How to Improve AirPods Battery Life [Increase Playback Time]

Written By Farhan Max

As convenient as it may be, going wireless always comes with the concern of battery life. Nothing can be more frustrating than your AirPods battery dying while listening to your favorite tunes.improve-airpods-battery-life

Fortunately, there are several ways to extend the battery life of all AirPods iterations.

Let’s dive into this article as I have shortlisted the most precise methods to increase the listening time on AirPods.

How to Improve Battery Life of AirPods

You can improve the battery life of AirPods by turning off battery draining features, such as active noise cancellation, spatial 3D audio, and ear detection. Use the AirPods at 50% volume. Also, keep the AirPods in their charging case when you’re not using them.

Here’s how to make your AirPods battery last longer:

1. Keep Your AirPods in Their Charging Case

keep-your-airpods-in-their-charging-caseThe most effective way to make sure that the AirPods are always charged and ready to use is to put them back into their charging case after using them. The case holds multiple full charges for each of the AirPods, allowing you to charge them on the go.

Not only does it keep your AirPods charged, but it also prevents the earbuds from getting lost or external damage.

2. Don’t Unnecessarily Fiddle with the AirPods’ Case Lid

When you open the AirPods case, it immediately tries to find and establish a connection with nearby devices. This process drains the battery of the AirPods case. So if you don’t need it, keep the case lid closed. Avoid fiddling with the charging case unnecessarily.

3. Use One Earbud at a Time

If you use only one earbud instead of both, you can double the usage time. Granted, the mono audio experience is far from satisfying when listening to music. But it is useful for phone calls and can greatly improve the overall talk time.

Additionally, many people use one earbud at a time anyway, as it allows them to listen to music while being aware of their surroundings. So it’s a manageable compromise that can greatly improve the battery life.

Quickly check out our epic guide on how to fix AirPods not working on one side.

4. Turn off ANC & Spatial Audio

Although active noise cancellation and spatial 3D audio with head tracking are the most notable features of AirPods Pro, these are also the most battery draining functions.

If you’ve ever seen a review of any earbuds that have this ANC feature, you’ll notice that the reviewers often mention two types of battery life; one with ANC enabled and another with ANC disabled.

The playback time with ANC enabled usually gets cut in half compared to the one with ANC disabled. So there shouldn’t be any confusion that turning off ANC & spatial audio will greatly improve the battery life of your AirPods Pro.

Here are the steps to turn off ANC & spatial audio:

  • Swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to go to the Control Center.
  • Tap on the volume bar of your connected AirPods. iphone-control-center
  • Tap on Noise Control. airpods-noise-control
  • Select Off. airpods-noise-control-off
  • Go back and tap on Spatialize Stereo. airpods-spatial-audio
  • Select Off. airpods-spatial-audio-off

Now you should notice a drastic improvement in your AirPods’ battery life.

Follow our guide step-by-step to fix Spatial audio not working on AirPods.

5. Disable Automatic Ear Detection

AirPods have a built-in ear detection feature that can detect when you take them out of your ear and will pause the music automatically. It is certainly a nifty feature but can unnecessarily drain a lot of battery.

Here’s how to disable automatic ear detection for AirPods:

  • Go to your iPhone’s Settings.
  • Select Bluetooth. iphone-bluetooth
  • Tap on the info icon(i) for your connected AirPods. airpods-info-icon
  • Toggle off Automatic Ear Detection. airpods-automatic-ear-detection

Now you will get an extended playback/talk time out of your AirPods. However, you’ll need to turn off the music manually after taking the AirPods out of your ears.

Speaking of taking out AirPods, if your AirPods feel loose in your ears, here’s a useful guide to keep the AirPods from falling out.

6. Turn Down AirPods Volume

Listening to your AirPods at a lower volume will consume less energy. Hence, your overall playback time will greatly increase. Additionally, turn off the bass booster feature from the equalizer settings.

A pair of earbuds blasting at full volume for a prolonged period is also harmful to your hearing.

7. Avoid Extreme Heat/Cold Environments

Too hot or too cold temperature can often drastically reduce the battery performance and even cause long-term damage as well. To get the best battery performance out of your AirPods, keep them away from direct sunlight and store them someplace where it doesn’t get too cold either.

Keeping tabs on the AirPods battery level is also a good measure. iPhones have a built-in option to see the battery life of both the AirPods and their charging case. Fortunately, you can also check the AirPods’ remaining battery level on Android.

Additionally, keep the AirPods case charged whenever you can. Since AirPods get their charge from the case, it will reduce the chance of running out of juice. If you’re facing any difficulties charging the AirPods case, you can easily troubleshoot them.


How long should Airpod batteries last?

According to Apple, AirPods 1 can last around five hours of music playback and around two hours of talk time on a single charge. AirPods 2 have increased the talk time to around three hours. For AirPods Pro, the battery life is about four and a half hours of music playback.

Why is my AirPods battery draining so fast?

Your AirPods’ battery will drain faster if you have enabled special features such as active noise cancellation, spatial audio, head tracking, automatic ear detection etc.

Final Note

Keep in mind that the AirPods use lithium-ion batteries, which degrade over time. Hence you might get shorter & shorter playback time as your AirPods get older. In such cases, this guide will be more useful as it will allow you to squeeze out as much battery life as possible.

I hope this write-up has helped you extend the battery life of your AirPods in situations where you don’t have the means to recharge the case. If you have further questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section below.

Have a great day!

About The Author
Farhan Max is a tech geek with a particular interest in computer hardware. He's been fascinated by gaming since childhood and is now completing his undergraduate studies while researching and testing the latest tech innovations. Alongside his love for all things geeky, Farhan is also a skilled photographer.

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