How Long Do AirPods Last (And How You Can Extend Their Lifespan)
AirPods are exceptional in almost every way, except for the battery life of AirPods. Nonetheless, we have suggestions to help you extend the lifespan of both the AirPods and their batteries. It’s natural to get used to the remarkable capabilities that enhance the listening experience as an AirPods user. Still, anxiety about the battery draining or the device breaking down unexpectedly is understandable.
It’s a fact that AirPods and their batteries will eventually stop working due to their limited lifespan. However, it can be challenging to recognize warning signs that could have allowed you to prepare for this. This guide can answer your question about the lifespan of AirPods and offer some techniques to prolong their use, enabling you to enjoy them for an extended period. Let’s begin!
How long is the battery life of AirPods last?
The lifespan of your AirPods’ battery is determined by its model, usage of features, and volume level. For example, when testing the battery life of the 1st Gen AirPods in 2016, Apple connected them to an iPhone 7 and played a playlist of 358 tracks at 50% volume until the first AirPod died. The 1st Generation of AirPods can play up to 5 hours, and 2 hours of talk time on a single charge, because of the W1 chip from Apple.
The battery life test for all AirPods models is similar but with minor variations. For the 2nd Gen AirPods, Apple performed the test using an iPhone Xs Max, while for the 3rd Gen, the test was conducted with an iPhone 13 Pro Max. On the contrary, every AirPods case offers approximately 24 hours of listening and 18 hours of talk time.
The battery life of AirPods (2nd Generation)
A single charge of the 2nd Gen AirPods provides 5 hours of listening and 3 hours of talk time. However, charging the AirPods, in their case, can accumulate more than 24 hours of usage or up to 18 hours of talk time. If you’re short on time, you can opt for a 15-minute fast charge, which gives you around 3 hours of listening time and nearly 2 hours of talk time.
The battery life of AirPods (3rd Generation)
When charged once, the 3rd Gen AirPods can provide up to 6 hours of listening and 4 hours of talk time. However, using spatial audio may reduce listening time to approximately 5 hours. With the help of multiple case charges, you can get up to 30 hours of total use from these AirPods. If you’re short on time, a 5-minute quick charge can give you about an hour of listening and talk time.
The battery life of AirPods Pro
The battery life of the AirPods Pro is surprisingly shorter compared to the 2nd and 3rd Generation AirPods. With one charge, the AirPods Pro provides up to 4.5 hours of listening and 3.5 hours of talk time, which is not as impressive. However, you can extend the battery life to 5 hours of listening time if you disable the Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency features.
Additionally, the AirPods Pro can last for more than 24 hours of combined use when you charge them, in their case, multiple times. A 5-minute charge can provide close to an hour of listening and talk time if you’re in a hurry.
What is the average lifespan of AirPods?
AirPods have a lifespan of about 2-3 years before users consider replacing them due to their lithium-ion batteries. Although AirPods have proven durable in various tests, they eventually stop working. This is primarily due to the storm, which deteriorates after every charge. If you charge your AirPods frequently, in the future they can’t last for 5 hours like before. AirPods have lithium-ion batteries that degrade more quickly with each subsequent charge, resulting in premature demise.
The danger of lithium-ion batteries is their propensity to explode when mishandled or damaged, making it challenging for users to have their worn-out batteries fixed. Consequently, the only available option is to replace the AirPods or case batteries, which further drives up maintenance expenses.
Nonetheless, lithium-ion batteries are still considered the best, despite their poor reputation for durability. Apple opted for them because they charge more quickly and have a longer lifespan than regular batteries, with a higher capacity.
However, the capacity of lithium-ion batteries diminishes with each charging cycle, and they tend to self-discharge, offering less power even when unused for extended periods.
A charge cycle is completed when your battery reaches 100 percent usage. It’s possible that some users may not use 100 percent of their battery before recharging, which can result in a charge cycle taking several days. However, if you tend to completely drain your AirPods’ batteries before recharging them, their lifespan is likely to be reduced.
Strategies for Extending The Battery Life of AirPods: 5 Helpful Tips
Although AirPods will eventually wear out, you can extend their lifespan by adopting certain practices. While damage over time is unavoidable, these tips can help minimize it.
1. Avoid subjecting the AirPods to extreme temperatures.
Despite AirPods being designed to withstand various temperatures, exposing them to extreme temperatures can cause damage. When used above 35°C (95°F), AirPods may not function correctly and may modify their behavior to cool down. The optimal temperature range for using, charging, and storing your AirPods is between 16°C (62°F) and 22°C (72°F), according to Apple. Any temperatures outside of this range could cause irreparable damage. Although using AirPods in cold temperatures may decrease their battery life temporarily, it should return to normal once the battery warms up. In contrast, exposure to high temperatures can result in permanent battery damage.
2. Manage the timing of your charging
To maintain the longevity of your AirPods battery, it is essential to track how often you recharge it. Interestingly, constantly refreshing your AirPods can cause permanent damage, as the battery experiences mechanical strain when it’s at total capacity. This strain leads to a shorter lifespan for the AirPods’ battery.
We suggest regularly monitoring its charge levels to make the most out of your AirPods’ battery life. You can refer to our comprehensive guide, “How to Check Your AirPods’ Battery: The Ultimate Guide,” for assistance.
Fortunately, Apple has already developed a solution to this issue – optimized battery charging. This function stops charging your AirPods once it reaches 80%, preventing further mechanical stress. This feature helps your AirPods battery last longer.
However, optimized battery charging works best with a consistent charging routine. For instance, if you usually charge your AirPods every morning, the feature will maintain the battery level at 80% until you use your AirPods. By doing so, this process helps protect your battery from damage.
3. Try not to drain the battery of your AirPods and their case entirely
Deep discharges can permanently damage the lithium-ion battery in your AirPods and trigger a short circuit during recharge. It’s best to keep your battery between 25 to 85 percent charged to avoid reducing its lifespan. When your iPhone or iPad alerts you at 20 percent, it’s a signal to charge your battery and avoid using it below 10 percent. Similarly, for your AirPods case, only charge it when necessary to avoid weakening the battery and shortening its lifespan due to the heat stress that occurs during wireless charging.
4. Avoid exposing AirPods to water
To clarify, AirPods are not waterproof but only water and sweat-resistant, as stated by Apple. The difference is that they can withstand sweat during a workout, but you cannot use them for swimming. To keep them dry after heavy workouts, you should wipe them with a lint-free cloth and ensure they are fully dry before using or charging them. If your AirPods get wet, you should remove the water without causing damage. However, using compressed air for drying is not recommended as it can harm the speaker mesh and charging port. Also, note that the sweat and water resistance of your AirPods may deteriorate over time with usage.
5. When charging, take off the cover of the AirPods’ case
While case covers can protect your AirPods and their charging case from scratches and dings, they can also generate excess heat that can damage the battery and reduce its lifespan. We suggest removing the cover on the case, which helps reduce the hear from the charging process.
Disabling certain smart features like automatic ear detection and spatial audio, or turning off ANC and Transparency modes for AirPods Pro can also help conserve battery life. For earbuds with shorter battery performance, using one pod at a time may also be a helpful solution.
AirPods Battery Service: Essential Information You Should Be Aware Of
If your AirPods are still covered by the warranty or if you’ve purchased AppleCare+ you can have them repaired or replaced by Apple at no extra cost. Without AppleCare+, battery service for your AirPods is chargeable. If the battery holds less than 80% capacity, it will be replaced for a cost ranging from $49 to $79, depending on the AirPods model. Replacing the charging case battery costs an additional $49.These fees don’t include taxes or shipping costs.
It’s worth noting that AppleCare+ doesn’t cover lost or stolen AirPods or cases. If you need to repair or replace your AirPods’ battery and have AppleCare+. Book an appointment with an Apple Authorized Service Provider to fix your AirPods by visiting or mailing them. You’ll need to show proof of purchase, the original box, charging case, and serial number to qualify. If the battery issue is due to a manufacturing defect, the service will be free of charge.
AirPods are highly popular headphones due to their unique features and convenience, but their battery life has been a major issue for users. Unfortunately, the more you use or charge your AirPods, the faster their battery deteriorates. While buying a new pair is an option, it’s more cost-effective to take good care of your current AirPods to extend their lifespan. We hope this guide has provided useful tips to help you get the most out of your AirPods’ battery. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you found it helpful or if you have any additional tips to share in the comments.