How Long Do AirPods Last? Answered

In Short
  • AirPods offer up to 6.5 hours of listening time and up to 4.5 hours of talking time on a single charge.
  • The AirPods battery life differs between models and depends on volume, noise cancellation, environmental factors, usage, and other factors.
  • Typically, your AirPods should easily last you up to two or three years of regular use, before you need a replacement.

If you’ve got AirPods or are planning to buy them, you must be curious to know how long AirPods can last you. Well, this seems to be one, but it’s actually two questions- how long do AirPods last on a single charge and how long can they last you before you need to replace them? You’ll get answers to both the questions here. Also, we’ve shared some simple tips and tricks to make your AirPods last longer. Without further ado, let’s begin!

What Is the Lifespan of AirPods?

Typically, your AirPods should easily last you up to two or three years of regular use. After that, the batteries may start to degrade and come to a point where they aren’t usable. At that point, you may face no sound problems or feel that your one AirPod is louder than the other. Even worse, your AirPods may not work at all. However, this doesn’t happen very often.

I’ve been using my AirPods Pro for around three and a half years now, and they are working just fine. I use them regularly for around 2 hours or so. Yes, the battery capacity has degraded over time, and my AirPods Pro now lasts shorter between the charges.

How Much Is AirPods Battery Life?

Apple AirPods Pro

Generally, AirPods offer up to 6.5 hours of listening time and up to 4.5 hours of talking time on a single charge. That said, this isn’t the same for all models and every user. The AirPods battery life differs between models and depends on volume, noise cancellation, environmental factors, usage, and other factors.

For instance, if you listen at higher volume settings, use noise cancellation all the time, and use the AirPods mic for phone calls/Siri requests, you might experience a shorter AirPods battery life. On the flip side, if you disable noise cancellation or use such features in moderation, your AirPods should last you longer between the charges.

Here’s a quick glance at the battery life of different AirPods models:

ModelListening TimeTalking Time
AirPods 2nd gen5 hours3 hours
AirPods 3rd gen6 hours4 hours
AirPods Pro 4.5 hours3.5 hours
AirPods Pro 2nd gen6 hours4.5 hours
AirPods Max20 hours20 hours
AirPods Battery Life

How Long Do AirPods 2 Last?

After two and a half years of the original AirPods, Apple dropped AirPods 2 in March 2019 with an improved battery life and performance.

The AirPods 2 will last you up to 5 hours of listening time and 3 hours of talking time on a single charge. When paired with the charging case, AirPods 2 can run for more than 24 hours of listening time and up to 18 hours of talk time. A 15-minute quick charge will offer up to 3 hours of listening and 2 hours of talk time.

What Is the Battery Life of AirPods 3?

Again, after another two and half years, Apple launched AirPods 3 with an even better battery life. Compared to AirPods 2, AirPods 3 can last you up to 6 hours of listening time (up to 5 hours with Spatial Audio enabled) and up to 4 hours of talk time on a single charge. A super quick 5-minute charge can offer you around 1 hour of listening or talking time.

When paired with the MagSafe charging case, you can enjoy up to 30 hours of listening time and more than 18 hours of talk time.

How Long Do AirPods Pro Last?

In 2019, Apple released a premium version of its true wireless earbuds called AirPods Pro. With the “Pro” label comes various additions like detachable silicon ear tips and the active noise cancellation feature.

On a single charge, the 1st generation AirPods Pro can give you up to 4.5 hours of listening time and 3.5 hours of talking time. With multiple charges in the case, AirPods Pro battery life can go up to 24 hours of listening time and up to 18 hours of talk time. Also, a 5-minute top-up is enough to keep you going for an hour of listening to music or making phone calls.

What Is the Battery Life of AirPods Pro 2nd Gen?

The 2nd-generation AirPods Pro offers a nice improvement over the 1st-generation AirPods Pro with up to 6 hours of listening time and 4.5 hours of talk time on a single charge. Bear in mind that the listening times are reduced to 5.5 hours when you enable Spatial Audio and Head Tracking.

When paired with the charging case, you get the same 24 hours of listening time and 18 hours of talking time, equal to AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro 1st gen.

How Long Do AirPods Max Last?

In December 2020, the AirPods lineup got bigger with the addition of over-the-ear headphones called AirPods Max. On a single charge, AirPods Max delivers an impressive 20 hours of listening, talking, or film playback time, even when you have Spatial Audio and Active Noise Cancellation enabled. A quick 5-minute charge is enough to get you around 1.5 hours of listening time.

What Factors Affect AirPods Lifespan?

1. Charging Habits

One of the most common factors that affect AirPod’s lifespan is your charging habits. Of course, you have to charge your AirPods to keep them going. However, every time you charge your AirPods, they will lose a little bit of their original capacity. This can get worse if you have a habit of overcharging your AirPods. To make your AirPods last longer, you must keep them at moderate charge levels.

2. Temperature

Using AirPods in extreme temperature conditions, be it hot or cold, can impact the AirPods battery life. Exposing your AirPods to direct sunlight or leaving them in a car on a hot day can lead to battery degradation and performance issues. If you can, try storing your AirPods in temperatures between -10º and 45º C (14º to 113º F).

3. Volume, ANC & Other Settings

When we know the AirPod’s battery life depends on how often you charge it, you should be mindful of using that precious juice. If you listen to music at the highest volume levels or always enable ANC mode even when you don’t need it, the battery will be depleted more often. As a result, you’ll have to charge them more often. To avoid this, you can stick to a lower volume level that suits you. Also, some AirPods have brilliant features like ANC, Spatial Audio, and Head tracking for an immersive listening experience, but they come at the cost of battery life. So, you must enable those features only when you need them. Once you’re done, just disable them.

4. Usage Habits

How you use your AirPods plays a huge role in deciding its lifespan. If you wear your AirPods while working out in humid conditions, make a habit of cleaning your AirPods after every workout session. That’s because moisture and sweat can seep inside and damage the internal components, which impacts the battery life and overall functionality.

Over time, dust, dirt, or debris can accumulate around the speaker mesh, charging points, or other areas. When the charging ports are clogged, it may affect the connectivity and charging performance. Before you start facing any issues, make a habit of regularly cleaning your AirPods and the charging case with a soft and dry lint-free cloth.

5. Physical Stress and Storage

AirPods are delicate electronic gadgets and you must handle them with care. If your AirPods suffer a harsh drop or you accidentally step onto them, it can damage the internal components and affect the lifespan. Also, proper storage is crucial for your AirPod’s longevity. Avoid storing your little buds in places where they can be exposed to dust, excessive heat, or moisture. Also, when you aren’t using your earbuds, store them in the charging case. It will prevent any physical damage and keeps your AirPods at optimal charge levels, so they are always ready for use.

Tips to Make AirPods Last Longer

Thankfully, there are some simple tips and tricks to extend the battery life and lifespan of your AirPods. When made a habit, these tips can make your AirPods last longer. Here you go:

  • AirPods Pro and AirPods 3 have an Optimized Battery Charging feature that helps improve its lifespan by reducing the time your earbuds spend fully charged. This feature is enabled by default when you set up your device or update to iOS 15. To verify, go to iPhone Settings -> [Your AirPods] -> Optimized Battery Charging and turn it On.
  • Never overcharge your AirPods.
  • Don’t use high-volume settings all the time. Instead, switch to a lower level that suits you.
  • Turn off Active Noise Cancellation, Spatial Audio, Adaptive Transparency, and other features when you don’t need them.
  • Disconnect your AirPods when they aren’t in use.
  • When using your AirPods for extended hours, give them a small nap in between.
  • You can also invest in a protective case to safeguard your AirPods against scratches, drops, and other impacts.

When Should You Replace Your AirPods?

After two or three years of typical usage, your AirPods batteries may degrade and may not last you longer. If you often find your AirPods low on charge or you can’t charge your AirPods, it’s probably time to replace your AirPods or recycle them.

If you’re looking for a new pair of premium and feature-packed AirPods, you must consider AirPods Pro 2. In case you wish to save a few bucks, AirPods 3 is also a really good option.

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