Truly wireless headphones rely on batteries to function, which means that, over time and with plenty of usage, the battery life in those headphones will get worse.
Which might make them seem disposable, but that will ultimately come down to the individual and how long their wireless headphones last before needing to be replaced by newer headphones. That’s certainly the case for the AirPods, Apple’s truly wireless headphones.
However, The Washington Post has discovered that there is a way to get your aging AirPods, which may be suffering battery life loss, fixed. If you go to the Genius Bar at an Apple Store and ask for replacement AirPods because of your current headphones’ battery life, Apple may offer AirPods for $138 — a bit cheaper than new AirPods, but not much.
But Apple actually has a battery service for AirPods, under certain scenarios. With that battery service you can get each AirPods’ battery replaced for just $49 per AirPod.
The kicker here is that you need to actually say the words, “battery service” when you make an appointment with the Genius Bar to get this “deal”. Otherwise you’re just going to get a suggestion that you buy new AirPods, even for the slightly discounted rate mentioned above.
The report states that it took weeks of “back-and-forth” with Apple to get some answers, but answers were finally provided:
- If your AirPods are less than a year old and the battery is not performing up to the promised five hours of listening time, an Apple store will replace them at no cost.
- Apple recently began selling its AppleCare+ warranty for $29, which covers the battery, too. But this extended warranty lasts only two years — which wouldn’t have been long enough to save my AirPods.
- If your AirPods are out of warranty, Apple will replace them for $49 per stick — so in reality, $98 total. A replacement for the charging case, which doesn’t wear out as quickly, is also $49. The key phrase to say is “battery service.” (Apple is providing additional training to customer service representatives on that point, but if you still have trouble, show them this link — or this column.)
Apple does not have a set expectation for AirPods battery life over time, and Apple does not have a way to test the battery health of AirPods, either.
Apple does have AppleCare+ coverage for AirPods, and Beats headphones, which it launched in September of this year. It’s also worth noting that if your AirPods are still covered by the standard warranty, and are defective, Apple will replace them free of charge.
So, there you go. If you have some aging AirPods with less-than-stellar battery life, just tell the Genius Bar that you need “battery service” for your AirPods to get them fixed for less than money than buying a whole new pair.
And hey, maybe this means you can keep your original pair of AirPods a bit longer — until Apple gets around to launching those AirPods with noise cancellation, right?