Do Airpods Emit Radiation? I have spent many hours of research to give you the best answer in this article.
The quick answer is:
Apple’s AirPods and other wireless headphones are connected through Bluetooth and do emit small amounts of radio-frequency radiation.
The Airpods from Apple have been a revelation in terms of technological innovation.
The sleek looks combined with the sophisticated tech makes it a must-have for any tech enthusiasts and especially those who are already in the Apple ecosystem.
And let’s be honest here – it’s a wonderful gadget. It’s way more comfortable, is compatible with the Apple Watch, has an impressive battery life, and most importantly, is phenomenal in music playback.
However, not everything is as rosy as it seems.
As soon as they came out in late 2016, there were scientists speculating about the safety of its use from a radiation standpoint.
Airpods are designed to be completely wireless which means there is a cesspool of radiation around it while it is connected to your phone.
Airpods are connected through Bluetooth (What Is The Side Effects Of Bluetooth Radiation), therefore the RF signals are quite prominent.
Also, you have to consider the fact that as soon as the Airpods and your phone are paired, they keep sending signals back and forth all the time, even when you’re not listening to music, thus creating a massive radiation bubble.
The worry that scientists have about Airpods is that since it is in such close proximity to the head, long term exposure can be detrimental to human health.
There are several facets to this argument and we will analyze it in detail later in this article, however, it is important first to address how wireless earphones work so that we can better understand what challenges the Airpods pose for us.
Here are the best radiation-free headphones available online today
- DefenderShield® EMF Radiation-Free Air Tube Earbud Headphones
- Air Tube Over-Ear Headphones
- Kids Air Tube Headphones
Find the top 10 EMF Radiation Myths Debunked right here.
The advent of wireless earphones.
The first consumer Bluetooth launched in 1999. (What Is The Side Effects Of Bluetooth Radiation).
It was a hands-free mobile headset that earned the technology the “Best of Show Technology Award” at COMDEX.
Wireless earphones are all the rage now. Apple came out with the Airpods in late 2016, there has been a surge of wireless headphone sales all across the world.
The impact is so prominent that it has forced other major cell phone manufacturers like Samsung and OnePlus to jump on the wireless bandwagon and start producing their own iterations of the Airpods.
The proprietary device from Apple can only be used with iPhones and iPads leaving a huge swathe of Android users uncatered to.
This is where the other manufactures come in and capitalize on the demand.
Apple is a trillion-dollar company that invests heavily in testing and R&D. However, not the same can be said about all other manufacturers out there offering wireless earphones.
Apple complies with regulation and has high standards that it expects the products to meet before shipping them out to customers.
However, it is imprudent to believe that a small company in China would be so enthusiastic about rigorous quality control.
Therefore, we must realize that not all wireless earphones available in the market are the same and some are far more dangerous than others.
An Airpod knockoff can do far more damage in terms of radiation than an original Apple product and therefore we must be wise about the earphones we choose to invest in.
How wireless earphones work.
The traditional way an earphone works is by having the song fed into the earpieces through the wires electronically where they get decoded and converted into the frequency that we perceive as sound (and thus music).
Wireless earphones miss out on a key component in this jigsaw – the wires. Therefore it has to be dependent on a tertiary medium to get the encoded song to the earpiece. Most commonly it is achieved by Bluetooth.
A Bluetooth connection is basically a closed local network between two devices.
That network can be used to do a variety of things including transferring files and accessing status information. Wireless earphones do just that.
They connect to your phone and then stage your phone to send small packets of encoded information (basically a chunk of the song in a sequential manner) which then decodes and converts into frequency for our listening pleasure.
It goes through this cycle over and over again until the song stops playing.
Now the most logical thing would be to assume that once playback is finished, all data transfers between your Airpods and your phone will cease, right?
Wrong! Since the device needs to be ready to playback songs as soon as you press play, it has to be prepared always for the next playback command.
The Airpods achieve this by a set of regular pings to your phone. Pinging is basically the Airpods asking the phone if it needs to do something and then executing that command.
This is where things get tricky with wireless earphones.
This continuous connection means a steady flow of EMF radiation from your Airpods.
Since we plug them onto our ears and it is in such proximity to the head, it is quite scary to imagine what would happen if that radiation affected us.
How dangerous are the Airpods?
The answer to this is multi-faceted. There is no doubt that Airpods emit a large amount of radiation to keep up with whatever you’re doing over on your phone.
However, the main worry that scientists have is the closeness of the device to your head.
Add to the fact that it directly touches the skin, we are actually being subjected to the full radiation spectrum that it emits.
Airpods emit in the microwave frequency range, same as cell phones and WiFi signals.
The fact that they have access to our ear canals means that the soft tissues inside are subjected to intense RF radiation.
While RF radiation isn’t life-threatening, they aren’t anything to scoff at either.
RF radiation can cause serious damage over the long term and that is specifically what many have been worried about.
However, no studies could be conducted to check for the degree of accuracy of these claims since they only came out four years ago and you need to observe for at least 10 years before you can substantively claim health risks that these devices may pose.
You can check the radiation from all household electronics including earbud with an EMF meter.
RF Radiation from AirPods explained.
Can Airpods cause cancer?
There isn’t much difference between Bluetooth radiation and other EMF radiations.
That being said, Bluetooth radiations are microwaves and scientists can’t claim with certainty that they are completely harmless.
A controlled study done by UCLA showed that it is possible for electromagnetic waves to alter human DNA in a way that could be seriously detrimental to us.
They concluded the study by suggesting limiting our exposure to such devices as a result. There is no evidence that directly links brain tumors and cancer that is caused by radiation of this kind.
However, in full disclosure, there haven’t been enough studies done to disprove anything.
Scientists mostly agree that this may be a possibility, however, due to the lack of enough studies, they hesitate to say that there is conclusive evidence supporting the fact that EMF radiation can alter DNA.
We do have evidence that EMF radiation is harmful to rats. The National Toxicology Program ran a test in 2017 to find out that most rats when exposed to long stretches of EMF radiation, developed heart tumors.
There is also some evidence pointing to the fact that it leads to brain tumors as well.
However, just because it happened to rats in a controlled environment does not mean it will happen with humans too.
The dangers of using Airpods.
Although we do not have substantial evidence to prove EMF radiation from the Airpods can cause life-threatening harm, listed below are the possible ways it could, given enough research being done on that area:
- Skin protein level alteration.
Radiation from Airpods can significantly alter skin protein levels if used regularly.
A study done in 2018 found that when subjects were exposed to cell phone radiation for one hour each day for a duration of 30 days, their skins tested positive for abnormal shifts in protein levels.
Out of the 580 different protein strains analyzed, the scientists found that two were severely affected.
A study done by MIT in 2018 found that one in five Americans use (or have used) wireless earphones.
Assuming an average music playback of two hours each day, we can only imagine the level of damage people have been doing to their skin.
- Possible brain damage.
Studies done on mice have shown microwaves (as emitted by some wireless earphones) to be powerful enough to impair neurons in the brain.
Of the 100 mice used for the experiment, 80% showed signs of impairment, with a lack of judgment and clarity being the most common.
Scientists also found that if affected a large portion of the brain including the cortex and hippocampus.
Of course, this is not to say that the same will be true for humans, however, more studies need to be done for us to be really sure of the ill effects of such radiation.
- Mutations in the DNA.
Several studies done over the years have confirmed that subjecting human cells to cell phone radiation causes the cells to have more and more amplified breaks in the DNA structure.
It is so widespread after regular exposure that the cells just aren’t able to fix each break thus increasing the chances of those mutated cells to become cancerous down the line.
Safeguarding against emissions from Airpods.
Outlined below are a few steps that you can take to make sure you limit your emission exposure to as little as possible.
- Remove your Airpods once you’re done.
With wireless earphones, people often tend to keep them on regardless of whether it’s playing music or not.
This is a terrible idea since you are exposing yourself to a whole bunch of radiation that you could have very well done without.
Once you’re done listening to your music, remove them from your ear, place them in the container they come in and then store them away.
There is no need for you to keep them on your body beyond their use and you should be proactive in taking care of this.
- Try not to take calls in closed-off spaces while on Airpods.
Cell phones will often find it difficult to find an optimum network in closed spaces and therefore start blasting EMF radiation on full power in an effort to connect to a nearby network.
Your Airpods too would need to keep up with it and fire up its own radiation levels to match that of your phone.
In all of this, you will be left with the constant bombardment of radiation that is absolutely terrible for you.
- Take out your Airpods at regular intervals.
Even if you’re working, remember to always take out your Airpods to give a rest to your ear canals.
Your ear canals are designed to gather sound and blocking the canal suffocates it, causing pain and discomfort.
This is not ideal since your ear can develop infections because of this which needs intensive care and are difficult to get rid of.
- Try using wired earphones.
Wired earphones are great and the best part is, they don’t emit any radiation! I have an article about the best ones here. Airtube Headphones – How They Work And Best One To Buy.
Choose to use a wired earphone whenever possible to best safeguard yourself from the harmful effects of radiation.
If you know you’d be working long hours, pick up a wired earphone instead of a wireless one so that you can focus solely on your job and not have to think about the harm the earphones are doing to your body.
Do all wireless earphones emit radiation?
Yes. All electronics, in fact, emit some kind of radiation.
With wireless earphones, the radiation is mostly Bluetooth which is pretty strong radiation and in the microwave frequency.