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The maximum time an AirPods can last and ways to extend it

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All earbuds have a good battery life. You can improve the battery life and increase the lifespan of AirPods with a few tricks. 

Since 2017, Apple has sold approximately 200 million AirPods. The first 100 million were sold between 2017 and 2020. It may be trashed in 2023. That’s because its battery life is finite and the Apple Airpods line is hard to repair.

So what if you already have a pair of AirPods? You have to use it as long as you can. Here we show you how long you can use your AirPods and how to extend its lifespan as much as possible. 

What is the battery life of AirPods?

Your AirPods give you up to 6 hours of listening time and up to 4.5 hours of talk time by charging once. However, this battery life varies depending on models, volume and other features. For example, Apple comments on their battery life using 50% volume. And remember that battery life degrades over time. 

You can get more than 60 minutes of listings or talking time by charging five minutes. We recommend that you give it at least 15 or 20 minutes, that is, an amount close to a full charge.

The MagSafe charging case that comes with AirPods 3rd generation holds multiple charges and increases the battery life of your AirPods. 

Up to 30 hours of listening time

Talk time up to 20 hours 

What is the lifespan of your AirPods? 

The battery tends to be the first thing to deteriorate in wireless earbuds like AirPods. This will shorten the battery lifespan and reduce the life of your AirPods. 

iFixit Taking apart your AirPods requires patience, some small motor skills and some tools.

Besides the extreme temperature, charging is the most damaging to your battery. Every time you charge it, a little capacity is removed from it. Unfortunately this is irreversible. And batteries break down completely over time. Every battery has a limited number of charge cycles. After that it can no longer hold charge. 

The battery type included in your AirPods Pro is the same as a Varta CoinPower lithium ion coin cell. Under optimal conditions, this battery can only provide 80% of its battery capacity after 500 charging cycles. With each battery charge cycle, the battery capacity fades a little more and faster.

According to Tektronix’s white paper, “the estimated life of lithium-ion batteries is two to three years or 300 or 500 charge cycles.” Tektronix recommends that you replace the battery when the capacity is less than 80%. Varta coin cells reach this state only after 500 charge cycles. It gives you a single daily charge for more than 16 months.

According to our reports, we know that the first and second generation AirPods can be used daily for two years until the listening time is reduced by one hour. But really it all depends on how you use your AirPods. Although it is difficult to extend the life of your AirPods more than two years, you can use a few things to get more juice from each charge and reduce the depletion of the battery. 

How to make your AirPods last longer?

You can extend the life of your AirPods in several different ways. You can make each charge last as long as possible, increase the overall battery and product lifespan by treating your AirPods well, and if your battery breaks down once, try to repair it. Let’s look at them one by one now.

To maximize each charge, you’ll have to conserve battery life:

Reduce the volume; it’s better for your ears, too.

Turn off ANC when you don’t need it.

Disable smart features you don’t need, such as automatic ear detection, Spatial Audio, or automatic device switching.

For calls, use only one earbud at a time (turn the other bud off) and alternate between the two.

Power your AirPods off when not in use.

If you turn off your AirPods when you have more than 40% battery life left, try storing them outside of the charging case. It can prevent the permature charging cycle. If you don’t store them carefully in this way, protected or in a non-charging case, you may lose one or both of them. So be careful about it. We recommend you a mints tin. 

How to extend the lifespan of your AirPods

One of the easiest ways to extend the lifespan of your AirPods is to avoid deep discharges. Also, it is a very good idea to max out every charge before recharging your AirPods, and you will never need to fully charge the battery. An over-discharged lithium-ion battery can cause changes in its anode and cathode, and when you recharge it, it can cause an internal short circuit. Also, the overall capacity of the battery may decrease due to a deep discharge.

The sweet spot between battery lifespan and maximizing charging cycles is between 20-40% remaining battery life. Your iPad or iPhone will notify you when the charge of your AirPods reaches 20%. If you hear the warning tone that says your 10%, it means that you are pushing your luck.

You don’t have to top up your AirPods completely. The only thing worse than a deep discharge is a full recharge. Sustaining a full charge is equivalent to a mechanical stress and thus shortens the battery life. Therefore, Apple AirPods Pro is equipped with an optimized battery charging. A feature to automatically limit the time it takes to fully charge AirPods. The charging case will not charge your AirPods more than 80% before you listen to music. Below 80% charged status reduces the wear of batteries and increases their lifespan.

Optimized battery charging only works when you use a predictable usage pattern. And it requires iOS 14.2 or later. If you have AirPods but cannot apply these conditions, I highly recommend turning off this feature. Instead, add your own battery conservative habits. 

It is not a problem to charge your AirPods half and store them. If you know you won’t be using your AirPods for a while, charge them up to 50%, remove them from the charging case, and store them in a dry and cool place.

About the AirPods case 

The charging case battery also has a finite lifespan. Your AirPods case can be conveniently converted into a wireless charger. But did you know that inductive charging is extremely inefficient? Wireless charging requires more energy, takes more time, and puts more heat stress on the battery. That is, it degrades quickly. Take a few seconds to conserve energy and capacity and plug in your AirPods when they need charging. 

How to repair or fix your AirPods?

First and second generation AirPods are identical and difficult to fix. 

Do you have the right to repair your AirPods? US official legislation does not give rights to consumers to repair their electronics. But Apple offers you a DIY i.e. Do-It-Yourself parts service, by which parts are shipped to you for your Apple Products. Even so, Apple has not made any of their products to be easily repairable.

Apple designs their AirPods without clips or screws. Instead, glue holds with components and thus makes repair difficult. And iFixit has rated every generation of AirPods as unfixable. If you have the right tools, a steady hand and good patience, you can repair your AirPods yourself. But we do not recommend it. 

It is not realistic to repair your AirPods yourself. Now let’s see how they can be serviced. You have several options.

Apple Support: If you are within your warranty period or if you have purchased AppleCare+, Apple will cover repair and replacement. You can make a Genius Var Appointment, take the product to an Apple Store or mail it. You will need your serial number, proof of purchase or an original AirPods box. 

If your warranty is past, you have to pay 49$ for battery service to Apple for an earbud.

Why should you care about the lifespan of your AirPods? Unfortunately, many wireless earphones end up in the trash heap because they are difficult to repair. AirPods are not only expensive, they also have social and environmental impacts. That’s true for all wireless devices, but it’s especially true for wireless earbuds. That’s because its battery expires after two years and it’s difficult to service again. 

The biggest difference between wired and wireless devices is the battery or three batteries to be exact. One in each earbuds and the other in the charging case. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have improved a lot over single use type batteries and are far from clean technology.

Mass production and disposal of true wireless earbuds is irreversible due to social and environmental impacts. 

As in other mining operations, lithium carbonate extraction, cobalt, nickel, and other elements found in lithium-ion batteries also create toxic waste. But the environmental hazard does not end with mining. Many lithium-ion batteries end up in landfills when their life cycle ends. Therefore, while the chemical leaks into the ground, it causes a lot of environmental damage.

The good thing is that lithium-ion battery recycling has started to take off. Not only because mining struggles meet demand, but also because many electronic vehicles will be based on natural resources in the future. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is to use your AirPods as long as possible. and ensure that they are included in the recycling stream when they expire. 

How to choose a sustainable AirPods alternative? 

Next time you need new earbuds or AirPods, look for longer lasting ones. Below are more eco-friendly ideas and the best AirPods alternatives available right now.

Ditch batteries and go wired 

Non-battery-based headphones usually last longer. Also, if a part of it is broken, such as the audio cable, repairing it is easier than repairing a dead battery. It also supports wired headphone lossless audio. 

So what is the best wired alternative to AirPods? 

If you are looking for a high end pair of earbuds, we would say Etymotic ER4SR or FiiO FH5 are the best. All those devices come with an MMXC connector. A budget-friendly alternative is the Shure SR215s. If your smartphone doesn’t have a headphone jack, you’ll need a USB-C adapter or Lightning.

Get a Bluetooth headphone with a jack If you want to work with wireless, choose a headphone with a jack. That is, even if the battery is dead, it has life and it is the best long-term solution. 

Most high-end wireless headphones come with an audio jack. Including the Sony WH-1000XM5 and WH-1000XM4. Meanwhile, budget models often miss this extra part. If you are looking for something more affordable, Monoprice BT-600ANC is the best. And its premium features are less than $100.

Find repairable earbuds 

When you go to an electronics shop, keep repairability at the top of your list. When you buy earbuds, consider iFixit’s repairability score as well as the manufacturer’s track record for providing replacement and repairing parts. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is currently the best repairable AirPods available.

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