If you’re an early AirPods adopter, chances are your battery life isn’t as great as it used to be when the earbuds were new. I definitely noticed a significant drop in my AirPods run tie 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 AirPods batteries become worn-out and lose their ability to hold charge. When that happens, you’ll experience symptoms like Bluetooth connection problems, poorer sound and voice quality and, of course, ever-decreasing runtime between charges.
In my example, I can barely finish a one-hour phone call before my AirPods die on me. For context, brand-new ones 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 but the 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 that Apple’s 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.
In other words, those who’ve been using their AirPods concurrently will start seeing battery issues at the same time. Apple would love to slap you with a $98 fee for a pair of batteries, but you’re probably going to need a new battery for the charging case, too, which would set you back an additional $49. And just like that, you’re looking at whopping $147 to have the batteries in both your earbuds and the charging case replaced by Apple.
A pair of brand new AirPods from Apple is $159—do yourself a big favor and buy brand-new earbuds instead of paying Apple’s exorbitant battery replacement fees. Better yet, wait a little because second-generation AirPods are looming on the horizon and they’re said to rock increased run time thanks 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 case because, as satisfying as that might be, doing so will reduce its battery charge.