mulberry browser extension and check out your options.

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Kim Miller

About the author

Kim Miller is the Head of Consumer Marketing at Mulberry. She is passionate about building products and brands that make consumers happy, save them money and make their lives easier. Have an innovative idea for Mulberry you'd like to share? Give her a shout! She'd love to chat about anything from fintech and UX to gardening and antiquing.

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