There’s little to dislike about AirPods – except their finite battery life. Luckily, we’ve got the tips to prolong your AirPods’ battery life and overall lifespan.
As AirPods users, it’s easy to get accustomed to their top-of-the-line functionality known to transform the user’s listening experience. But along with this convenience comes the nagging worry that the batteries will run out, or worse, suddenly stop working.
The truth is, AirPods and their batteries have a finite lifespan, after which they won’t work. And although this is inevitable, it can be challenging to identify the warning signs that could have helped you prepare for the worst.
If you’ve been asking, “how long do AirPods last?”, this guide provides an answer to the same. The article also highlights a few tricks for stretching your AirPods’ lifespan, so that you can enjoy them for a while longer. Let’s get started!
How Long Does the AirPods’ Battery Last?
Your AirPods’ battery lifespan depends on its model and other factors like volume level and use of features.
Take for instance, the battery life testing conducted for the 2016 (1st Gen) AirPods. To execute the same, Apple connected the AirPods to an iPhone 7 and set the volume to 50%. Then, they played a playlist of 358 unique tracks until the first AirPod went off to determine how long 1st Gen AirPods last.
The results? 1st Gen AirPods provided up to 5 hours of listening time and 2 hours of talk time. That’s all from one charge, thanks to Apple’s W1 chip.
All AirPods cases, on the other hand, provide about 24 hours of listening time and 18 hours of talk time.
Here’s how many hours each AirPods model lasts:
AirPods 2nd Generation battery life
On one charge, the 2nd Gen AirPods offer up to 5 hours of listening time and 3 hours of talk time. However, you can get more than 24 hours of accumulated use or up to 18 hours of talk time from charging the AirPods in their case.
Alternatively, you can fast-charge your AirPods for about 15 minutes if you’re in a rush. This charge gets you about 3 hours of listening time and close to 2 hours of talk time.
AirPods 3rd Generation battery life
A single charge for the 3rd Gen AirPods offers up to 6 hours of listening time and 4 hours of talk time.
The 3rd Generation AirPods also give up to 30 hours of accumulated use with multiple case charges. If you don’t have the time, you can fast-charge your Airpods for 5 minutes for about an hour of listening and talk time.
AirPods Pro battery life
Contrary to expectations, the AirPods Pro offer a relatively shorter battery life than the 2nd and 3rd Gen Airpods. For a single charge, the Airpods Pro give up to 4.5 hours of listening time and 3.5 hours of talk time.
However, if you turn your Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency off, you can get up to 5 hours of listening time.
The AirPods Pro also offer more than 24 hours of accumulated use when you charge them from the case multiple times. If you need a fast charge, you can plug your Airpods Pro in for 5 minutes. This charge returns close to one hour of listening and talk time.
How Long Do AirPods Last: Their Average Lifespan
Well, given the expense, AirPods don’t last nearly as long as they should because their batteries die early.
Ironically, the battery gradually deteriorates after every charge. The more you charge your AirPods, the less charge they can hold. Soon, your AirPods won’t last for the stipulated 5 hours. This happens because AirPods are equipped with lithium-ion batteries prone to faster degradation with every subsequent charge.
Don’t get confused though, despite their lousy rep regarding durability, lithium-ion batteries are still known to be the best. Apple chose them because they charge faster and last longer than regular batteries. They even have more battery life capacity.
However, lithium-ion batteries deteriorate with every charge cycle they complete. In fact, they’re known to self-discharge and typically offer less capacity even if not used for a while.
Of course, you may not use 100 percent from one charge as some users recharge their Airpods before it gets low. For these users, it can take days to complete a charge cycle.
However, if you regularly drain your Airpods’ batteries completely before recharging them, they’re likely to have a lower lifespan.
5 Tips to Make Your AirPods or AirPods Pro Last Longer
While AirPods have a finite lifespan, certain habits can prolong it. Of course, damage to your AirPods is inevitable after years of use, but these tips should help slow the damage:
Do not expose the AirPods to extreme temperatures
Even though AirPods are designed to withstand a wide range of temperatures, extreme ambient temperatures will damage them. For instance, using your AirPods beyond 35°C (95° f) can cause the AirPods to modify their behavior to reduce temperature. In short, your AirPods may not function well.
However, while using your AirPods in cold temperatures will reduce their battery life, this is only temporary. It’ll return to normal once the AirPods’ battery returns to a standard temperature.
Exposing AirPods to high temperatures, on the other hand, will result in permanent battery damage.
Time your charging
One way to sustain your battery life is to monitor your recharges. As ironic as it is, constantly filling up your batteries can cause irreparable damage to your AirPods. Your battery is under mechanical stress whenever it holds a full charge. This stress shortens your AirPods’ battery lifespan.
Luckily, Apple anticipated this problem early on and provided a solution – optimized battery charging. This feature breaks off charging at 80 percent, so your AirPods don’t charge completely. This way, they escape mechanical stress and can live a bit longer.
The only caveat is that optimized battery charging works most effectively when you have a charging routine.
For instance, you charge your AirPods every morning. Following your routine, optimized battery charging will keep your battery at 80 percent right until you need your AirPods. This process safeguards your battery from extensive damage.
Avoid fully discharging your AirPods and their case
Just as max charging your AirPods can destroy the battery life, deep discharges reduce the lifespan of your AirPods battery. Deep discharges can cause permanent damage to the lithium-ion battery as they trigger a short circuit in your AirPods during recharge. You don’t want that happening.
The same goes for your AirPods case – only plug it in when it needs charging. Your AirPods case charges through inductive (wireless) charging, which uses more energy and releases heat stress. This stress weakens your battery and shortens its lifespan.
Keep AirPods away from water
Let’s get this straight, there are no waterproof AirPods. Apple only has water and sweat-resistant AirPods. The difference between the two terms is that you can wear your AirPods for a sweaty jog, but you can’t take them swimming.
Even after heavy workouts, you’ll have to wipe your AirPods with a lint-free cloth to keep them dry. And, make sure they’re fully dry before you use or charge them again.
If for some reason, your AirPods do get wet, you need to get the water out without damaging them.
Also, avoid using compressed air for drying your AirPods. The force is too strong and can destroy the speaker mesh and charging port.
Remove the AirPods’ case cover when charging
Case covers indeed protect your Airpods and their charging case from scratches and dings. However, they also generate excess heat, which may damage your battery and reduce its lifespan.
We recommend removing the case cover when charging your Airpods to reduce the case’s heat during charge. Even though it won’t increase your battery life, it’ll certainly reduce it.
Battery Service for AirPods: What You Need to Know
Apple covers AirPods repairs or replacements if your warranty is still active or you have purchased AppleCare+.
Depending on your model, this can cost between $49-$79. For the charging case, the battery can be replaced for a fee of $49. All of these prices are subject to tax and requisite shipping fees.
If you need to repair or replace your AirPods’ battery and have AppleCare+, simply make an appointment with any Apple Authorized Service Provider and send your AirPods over to them. You can even mail them to the store if you don’t have the time.
AirPods are some of the most popular headphones on the market as they come with unique features and convenience. But, their battery life has been a sore spot for many users for years now. Sadly, the more you use or charge your Airpods, the more your battery life deteriorates.
While you can lavish more money on a new pair of AirPods, we recommend taking care of your current ones as best you can. After all, battery life reduction is inevitable. This way, you can save a few bucks and use your AirPods for a long time.
We hope this guide will have helped you learn the tips needed to extend your AirPods’ battery’s lifespan. Now go ahead and get the most juice out of your AirPods until their batteries are in top condition!
Did you find the article helpful? Did we miss any tips? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!