AirPods MagSafe charging case reports its battery status without earbuds inside

The new MagSafe charging case for AirPods Pro 2 reports its battery status to Apple’s Batteries widget even without earbuds in your ears.

Infographic highlighting the key features of AirPods Pro 2
The new case uses Apple’s U1 chip | Image: Apple
  • What’s happening? An improved charging case for the new AirPods Pro can report its own battery charge status to iOS with or without earbuds inside.
  • Why care? Before AirPods Pro 2, you had to leave at least one earbud in the charging case to view charge status of the case in Apple’s Batteries widget.
  • What to do? If you’re looking to upgrade your AirPods, consider AirPods Pro 2 whose charging case now works with MagSafe and supports Find My.

Apple’s new MagSafe charging case has another secret

One of the best things about the second-generation AirPods Pro, in my personal view, isn’t 2x better active noise cancellation via Apple’s H2 chip or other improvements, it’s the much-improved charging case.

At long last, the charging case that ships with AirPods Pro 2 can report the charge status of its own internal battery to Apple’s Batteries widgets without having to leave earbuds in the case. This is quite different from all other AirPods models which don’t report the case charge level without at least one AirPod in the case.

That’s because the old case didn’t have wireless connectivity to communicate with the Batteries widget, instead relying on Bluetooth in the earbuds themselves.

But at least one earbud had to be inside the case so that the charge status of the case could be pushed to iOS. But as soon as you put both AirPods in your ears, the Batteries widget could no longer report the the charge status of the case.

The new case uses the Apple U1 chip to directly communicate with the phone.

Find My AirPods charging case

It also needs the U1 chip for another, more practical reason: Integration with the Find My service. Participation in Apple’s Find My network permits you to easily locate your charging case on the map whenever it gets separated from your AirPods.

And with a built-in speaker, locating a lost or misplaced case is even easier.

AirPods Pro 2 charging case
This case can be found when lost via Find My | Image: Apple

Previously, you could only locate individual misplaced AirPods and play a sound to help you find them. There was no way at all to find a lost or misplaced charging case using the Find My app nor could you play a sound to help you locate it.

“With AirPods Pro (2nd generation), you can also play a sound to help find your charging case,” Apple notes in a support document.

And since this is the first AirPods charging case equipped with Apple’s U1 chip, you can turn on separation alerts in the Find My app. Doing so will notify you on your iPhone should you forget your AirPods at an unknown location.

The AirPods Pro 2 charge case also comes with support for MagSafe technology allowing it to be charged on the Apple Watch charger and other MagSafe chargers.