Talking about AirPods battery, one would say, there’s no question that the world is going wireless. From saying goodbye to the power cord with laptops in the late 90s to accessing the internet without Ethernet in the early 00s, to not being connected with a cable to your devices for music listening just a few years ago, we’re increasingly becoming more mobile and free as new technologies appear.
Perhaps that’s why AirPods, Apple’s wireless headphones, is being praised as the company’s best product since the iPhone.
They are stylish, lightweight, and offer a truly seamless user experience. The only hiccup, as hiccups go, is in making sure your AirPods are able to maintain their battery life with use.
So keep reading for some unique tips to help you with such an issue.
How Long Do AirPods Last?
Apple says a pair of AirPods should last around five hours if you’re playing music, or around two hours of talk time, before needing to be recharged.
The charging case should be good for around 24 hours, or 11 hours of talk time.
If you’re seeing times significantly lower than this, your AirPods may be faulty.
You could contact Apple support, look into the possibility of a battery fix, or buy a new pair. (Check our roundup of the best AirPods deals first, though.)
How to Check AirPods Battery Life and More
When you buy a brand new pair of AirPods, its battery life might sound impressive. Apple promises up to five hours of listening and two hours of conversation time with the first generation of AirPods.
The second generation gets an extra hour of conversation. AirPods Pro gets the same amount for listening (down to four and a half hours if Active Noise Cancellation is on) and three and a half hours for conversations.
All of that on a single charge. And since you should always carry your AirPods case around with you as well, it would give your headphones 24 additional hours of listening and up to 18 additional hours of talk time. Even better!
The problem with AirPods, as with any wireless device, begins when the average battery life starts to drop with extended use.
A consensus so far is that battery life decreases sharply after two years, but it might also happen faster, since small batteries are more susceptible to damage than, say, your iPhone.
So here are some ways you can make sure to get the most out of your AirPods, starting with how to check AirPod battery.
How to Check Battery on Airpods
Apple gives you a few options for looking up the battery life of AirPods, depending on which device you’re using.
On iPhone, for example, you can simply open the charging case and the remaining battery life for both the case and every AirPod will be displayed on the screen.
Alternatively, you can set up a battery widget and check it by swiping right on the Home screen.
To see the Apple AirPods battery life on Mac:
- Go to System Preferences ➙ Bluetooth
- Connect your AirPods to Mac
- Check “Show Bluetooth in menu bar”
- Click on the Bluetooth menu bar icon and select your AirPods to see the current charge for each one
Even if you don’t have any device on you but AirPods, you can flip the case and check the color of the light. Green means more than 50% charge and amber less than 50%.
Now that we know how long do AirPods last, let’s look at some ways to increase their productive lifespan.
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How to Make AirPods Battery Last Longer
We have seven tips below to help you maximize the battery life of your AirPods. Read on to find out how you can extend your AirPods battery life.
1. Keep AirPods in their Case
As a general principle, you should always return the AirPods to their case when not being listened to – this is good protection against damage and loss, too.
This won’t improve your overall battery life but will mean the buds are always topped up and you’ll get more listening time before you next have to charge up.
2. Don’t Fiddle with the Case
Apple itself warns that repeatedly opening and closing the case can reduce its battery charge. So don’t do that.
3. Only Listen to one Earbud at a Time
If you listen to a single earbud instead of both at once, you’re using up power at half the rate you normally would – and because one bud charges while the other is working, you never have to stop listening to music until the case itself is drained.
Granted, the resultant mono audio experience isn’t quite what you signed up for when you shelled out £159/$159 for the AirPods (and you’ll need to alternate between left and right ears), but it’s better than nothing, and a manageable compromise if battery life is a concern.
Note that a few people listen like this anyway (at least some of the time, such as when cycling), because it allows you to be more aware of potential hazards in the world around you.
4. Avoid Extremes of Temperature
Batteries perform less well in extreme heat or cold – and these conditions may cause long-term damage too. Try to keep your AirPods out of direct sunlight where possible (ie when you’re not using them).
5. Go easy on the smart features
The AirPods have some smart features that are handy but not essential.
You can turn off Automatic Ear Detection on the paired iPhone: go to Settings > Bluetooth, tap the AirPods, then tap Automatic Ear Detection so it turns white.
If you do this, however, you must remember to turn off music manually when you take out your buds, or you’ll be burning power unnecessarily.
Similarly, try not to use the double-tap feature unless you really need to.
6. Turn Down the Volume
A set of AirPods playing music at a low volume will last a bit longer than a pair blasting it at top volume. It’s also better for your ears.
Note, however, AirPods use more power on things like Bluetooth than on the drivers, so we’d expect the savings to be small.
7. Get a Power Bank
If you try the above tips and still aren’t happy with your AirPods’ battery life, there’s nothing for it: we’ll have to spend some money.
A good-quality power bank shouldn’t be too expensive, and even a moderate-capacity unit will be sufficient for multiple charges.
Frequently Asked Questions
QUES: How do you pair with non-iOS devices like Android devices?
ANS: The pairing with non-iOS 10 devices to be accurate, is not as seamless, but it is quite simple.
You need to press the button in the front of the charging case until the light blinks, and then go to the Bluetooth settings and choose AirPods.
QUES: Will someone else be able to pair my AirPods with their iPhone?
ANS: Once your AirPod is paired with your iPhone and hence your iCloud account, the pairing process for any other iOS device which is signed in with a different iCloud account will be the same as the process for non-iOS devices.
QUES: Can I use just one AirPod at a time?
ANS: Yes, you can use just one AirPod at a time. Your iPhone will switch over to a mono mixdown so you hear both sides of any stereo audio.
You could use it as a workaround to use the AirPods for a longer time by using them one at a time.