After a few years, the battery life on AirPods declines as the lithium-ion cells inside reach too many charging cycles. If your AirPods frequently need to be charged after only a short time of active use, it's likely the batteries can't sustain required power levels. AirPods batteries are relatively small cells tucked into the bottom of the in-ear wireless headphones.
With extended use, AirPods will continue to lose battery life. When your AirPods can only play music for 30 minutes or less, or phone calls can't exceed 10 minutes, the batteries are toast. Due to the compact construction of AirPods and their durability, the earphones cannot be disassembled at home. There are some options to refresh your AirPods batteries that will ensure the AirPods are recycled or refurbished for future use.
With new batteries, the AirPods should provide up to five hours of music listening and three hours of calling.
Apple AirPods battery serviceWhile the batteries are not replaceable or user serviceable, Apple does offer "battery service" for AirPods out of warranty. The fee for each of the AirPods is $49, bringing the total to $98 plus tax for both. Considering a new set of AirPods with Charging Case starts at $159, this option from Apple saves $61. Eventually the Charging Case also wears out, which runs another $49 for service.
This means service for all three comes in $12 less than buying a new set of AirPods outright. Contact Apple Support directly to start the process of getting new AirPods batteries. Apple offers the service for 1st or 2nd generation AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max (the service fee is $79 for AirPods Max).
PodSwap AirPods instant replacement
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Another option is the company PodSwap. This third-party AirPods provider has developed a specialized process to refurbish used AirPods and replace the batteries. These new batteries are designed to perform similarly to the original Apple batteries once installed. For anyone wishing to keep their AirPods in use, PodSwap works like this:
- Place your order for new batteries online with PodSwap
- PodSwap sends AirPods with new batteries to you
- Use the prepaid packaging to send your dying AirPods back to PodSwap
- PodSwap refurbishes and sanitizes your old AirPods for the next customer
Getting a replacement swap from PodSwap costs $60 for both AirPods. Even better, if you've lost an AirPod there's an option to trade in a single earphone and receive a pair with new batteries. The one for two AirPods replacement swap costs $90.
PodSwap can exchange 1st or 2nd generation AirPods, and will match the model you send. The company does not currently refurbish any Charging Cases or AirPods Pro.