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I tried used AirPods Pro from eBay to see if they were any good

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I’VE been testing out a pair of refurbished 2nd-generation AirPods Pro from eBay, and I’m presently surprised with how they hold up.

After putting Apple’s famed earbuds through the wringer, I now know whether shopping refurbished is worth it.

I got to test a set of refurbished Apple AirPods Pro 2 that came from eBay

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I got to test a set of refurbished Apple AirPods Pro 2 that came from eBay

Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen with MagSafe Charging Case
£174.59

AirPods Pro are among the most popular earbuds on the market.

They have been a must-have for many iPhone users since the first generation were launched back in 2016.

While its products are definitely top-of-the-market, Apple has a reputation for two things: creating great, reliable tech and the eye-watering price tag that accompanies it.

So, I decided to look at refurbished products to see if I could save my wallet – but I’ll admit I was sceptical.

Shopping for refurbished items seems to involve some doubt, so I decided to test some of the most popular earbuds on the market to see if I could dispel the hesitancy.

While my hands-on experience is definitely a great place to familiarise yourself with some of the details about refurb items, it’s still worth having a browse through Senior Writer Matt Breen’s refurbished tech guide for all the ins and outs.

Matt chatted from Mark Monte-Columbo, the Head of Refurb at eBay, who explained the restoration process for these items that have been returned by shoppers.

The quick rundown for eBay is that the items have been sold but were returned to the manufacturer before being resold.

Often, the refurbished item has rarely gone through any heavy usage and was returned within the returns period, usually 30 days.

All refurbished items are properly inspected and vetted by experts and are repaired or reconditioned to 100% functionality before being relisted.

You also get a one-year guarantee for added peace of mind.

Refurbished AirPods Pro: Unboxing

Everything was included and in fantastic condition

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Everything was included and in fantastic condition

As expected, the box’s cosmetic appearance was slightly damaged, but nothing beyond a few smooshed edges.

Let’s be honest: we really care about the product, not the packaging – though perhaps this isn’t so appealing if you want to give them as a gift to someone.

The box was slightly smooshed at the corners but nothing to worry about

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The box was slightly smooshed at the corners but nothing to worry about

Inside, I found the usual AirPods Pro quick-start guide accompanied by the AirPods Pro 2, a charging cable, and three pairs of different-sized ear tips – everything you would expect from a brand-new box.

Admittedly, I’ve always been more on the side of Team Android, so had to double-check with an Apple-loving friend to ensure all the necessary items were there.

How much do refurbished AirPods Pro cost?

Shopping for refurbished is pretty straightforward in terms of what you get, a quality-assured product that’s been worked on by professionals; however, there is one thing that often changes.

eBay grades its refurbished products from certified to excellent, good, and very good, so there are no surprises when the item arrives, and you know exactly what you’re getting.

Grading not only changes the condition of the item – remember, it’s only ever going to be cosmetic – but also the pricing, and this isn’t the only thing that can cause it to cost more or less.

Refurbished items are sold by different businesses, so the price of an excellent item may change depending on the seller.

Although this is a test of eBay’s refurbished AirPods Pro, you can shop refurbished on a range of retailers.

Here’s a quick list:

As with many wireless earbuds on the market, you’re usually able to save yourself a few extra quid if you have the patience to wait for big sale events. You’ll likely find Apple Airpods in the Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day sales.

If you’re used to another pair of earbuds, I’ve got a Beats Studio vs Apple AirPods pro explainer comparing how the earphones stack up against competitors.

Should I buy refurbished AirPods Pro?

Admittedly, I was worried when unboxing the AirPods Pro 2 for two key reasons. The first is that I use a Samsung Galaxy Z-Fold, so I was unsure how easy it would pair and if I would have all the fancy functions.

Secondly, I, too, had reservations about shopping refurbished, as I’ve always wondered if it would really feel like having a brand-new item.

If I didn't know they were refurbished, I wouldn't know any better just remember refurbs have different gradings

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If I didn’t know they were refurbished, I wouldn’t know any better just remember refurbs have different gradings

To my delight, once I opened the case, my phone spotted it and paired seamlessly; no need to faff around.

My choice of streaming platform is Spotify, so after loading up my favourite playlist, I opened the quick-start guide to see if all the features worked.

All of them worked: start, stop, skip, rewind, changing between listening modes and turning the music up and down.

The one thing I found was a little bit finicky was turning the volume up and down with the swipe function, although it may just be my chubbier fingers.

One downside I found – which has nothing to do with them being refurbished – is that I was unable to test the ‘find my’ feature due to not having iOS.

While well-versed in Apple tech, I’m not quite the wiz Head of Tech Sean Keach is, so check out his Apple AirPods review for a breakdown of some of the technical jargon.

It’s worth remembering that refurbished items are not brand new, and while eBay categories are based on cosmetic damage, no two excellent-condition earphones will have the same cosmetic issues.

If you want to save money, reduce your environmental footprint, and you’re okay with a little cosmetic damage – buy refurbished. It just makes sense.

But if you’re gifting AirPods to someone and you want that brand-new, fresh-out-of-the box feeling, purchase them new.

Ultimately, it’s down to you.

Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen with MagSafe Charging Case
£174.59

Discover more top deals and savings at your favourite tech retailers by heading to Sun Vouchers. Sun Vouchers is the one-stop shop where you can find hundreds of discount codes for top chains including Currys, Argos, AliExpress, Dyson and more.

We’re constantly testing some of the most popular devices in our shopping tech hub.

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