Apple AirPods and Battery Life

Since I got my AirPods on Monday, I’ve been using them to listen to podcasts and audiobooks about two hours a day. From Monday through Thursday, that’d make about eight hours of battery time.

Right after I got the AirPods, I plugged the case in to charge it completely. I think it was around 93% when I first checked, so it quickly charged to capacity. Since then, I did not re-charge the case, letting it change the AirPods, and letting the case’s battery run out.

So that gives me about eight hours’ battery life; Apple rates them at about 24 hours listening time, and 11 hours talk time.

AirPods with Charging Case: More than 24 hours listening time, up to 11 hours talk time.

I did use them for a few phone calls; lets say an hour and a half, so 14% of the total rated battery time. Add that to eight hours of listening, and it’s well under Apple’s specs.

Last night, the case was at 0%, and the AirPods were around 50%. When I checked this morning, the AirPods were dead. I suspect the AirPods may be constantly polling for a device to connect to. Since they only automatically connect to my iPhone – and only when not in the case – they wouldn’t have found it overnight, since I left the AirPods in my office, and my iPhone was in the bedroom. But since the case’s battery was dead, perhaps the AirPods thought they were not in the case and were looking for a connection all night until they ran out of power.

No matter what, this battery life is quite poor. I’ll do some more testing, but if I were to use these more intensively, I’d be disappointed by the amount of time they last. Right now, I’m recharging to 100%, and I’ll try to note in detail how long I use them.

To be fair, it only took less than 10 minutes to charge the AirPods to more than 20%, so I could use them for a walk. So even if you wake up and they’re dead, you can charge them pretty quickly.

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2 thoughts on “Apple AirPods and Battery Life

  1. I’m confused by your experiment. Did you return the AirPods to the case when not in use and only got 8 hours of use? If so, that would be pretty bad. However, it sounds like you left them out of the case, which drained both the case and the AirPods? Kinda makes sense for the AirPods, but why would the case drain dramatically without the AirPods (that would also be bad).

    The best test would be to return the AirPods to the case when not in use and measure the total use time, but I don’t think that’s what you did (?).

  2. What did you find were the results of your battery tests? I had the Airpods, but found that the case kept discharging slowly throughout the day if I wasn’t using them, so the only 24 hours of battery life I would get would be standby until they totally died. I also found that when my case died, I couldn’t use the airpods, since flipping the case open was the impetus for pairing with my phone.

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