White wireless earbuds with open charging case White wireless earbuds with open charging case

Are AirPods Bad for Your Brain? Understanding Electromagnetic Radiation from AirPods

We started early with speakers inbuilt in the devices, moved to wired earphones and now we are in a time when the earphones are wireless. Well convenience wise it is a huge leap. Literally, so handy, carry them whenever and wherever. Even I don’t go out without my airpods. But, recently I got to something shocking. And I immediately decided to share it with you guys.

Do you know this ease is coming at the expense of your brain health? Actually, it has been debated for a very long time now whether Airpods or wireless earphones are good or bad for your brain.

I’ll Tell You the Reality Behind It

Just like all other wireless headphones/earphones the Apple airpods also use Bluetooth technology for the transmission of sound from the device to your ear.

It is very obvious that the radiation emitted by the device while using Bluetooth is much less compared to cell phones. But, the catch here is the proximity of the earbuds from your brain, and the duration for which these devices stay hooked to your ears.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has a complete list of carcinogenic substances, factors, and even devices that can lead to cancer.

Even in that, the radiation emitted from the Bluetooth devices is less dangerous as compared to our cellphones and other devices like laptops or Wi-Fi routers.

This is the amount of information that has been cleared and verified by far, although studies about the same have been going on for a while and more work is being done to get clarity on how is the human brain affected exactly.

You Must Know About the Radiations

As I said above, the devices emit electromagnetic radiation. So, in very basic terms radiation is just an exposure to electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields that come out from natural or human-made sources.

The interaction of electric and magnetic fields is called electromagnetic radiation. It is usually of two types- high level and low level.

The high-level radiation is known as non-ionizing and the low-level radiation is known as ionizing, examples of which are X-rays. Radiation from Airopds, mobile phones, and Wi-Fi routers are examples of non-ionizing radiation.

On the potential risks of Airpods use, Brandon Fowler, the Owner of Machinist Guides, suggested measures to mitigate potential risks associated with prolonged exposure. Here is what he said in the interview:

Brandon Fowler
Brandon Fowler

“Users of long-term wireless headphones like AirPods, which can damage the brain and emit harmful electromagnetic radiation, can take several steps to reduce the risks. Noise and hazardous conditions are widespread in electronics. Wireless headphones can help.

Wireless headphones with less electromagnetic energy are one option. Use only safety-tested, rule-abiding wireless devices to reduce your electromagnetic radiation exposure.

Validate your headphones with a reputable regulatory agency to ensure safety and electromagnetic compatibility.

Proper and moderate use is also crucial. To reduce electromagnetic field exposure, some limit headphones’ length and intensity. Take breaks periodically and alternate between headphones and background noise to reduce these risks.

Wireless headphones can also improve workplace health and safety, especially in noisy manufacturing. Headphones that block or considerably reduce outside noise can help machining workers avoid hearing loss.

Wireless headphones with active noise-canceling technology can better block harmful noise. Users can enjoy music at lower volumes without losing clarity since this technology detects background noise and emits sound waves to counteract it.”

We Can’t Deny the Harmful Effects of Radiation

Many studies have been conducted to learn the dangerous impacts of radiation when our body is exposed to the electromagnetic rays emitted by these devices.

It was even surprising for me to know that scientists have written an appeal to the World Health Organization to impose strict and new policies against electromagnetic radiation from these devices. You can imagine how risky it could be!

But by far based on whatever has been researched and studied, we are still at an inconclusive state due to insufficient evidence of the same. Having said this, it still cannot be denied that Airpods are bad for your brain, as less risk does not imply zero risk.

In an interview with the Icy Whiz team, Khunshan Ahmad, CEO of InsideTechWorld, suggested limiting the duration and frequency of headphone use to mitigate potential risks. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Khunshan Ahmad - Featured
Khunshan Ahmad

“Limit the duration and frequency of headphone use to mitigate potential risks. Take regular breaks to give your ears and brain a rest. Use headphones with lower volume settings to reduce the intensity of exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

Opt for wired headphones or speakerphone mode when possible to minimize direct contact with the head. Stay informed about the latest research and recommendations regarding headphone safety.

Adhere to best practices to make more informed decisions about your headphone usage and prioritize your long-term health and well-being.”

So, What About Airpods? Are They Safe?

Apple has publicly announced that all of its devices follow the utmost public health and safety requirements. It is a priority that is compromised in no case. These portable wireless devices have emissions that are regulated and under the limits that are specified in the acceptable guidelines for human exposure.

Indeed as and when the new models come out, they are worked at better than the previous ones. So, the Airpods Pro are below the acceptable radio frequency limits by more than two times.

Even though the AirPods have been tested extensively in Apple’s in-house facility, they have been sent to independent laboratories as well, like the FCC. According to the FCC, the specific absorption rate (SAR) that is permissible is 1.6 watts/kilogram. For the Airpods it has been mentioned not more than 0.095 in any case.

We interviewed Evan Tunis, President of Florida Healthcare Insurance, and discussed this issue. Here is what he had to say:

Evan Tunis - Featured
Evan Tunis

“Individuals can take measures to mitigate potential risks associated with prolonged exposure to wireless headphones, like AirPods, by limiting their usage time. This means taking breaks from using the headphones and not wearing them for extended periods. 

By limiting usage time, individuals can reduce their overall exposure to electromagnetic radiation. It is also important to follow the recommended usage guidelines provided by the manufacturer.”

Use of Electronic Devices and its Effects on Your Body

Mobile phones have become a part and parcel of our everyday lives, literally, no work is done without the use of phones now. So, with all the constant use and the proximity to these devices like phones, laptops, Airpods, smartwatches, and others we are obviously impacted.

The factors that actually determine the consequences are how long you use these devices, the duration, and how close they are to your body. Like while using the phone to talk it is literally stuck to your face.

Secondly, and especially in the case of mobile phones, we can see that if the device is very far from the base station it will increase the radiation level to compensate for the link.

The radiation emitted usually is (radio frequency) RF radiation, which if present in a good amount can actually create a thermal effect. This, in turn, would increase the body’s temperature. Small problems like headaches can arise due to extreme usage, although there can be long-term effects as well like developing a brain tumor.

There is not a very strong proposal but it has been said that RF  radiation may be carcinogenic. So, it has been advised to use mobile and other such devices in a limit.

I would advise you not to use your gadgets all day long, and try to sleep without these around you.

The Icy Whiz team interviewed Tim Parker, Director at Syntax Integration, on mitigating electromagnetic radiation exposure. Here is what he said:

Tim Parker - Featured
Tim Parker

“To mitigate electromagnetic radiation exposure, it is advisable to utilize noise-canceling technology or employ wireless headphones that emit lower levels of radiation.

By selecting headphones with certifications and built-in safety features, one can obtain additional assurance that they are safe for long-term use.”

Overall You Can Use AirPods But with Precaution

Based on all that we have read above, it can be concluded that Airpods are not lethally bad for your body or brain. But they emit electromagnetic radiation just like cellphones or other devices, only the extent and intensity are lesser.

So, if you want to protect yourself from these radiations you can limit the use of airpods, and while not in use. try to keep them away from you by at least 3 feet distance.

Guest Author: Saket Kumar

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Pragya


Anushree Khandelwal
  1. As a regular user of the air pods I am relieved to know that they don’t cause that level of damage to my brain.
    However, the information I gathered from this article regarding the effects of other devices concerns me.
    I am really grateful to the writer of this article so as to give such a clear explanation on the matter and also warnings for the topics nearing the same.

  2. Fantastic article! We use airpods a lot to listen music and converse. The impacts of electronic devices were so well explained and left me amazed…..

    1. An eye opening article! Though air pods may not be harmful for our brain but as you said they emit electromagnetic radiation just like cellphones or other devices, only the extent and intensity are lesser. Also the pointers you mentioned were insightful! Thus, I think we should use devices but upto a limit and protect our inner self!

  3. Seeing the title of the article startled me for few seconds but after reading the article if we make a conclusion yet it is not proven that the electronic devices like these air pods are harmful , though many electronic devices are harmful these portable airpods are not yet proven these are harmful . so blindly doing a conclusion is not fair.

  4. Thank God it hasn’t been proved completely that air pods are dangerous. Those are one of my favorite electronic device and I can barely live without them. I can’t use it for a very long time as my ear starts hurting after a while so I guess it’s good in a way.

  5. Being a casual airpods user, I’ve often pondered their impact on my brain, and this article not only addressed my concerns but also shed light on related questions. The explanation of terms like radiation and their effects was insightful. Crucially, it reassured me that airpods emissions are regulated and within acceptable exposure limits, making them not lethally harmful to the body or brain. A reassuring and informative read!

  6. This is really the eye opening article for those who keep using airpods for such a long time duration. Along with the use of new technologies we must be conscious about our health also. Excessive use of these products creates nothing but harm to our body and health.

  7. I value the insights and guidance you provide.
    My experience is true it does affect and alter the wavelength in your brain. although there are no research or scientific evidence about this, I believe using airpod pro moderately is ok but extensively it will cause damage to your ear and your ability to distinguish real natural sound vs noise cancelling sound.

  8. This is very eye opener article for those who is using airpods countinue for long time. Its not harm full if you use in limit but if you will use airpods beyond limitations than it will harm your ear as well as brain also.

  9. This article provides valuable insights into the potential impact of using Airpods on brain health. It addresses concerns about wireless headphones, particularly focusing on the use of Bluetooth technology and the proximity of earbuds to the brain. The discussion on electromagnetic radiation, its types, and potential harm is informative.The article also explores whether Airpods can cause cancer, emphasizing the importance of considering factors such as duration and closeness to the body. It clarifies that while there is ongoing research, conclusive evidence is yet to be established.

  10. Interesting read! The debate over Airpods and brain health explores concerns about Bluetooth radiation. While studies are inconclusive, efforts to regulate electromagnetic emissions exist. Apple claims adherence to safety standards, with Airpods Pro below acceptable limits. The impact of electronic devices on health depends on factors like duration and proximity. Despite concerns, a balanced approach, limiting usage and keeping devices at a distance, is suggested for precaution.

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