If you’re an early AirPods adopter, chances are their battery life isn’t as great as it used to be when the earbuds were new. I definitely noticed a significant drop in AirPods battery life during my second year of ownership. While Apple does provide a first-party battery replacement service for the wireless earphones, you may want to think twice before taking the plunge.
AirPods are covered by Apple’s standard 1-year warranty. Over time, the batteries in your earbuds and the charging case become worn-out and lose their ability to hold charge.
When that happens, you may experience symptoms like Bluetooth connection problems, poorer sound and voice quality and, of course, decreasing runtime between charges.
In my example, I can barely finish a one-hour phone call before my AirPods need recharging. For context, brand-new AirPods are rated as providing a five-hour listening time or about two hours of talk time on one charge, with the charging case holding multiple additional charges for more than 24 hours of listening time or up to eleven hours of talk time in total.
If your AirPods battery has a manufacturing defect, Apple will fix it for free under its warranty or consumer law in your country. Apple’s warranty does not cover wear from normal use—and that’s a problem for early adopters who are now well into their second year of ownership.
To say Apple’s AirPods battery fees are ludicrous would be an understatement—the firm will charge you a whopping $49 to replace a 398 mAh battery in a single AirPod.
Want the charging case battery replaced as well? That’s another $49.
If you’ve been using your AirPods concurrently, you’ll start noticing battery issues at the same time. Apple, needles to say, would love to charge you $98 for the battery replacement service!
Chances are you’re probably going to need a new battery for the charging case, too, and that’ll set you back an additional $49. All of a sudden, you’re looking at whopping $147 to have new batteries in your earbuds and the case.
A pair of brand new AirPods from Apple is $159—do yourself a big favor and buy brand-new AirPods instead of paying Apple’s exorbitant battery replacement fees.
Now you know why Apple doesn’t offer extend AppleCare coverage for AirPods.
Better yet, wait a little because second-generation AirPods are looming on the horizon and they’re likely to feature increased run time due to the power-saving Bluetooth 5.0 protocol.
To maximize your AirPods battery life, always put them in the case when they’re not being used. When making phone calls, use just one AirPod because phone calls are mono anyway.
And most importantly, avoid repeatedly opening and closing the charging because as satisfying as that might be, doing so will reduce the battery charge of the case.