A short 15-minute boost from AirPods charging case equals three hours listening time

By , Sep 9, 2016

iPhone 7 and airpods

The AirPods, Apple’s new $159 wireless earphones, are scheduled to go on sale in late October so we’ll need to be patient for a while before getting our hands on a pair of these and learn just how long it takes to charge both the earphones and Apple’s Lightning-based charging case from 0 to 100 percent.

Meanwhile, I stumbled upon a nice tidbit in BuzzFeed’s interview with Apple executives saying that it only takes a short 15-minute boost from the tiny charging case to give AirPods three hours of run time.

It’s important to note that BuzzFeed is referring to three hours of listening time: talk time is about two hours after the same 15-minute boost from the charging case. The real-life experience of BuzzFeed reporter John Paczkowski largely confirms Apple’s charging claims on the AirPods website.

According to Apple’s barrage of tests, the AirPods provide up to five hours of listening time on a single charge, but the included charging case holds multiple additional charges for more than 24 hours of listening time before the case itself needs recharging.

AirPods battery case

“Need a quick charge? Just 15 minutes in the case gives you 3 hours of listening time,” says Apple. For those wondering, listening time is better than talk time because the built-in microphone isn’t active when you’re listening to music.

According to Apple’s official specs:

  • AirPods with Charging Case: 24 hours listening time and 11 hours talk time
  • AirPods (single charge): 5 hours listening time and 2 hours talk time
  • 15 minutes in the case equals 3 hours listening time or over an hour of talk time

That’s pretty great, but not entirely unexpected: each AirPod packs in a tiny battery that takes only a fraction of the time to charge compared to, say, your iPhone.

The tiny AirPods are so densely packed there’s literally no unused space in them.

Inside AirPods

Aside from the speaker itself and the battery, Apple was able to squeeze in impressive technology inside each AirPod, like its new W1 wireless chip, an antenna, a pair of accelerometers, two optical sensors and two beam-forming microphones.

I’m also very impressed with how you check the AirPods’ current battery status: either you hold the AirPods next to an iPhone or ask Siri “How’s the battery on my AirPods?”

Source: BuzzFeed News

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  • OWashe

    here is a rather nice way to keep them from getting lost after buying them. I know i will be

    • Bill

      I’ve been using bluetooth headsets/earpieces for years. I have never lost one. Ever.

      • OWashe

        I guess the equivalent of loosing one or both will be like loosing my keys… So i will be definitely getting a pair since that is unlikely

      • Bill

        Yeah I understand your point, and I actually did think about car keys. But really it should be no different between keeping track of earbuds with wires versus without wires. If you’re going to lose one, you’d have lost the other. The wire should make no difference.

      • OWashe

        It will be my first time owning a pair so I hope they are as good as the EarPods or better…

      • therealjjohnson

        When one drops out your pocket now caught by the wire. Without wires it will just fall out and you wouldn’t know. That’s one scenario.

    • eXoguti097

      There’s a case!

    • Shinonuke

      Be careful as someone who wants one but doesn’t want to pay for it will…think about the pain

  • Bill

    Truly a modern marvel of computing power, if you ask me.

    • Sarcasm or?

      • Bill

        Not at all! I really am impressed by what I’m seeing. Can’t wait for the in-depth reviews after their release. 🙂

      • ravinigga

        True that, while it looks weird and easy to lose.
        But again like the pencil a lot on hardware in tiny product

    • rockdude094

      just didn’t get the price down just right

  • Joonyaboy

    Can you use just one at a time? Charge one side at a time?

    • Bill

      Yes! This is actually one thing that seems pretty cool to me, as I listen to podcasts a lot at work but I also should keep one ear free. I can use one while the other is in the charging case, and swap out if necessary. One should theoretically be able to listen indefinitely by using only one at a time if they needed to. And these are supposed to automatically direct sound to whichever one is actually in your ear, and cut sound from the one that isn’t.

      • therealjjohnson

        This is exactly what I do while listening to podcast. I do like how low key they are as well. If in the correct ear, a person (boss) won’t even know you’re listening to anything.

      • AlphaPoppy

        The real reason why i’m getting these lol

      • The Fluffy Alpaca

        That is a pretty cool feature actually!

    • OWashe

      I really need to know this too. And I hope they can also add some other gestures for skipping music

      • Amid Abdul

        Yes you can.

  • Rowan09

    I was hoping to go running but if they are not sweat proof that’s a missed opportunity. My Beats wireless 2 somethings get in my way even though they are Bluetooth, the wire can be annoying.

    • nova voter

      Same here. My other concern from in-ear pictures is that they may not stay in during running.

      • Ds

        you could always connect them together with sunglasses lanyard I would imagine.

      • Rowan09

        I’ll have to try them out and see.

      • The Fluffy Alpaca

        Here’s a better image:

  • Jayy

    Would be dope if iPhones could charge that fast! Obviously not 15min = 3 hours but whatever the equivalent is for a phone!

    • Rowan09

      Apple need to revamp the iPhone charger, I use my iPad charger and my phone charges really fast and I’m using a 6S Plus.

      • Jayy

        Yeah I need to buy a iPad power brick thing, I heard it shaves off about 40-50min for a full charge!

      • Rowan09

        Yes it does. I actually saw my friend use the regular one for his plus and it’s like watching paint dry. If you have the 6s it charges way faster.

      • Jayy

        Yeah I need to get one, because to fully charge my 6s plus it takes over 2 hours.

    • 5723alex .

      Fast charging my iPhone 6s plus for 15min I get +30% of battery.
      I use KWIK Charger.

      • Jayy

        I’m going to have to look into that case, but with those charge times it’s probably bigger than a otterbox case and I don’t like bulky cases.

  • Sleetui

    Hopefully these AirPods won’t sound the same as the crappy EarPods. At least have some decent sound quality.

  • when you can finally purchase the airpods; will they come with the same shadowy dreamy lighting; like on the web page? No?

  • Agneev Mukherjee

    I wonder how they get charged?? Up the mic’s a**?

    • Bill

      If you look closely at the microphone end, there is a metal ring. But the ring is actually not a complete circle. Those are two separate pieces of metal- they appear to be the two electrical contacts. Clever, and aesthetically pleasing.

      • Agneev Mukherjee

        Figured as much.

  • George

    What a lazy ass design.

    • Rowan09

      If it just went into your ears like an hearing aid would it look better?

      • George

        I don’t know but this is stupid looking for a company who loves to call their products fashionable.

      • Rowan09

        So you don’t know, but yet so critical is all I’m saying. I really don’t see it being done any other way than this or like hearing aids. You need somewhere to put a battery and all the other components, so the hearing aid option might be off the table.

    • raulortiz318

      Pretty obvious why they went with it tho. Apple earbuds have an unmistakeable shape and color. You see someone on the street with them, it’s free advertising for Apple. Losing the cord takes away from that recognition, so they had to keep that long stalk, not only for battery purposes, but also to keep their classic design.

      • Rowan09

        I agree, it’s also about brand recognition. If they made hearing aid looking earphones no one would really see them.

  • anonymous

    They better not hurt like the Regular wired headphones and shit

  • Tik B Lang

    Why don’t they invent a universal charger in the form of a coffee mug. Just toss in the AIRPODS in it and it will automatically lined up the correct polarity at the bottom part – while the middle portion will charge that darn thing Iphone. I’m very lazy to uncover that darn charging case.