How Long Do AirPods Take to Charge: What You Need to Know

Lego figurines putting Airpods back into the charging case
Lego figurines putting Airpods back into the charging case

We independently review all our recommendations. Purchases made via our links may earn us a commission. Learn more ❯

Find out how long your AirPods will last between charges and how long they take to charge in this detailed guide.

One of the worst feelings in life is realizing that your AirPods’ battery is fully drained when you’re about to head out.

Worse is when you’re on a tight schedule, with only a couple of minutes to spare but not knowing if those minutes are sufficient to juice up your drained AirPods for your commute.

This is why we have come up with this article. The team at Headphonesty has done our testing to determine how long it takes for AirPods to charge. Also, in finding out if there’s any difference in the charging time between each model of AirPods.

Let’s dive right in to find out more!

How Long Do AirPods Take to Charge Inside the Case

One of the ways to charge your AirPods is via the charging case.

The team at Headphonesty has conducted multiple tests to determine the charging time required. We have also tested out just how long a fully charged pair of AirPods could last with active use.

Here are the results:

 AirPodsAirPodsAirPods ProAirPods Max
Charging time in case for a full charge20 to 25 minutes50 to 60 minutes50 to 60 minutes2 hours
Full charge battery lifeUp to 5 hours of listening timeUp to 6 hours of listening timeUp to 6 hours of listening timeUp to 20 hours of listening time

AirPods Max have to be charged while plugged in as their case is not technically a charging case.

Why do AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro require longer charging times?

All of Apple’s devices are built with lithium-ion batteries in them. Though the batteries do charge faster than other types of battery technology, it also means that they are more prone to wear and damage.

In fact, after the very first moment you use lithium-ion batteries, they tend to degrade. And with time, they will gradually become less effective in holding charges.

You probably experienced this degradation effect when you noticed that the battery life of your devices is not like before, needing more charges than before to last for your regular use.

This issue is why Apple has integrated the Optimized Battery Charging feature in its newer offerings, i.e., AirPods Gen 3 and AirPods Pro series.

Optimized Battery Charging is designed to protect the battery within by changing the way it charges your AirPods.

It learns from your past charging patterns and will automatically pause the charging when the AirPods are 80% charged. Around the time you usually stop the charging cycle, this feature will start charging the remaining 20%.

As a result, this charging feature reduces the time your AirPods spend fully charged, which is better for their batteries.

The Optimized Battery Charging feature is enabled by default. You can also disable it in your AirPods with a change of settings via your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

Though enabling this feature does increase the charging time, we still recommend that you keep it on for longer-lasting battery life.

How Long to Charge Your AirPods’ Case: Wired vs. Wireless

Charging AirPods Pro with wired charging
Charging AirPods Pro with wired charging

Usually, the time required to charge the AirPods case fully depends on whether you charge it wired or wirelessly.

Wired and wireless charging result in different charging times, as fast charging is only supported with a wired connection.

When using a wired connection, a full charge for the AirPods case will take approximately an hour.

Wireless charging will take longer than wired connection before reaching 100%. Based on our testing, it takes at least 30 minutes longer for wireless charging as opposed to wired.

Also, the time taken to fully charge your AirPods case will also take longer if your drained AirPods are in the case to be charged together.

Once fully charged, the charging case will be able to support up to at least four full recharges for your AirPods.

AirPods Gen 1 and 2 come in a lightning charging case by default that does not have wireless charging. However, if you wish to upgrade, Apple has introduced a standalone wireless charging case for its AirPods.

How Does AirPods’ Fast Charging Feature Work

AirPods charging inside the charging case
AirPods charging inside the charging case

Fast charging is simply the capability of allowing your devices to charge at a faster rate than standard charging. Usually, this means having your devices charged up at only a fraction of the required time.

Typically, there is increased power transmitted to the charging device for fast charging.

To enable fast charging for the AirPods case, you need to charge it through a wired connection.

Is this feature available when charging your AirPods through the charging case? Yes, it is!

In fact, it is even more prominent in the newer models of AirPods. Here’s a quick comparison of how the fast charging feature differs with different AirPods models:

FeatureAirPodsAirPodsAirPods ProAirPods Max
Fast Charging CapabilityUp to 3 hours of listening time with 15 minutes of charging timeUp to 1 hour of listening time with 5 minutes of charging timeUp to 1 hour of listening time with 5 minutes of charging timeUp to 1.5 hours of listening time with 5 minutes of charging time

But, if lithium-ion batteries are prone to degradation, will fast charging speed up the process?

Thankfully, no. In fact, it is recommended to use this fast charging capability and make short charges as opposed to a full charge cycle, from 0% to 100%.

The health of a battery is defined by the number of complete charge cycles, so if you’re doing more full charge cycles, the more wear your AirPods’ batteries get.

How to Know If AirPods Are Charging

Location of AirPods status light based on model
Location of AirPods status light based on model

One of the most straightforward ways to find out if your AirPods are charging and the battery status is through the status indicator light.

Depending on your AirPods model, the status light will either be at the front of your case or in the space between where your AirPods sit in the case.

Here is a guide to understanding the different status light emitted from your AirPods’ case:

Status light colorWhat it indicates
Flashing white lightAirPods are in pairing mode
Amber/Orange lightAirPods are charging inside the case
Amber/Orange lightCharging case does not have enough charge for another full charge of your AirPods
Amber/Orange lightBoth AirPods and charging case are charging
Green lightAirPods are charged sufficiently
Green lightCharging case is charged sufficiently
Green lightBoth AirPods and charging case are fully charged
Flashing amber/orange lightPairing error of AirPods and connected device
No lightEither AirPods are not in use or have run out of battery. Connect with your device to verify the status.

Alternatively, you can also check your battery and its charging status through your connected device, be it through your iPhone, Macbook, or Android devices.

If you found that your AirPods’ status light is consistently off or is continually flashing amber, check out our guide on how to fix AirPods and case not charging.


Now, you will no longer have to constantly worry that your AirPods will be out of juice before you head out. With a charged charging case and the fast charging feature, the chances of having drained AirPods on hand are almost impossible.

How was your own experience with charging your AirPods? Is the charge time the same as or close to ours? Do share your experience in the comments below!

đź’¬ Conversation: 4 comments

  1. Question: Can you safely leave the case plugged in during the day/night you are using the AirPods? Or is it better on the case’s battery to unplug the case regularly or even better occasionally?

  2. I timed the charge twice between 63-64% and 68%-69% and both times it took 1 minute and about 36 seconds. So with simple math a full charge without airpods in the case with wired charging would take about 160 minutes to FULLY charge AirPods Pro 2 case and that’s about 2,5 hours. Not 1 hour.

    1. You do know that the charging of electrical devices is not a linear progress right? They charge faster from 0% to 20% than they do from 80% to 100%.

  3. I have recently acquired second gen Airpods Pro and last night drained them completely to time how quick they charge from 0% within the case (not plugged in) and got the following data:
    50% charge – 11 minutes
    75% charge – 22 minutes
    90% charge – 42 minutes (missed noting the 80% time)
    100% charge 74 minutes
    So only 14 minutes longer than the 1 hour you’ve quoted.

    Also of note is that with the gen 2 pro version at least the charging light on the case does not remain on while charging if you close the lid, you’ll get the amber light but it will turn off after a few seconds.

Leave a Reply