The new AirPods 3 are here. Can you trade in your old AirPods?

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What can you do with your old AirPods?

Sarah Tew / CNET

The eagerly awaited AirPod 3 were announced at Apple’s Unleashed Event Monday, and yes you can order the new 2021 AirPods now. But if you already own a pair of second-gen (or older) AirPods and want to upgrade, can you trade in the older set?

The answer is no, at least not with Apple. While Apple accepts iPhone trades as far as the iPhone 6S, and even gives credit to multiple qualifying Android devices, the trade-in offer does not extend to AirPods of any kind. In fact, your only option through Apple is to recycle your old headphones.


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Why is Apple not taking back the old AirPods?

One of the reasons you might not be able to trade in old AirPods could come down to sanitation. By definition, headphones enter the human body – in this case, the ear canal, where earwax (also known as earwax) collects and drains. This is a natural process, but it has a huge damage factor, and Apple may not want to take over a cleaning process or liability for scrubbing and refurbishing other people’s ear grime. . (We’ve asked Apple for comment and will update this story if we have any news.)

Another reason why Apple may not accept your used AirPods could be economic. With the new AirPods 3 starting at $ 179 (£ 169, AU $ 279), the overhead of cleaning and repairing old AirPods and then reselling them for a fraction of the price may not make sense for Apple’s bottom line. The demand may be simply too low or the process too impractical. Again, we have requested clarification from Apple and will update with any comments.

Can you sell used AirPods online elsewhere?

We have found other places where you can sell your AirPods online to save money for the newest third generation AirPods, such as Decluttr and BuyBackWorld. Or you can trade in your headphones at Best Buy or Amazon and receive your money back on a gift card – don’t expect huge payout, even for items in good condition.

For example, working second-gen AirPods with all charging components will get you $ 40 with a trade-in at Best Buy. It’s better than nothing, but it won’t even cover half the cost of a new set.


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If you are looking to offset the cost of purchasing AirPods 3, another option is to pay in monthly installments using a Apple Card, so you would only pay $ 11 up front today and the rest of the balance later.

For more information, here is everything Apple announced at its event. In addition, here is how to buy the latest MacBook Pros today and what you need to know about Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

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