How Long Do AirPods Last?

Some AirPod owners say that AirPods don’t really last long even though they are expensive. Is this claim true? How long do AirPods last?

Apple AirPods should last for about two years. Each time you use the AirPods, the battery in them weakens. With regular use, the battery is expected to last about two years.

Tiny rechargeable lithium-ion batteries power AirPods. At best, the service life of these batteries is a maximum of two years. However, Apple doesn’t reveal such information at the time of purchase. It does not mention anything about battery service life at all.

AirPods, like many other modern electronic devices, are designed and created in the attitude of planned obsolescence. As you buy these gadgets and start to use them, they eventually march toward their demise. However, you can do some things to prolong their service lives.

How long do AirPods last on one charge? On a single charge, AirPods can last for 5 hours of listening and 3 hours of talk time. Over time, the battery will weaken so it won’t last as long between charges.

Read on to learn more about how long AirPods last before they stop working, and how long they last on a full charge.

How Long Do AirPods Last?

Apple AirPods should last for about 2 years. Each time you use the AirPods, the battery in them weakens and will eventually stop working.

Wireless earbuds, such as the AirPods, are one of the least-hardy electronic gadgets of today. Compromises in their electronic components were made by their designers to make them small and convenient.

How long do AirPods last before breaking? When speaking about the service life of AirPods, it seems that the general expectation is only about two years – if you use them throughout the day and seven days a week. Priced at over US$100 a set, they aren’t cheap.

If you want to use your expensive AirPods longer, you need to be aware of the following factors that affect their expected life span.

1. Frequency of Use

The more you use the AirPods, the faster the battery will weaken. For example, AirPods that are used throughout the day, seven days a week, will last far less than AirPods that are rarely used.

When you take them in and out of your ears, and even when you store them in their case, you still use a portion of their charge cycle each day. Frequent charging of their batteries also shortens their life span faster.

2. The Size of the Batteries

The biggest factor that shortens the life of AirPods is their very tiny lithium-ion batteries. Their tiny size limits the number of charge and discharge cycles that they can endure. The designers of these batteries can’t increase these cycles because of their small sizes.

AirPods themselves are already quite small. Opening them up to replace their worn-out batteries is not practical. So, if the batteries are busted, you have to replace the whole earbud. The battery’s ability to retain a charge is very limited too.

You can use a pair of new AirPods for about five hours maximum. But you will find that as you continue using your AirPods, they won’t last that long anymore. Over several months of regular and continuous use, the charge will considerably fall below five hours.

3. The Way the Batteries Are Discharged

The service life of the battery is also affected by the way it is discharged. For instance, if you always make or receive calls using your AirPods, you will notice after some time that the battery life of the left earbud is not the same as that of the right earbud. This is due to the default used by AirPods, wherein only one earbud in the microphone is active during calls.

4. The Batteries Are Vulnerable to Damage

The tiny size of the batteries makes them vulnerable to damage. Moreover, the regular use of the AirPods exposes them to physical damage over time.

The natural life span of their small batteries is affected even through normal use. A small speck of dust that won’t matter to a cellphone battery will have a major impact on the minuscule batteries of AirPods.

So how long do Apple AirPods last? A pair of Apple AirPods should last for about two years; however, this can vary depending on the factors mentioned above.

How to Make AirPods Last as Long as Possible

Even if the productive life of AirPods is limited, you can still follow some measures that will avert their early demise. Here are some of the things that you can do to lengthen their service lives.

1. When Not In Use, Store Them in Their Case

When you are not wearing your AirPods, it is better to store them in their case instead of letting them lie around somewhere. While inside the case, they are being recharged if they are already at the end of their charge cycles. Also, letting them lie around anywhere is the easiest way to get them lost.

If you store your AirPods for only 15 minutes, you can use them for the next two hours. But if the AirPods are not charged during that time, most probably, the case needs recharging too. You need to have it recharged every couple of days.

2. Decrease the Volume

Decreasing the volume on your AirPods is similar to reducing the brightness level on your laptop screen. This will significantly lower the discharge rate of the tiny lithium-ion batteries on your AirPods. You can do this late in the day when the batteries are already low and don’t want to turn off your AirPods.

3. Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Don’t use your AirPods in extreme temperatures. Like other battery-powered gadgets, AirPods can’t withstand extreme cold or heat. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them in hot summers or cold winters. It only means not to overexpose them to the sun’s rays or a freezing environment.

4. Use One AirPod at a Time

When the battery life of your AirPods is gradually fading, remove one AirPod and put it inside the case. Just use the remaining earbud until you are finished listening or calling. Or switch it when the other one is already charged.

AirPods can automatically go from stereo to mono once the system detects that there is only one of the earbuds being used. You’ll still be able to hear the complete sound spectrum, albeit mono and not stereo anymore.

5. Override the Default Mic

With AirPods, only one earbud turns on when you receive a call. It is either the left or the right earbud that receives the signal. They can also automatically switch with each other. If you know that there is already an imbalance in your AirPods, you can manually override this feature to save battery life. Here is what you need to do:

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings and select Bluetooth.
  2. Next, select AirPods.
  3. Choose Microphone.
  4. Select Always Right AirPod or Always Left AirPod.
how long do airpods battery last

6. Turn Off Automatic Ear Detection

AirPods have several ‘great’ but ‘not really essential’ features that gobble up lots of battery juice. An example is the Automatic Ear Detection feature. It will stop the music when you remove an AirPod and resumes it the moment you wear it again.

If you want to preserve battery life, disable this feature. You can still control the AirPods by tapping on them instead. To disable this feature, do the following:

  1. On your iPhone, locate Settings, and then Bluetooth.
  2. In the devices drop list, tap the question next to the AirPods.
  3. Toggle off Automatic Ear Detection.
  4. Under the Double-Tap AirPod section, tap Left or Right.
  5. Choose Play/Pause.

An alternate way is to use your iPhone or primary device to stop and resume the music manually.

7. Carry a Power Bank at All Times

There will come a time when the AirPods case is not able to charge your AirPods. It might be nearing its discharged state. At such times, it would be convenient if you have a power bank that you can use to charge the case. Carrying the case with you is a good practice. It will enable you to use your AirPods longer too.

8. Don’t Let Your AirPods Die Before Charging

Part of the design of AirPods ensures that their lithium-ion batteries have some charge left for the case charger to recharge them. Therefore, you don’t have to exhaust all their battery juice before putting them inside their charging case.

9. Don’t Use Noise Cancellation (AirPods Pro)

If you have AirPods Pro, to make them last longer, don’t use the noise cancellation. Active noise cancellation uses a lot of battery juice. Therefore, only use it when you absolutely need it. But turn off this feature if there is really no need for it.

How to turn off this feature on your AirPods Pro:

  1. On iPhones, go to Settings and then Bluetooth.
  2. Go to Options and choose AirPods.
  3. Under Noise Control, select Off.

We’ve answered the question, how long do AirPods last before breaking?; Next, let’s answer how long do Airpods last on one charge?

How Long Do AirPods Last on One Charge?

How long do AirPods last on one charge? Specifically, how long do AirPods last on a full charge? On a single charge, AirPods can last for 5 hours of listening and 3 hours of talk time. Apple claims this capacity for the first-generation AirPods. But second-generation AirPods can do better, with up to one hour additional talk time.

AirPods Pro also uses the same battery used by AirPods. Therefore, they share the same level of life expectancy and the maximum length of usable hours. However, when using the Active Noise Cancellation feature, the usable time reduces by half an hour. The same also goes with its talk time.

How long do AirPods battery last? The primary battery life of AirPods is around 5 hours. That is the length of time you can use these wireless earphones before their juice is exhausted. After that time, you need to put them inside their case for recharging.

When recharging, you can’t use your AirPods to listen to your music. But at least you can charge the batteries while you’re on the go. After 24 hours of charging the AirPods, the case itself will run out of juice. It needs to be recharged as well. Recharge the case by plugging it into a power outlet.

How to Check the Battery Life of AirPods

Apple doesn’t leave you blind when it comes to monitoring the battery life of your AirPods. You have some options for checking the juice inside these batteries. Your options also depend on the device you are using.

For iPhones, just open the AirPods charging case, and you will see the remaining juice on the battery displayed on the screen. There is also an available battery widget to help you check it. Just swipe it right on the Home Screen.

To check the battery life on Mac devices, do the following:

  1. Go to Systems Preferences, then Bluetooth.
  2. Connect your AirPods to Mac.
  3. Check “Show Bluetooth in Menu Bar”.
  4. Click on the “Bluetooth Menu Bar” icon and choose your AirPods to view their current charge levels.

If you don’t have any device that can help you check the remaining battery life of your AirPods, you can use the charging case to check. Flip the case and look at the color of the light.

If it’s green, it means there is more than 50% charge left on the batteries. If the color is amber, the batteries have less than 50% charge.

Can You Replace AirPod Batteries?

If you have any battery issues with your AirPods, you have many options to resolve them. Here are some of them.

  • For AirPods that are less than one year old but the batteries are not providing the promised 5 hours of listening time, you can request a replacement at the Apple Store at no cost. 
  • For AirPods that are already out of warranty, Apple is willing to replace them at $49 per stick. Since you use them in pairs, the total will be $98. While the charging case does not wear out as easy as the AirPods, Apple can replace a defective one at $49 per case.
  • When calling for a replacement, just say “battery service” to the person receiving your call. It is actually a code they use that means “throw it away”.
  • Apple recently started selling AppleCare+Warranty for $29. It’s an extended warranty that covers the battery as well. However, it only covers an additional two years. Some say it is not long enough to save the typical AirPods used by consumers.

Conclusion – How Long Do Apple AirPods Last?

Apple AirPods should last for about 2 years. Each time you use the AirPods, the battery in them weakens and will eventually stop working.

Small rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are the power source of all AirPods. At best, these tiny batteries could provide a maximum of two years of service life.

However, Apple will not inform you about this at the time you buy the AirPods. It does not mention anything about the life expectancy of the batteries at all.

How long do AirPods last on a full charge? On a single charge, AirPods can last for 5 hours of listening and 3 hours of talk time. Over time, the battery will weaken so it won’t last as long between charges.