AirPods and AirPods Pros are the best-selling earbuds on the market, and for good reason. They have excellent sound quality, are durable, and work seamlessly with other Apple products like the iPhone – which just so happens to be the best-selling smartphone.
Another major plus for the AirPods Pro is the charging case. Not only does it allow you to pair your AirPods Pro, but it protects them and charges them, massively extending the listening and talking time of your headphones.
Unfortunately, many users have been experiencing a problem with battery drain, wherein their AirPods Pro and/or case don’t charge properly, or don’t retain any battery life from charging. This results in poor battery performance and a limited usage time.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what might be causing this issue, and most importantly, what you can do to fix it.
Table of Contents
How Long Should Your AirPods Pro Last?
First of all, let’s clarify a few things. How long should your AirPods Pro last anyway?
With 1st Generation AirPod Pros, you should get about 4.5 hours of listening time and 3.5 hours of talk time from a single charge. This increases to 24 hours and 18 hours respectively when considering extra charges on the go with your case. In real terms, charging your AirPods Pro for 5 minutes should give you approximately an extra 1 hour of usage.
For 2nd Gen AirPod Pros, you’ll get around 5 hours of listening time and 3 hours of talk time from a single charge. Again, when taking the charges in your case into consideration, this jumps up to 24 hours of listening and 18 hours of talking. When charging on the go, a 15-minute charge should give your AirPod Pros Gen 2 an extra 3 hours of listening or 2 hours of talking.
So, with that in mind, if your AirPods Pro are dying much sooner than any of those official figures suggest they should, then you might have an issue with battery drain.
Why Your AirPods Pro are Dying So Quickly
There are a few different reasons why your AirPods Pro might be dying quickly, and they range from the use of extra features to simple things like not keeping your AirPods Pro in the case when not in use.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the many causes of and fixes for AirPod Pro battery drain.
Firmware Runtime Errors
As with most electrical things, runtime errors and glitches can appear in the software and/or firmware, sometimes for no reason, but especially if the device has been running for a long time. With AirPods and AirPods Pro, you’re likely to leave them on and connected to your phone the majority of the time.
This can result in a whole host of issues, such as poor sound quality, a temperamental Bluetooth connection, and improper battery drainage.
While this might sound like a big deal, it’s actually a very easy fix, and will remedy the issue (and many others) most of the time. If you haven’t already guessed it, the classic ‘turn it off and on again’ is the solution here! We’ll walk through how to do that later in the article.
Improper Case Use
The case is not just a means of storing and protecting your AirPods Pro, but also the way which you connect and charge your AirPods Pro on the go. There’s a lot of very clever software packed into that pocket-sized powerhouse, and every time you open the lid, you’re placing demand on the internal battery.
The same goes for the AirPods Pros themselves. Obviously, when you’re using them, the battery is draining. But even when they’re not actually in your ears piping music into your brain, they’re still connected to your phone, and therefore still using battery power.
Everytime you’re not using your AirPods Pro, you should place them in the case and keep the lid closed to preserve battery.
It may also be the case that your AirPods Pro are not charging properly when in the case. Dirty connectors may prevent your AirPods Pro from receiving a full charge when they’re in the case, and likewise, a dirty charging port might prevent your case from receiving a full charge when it’s connected to the wall socket.
Your AirPods Pro case runs on firmware, a special kind of software used to control how a piece of hardware functions. Occasionally, this firmware needs to be updated to make sure it’s still able to do all the jobs it’s meant to do. One of these jobs, for instance, may be regulation of the battery, and how battery power is used by your devices.
If your firmware is out-of-date, your AirPods Pro performance could be affected in any number of ways. Luckily, updating it is normally an automatic process, and you can ensure it happens quite easily.
How to Fix AirPod Pro Battery Drain
So, now we know the most likely causes of battery drain for your AirPods Pro, let’s take a look at how to remedy those problems and get your AirPods Pro working how they should be.
Reset Your AirPods Pro
The first thing you should do in this instance is reset your AirPods Pro to clear out any runtime errors or glitches in the case firmware.
Here’s how to carry out a full reset:
- Put your AirPods Pro in the cas, close the lid and wait for 30 seconds
- Open the lid and take out your AirPods Pro
- On your iPhone, open Settings > Bluetooth
- Find your AirPods Pro in the list of connected devices
- Tap the Information (i) > Forget This Device > Confirm
- If your AirPods Pro don’t appear in the list, continue to the next step
- Put your AirPods Pro back in the case and leave the lid open
- Press and hold the Setup button on the back of the case for 15 seconds, or until the status light flashes amber then white. Your AirPods Pro are now reset and just need to be reconnected.
- With your AirPods Pro still in the case, bring them close to your iPhone or iPad to prompt the pairing process. Follow the on-screen instruction to connect your AirPods Pro.
And that’s it done! Your AirPods Pro have been reset and re-paired to your device. Keep using them as normal and see if your battery life has improved.
Update AirPods Pro Firmware
Your AirPods Pro firmware should update automatically, but sometimes, due to connection or Wi-Fi issues, this may not happen. To check if your firmware is out-of-date or not, follow these steps:
- First make sure your device is running the latest version of iOS. If it’s not, update it via Settings > General > Software Update. If there is an update available, download and install it.
- Next, head to Settings > Bluetooth and find your AirPods Pro in the list of connected devices.
- Tap the Information (i) next to your AirPods Pro and scroll down to the About section to see your current firmware version. Check your firmware version against the current latest version here.
As I’ve mentioned, your AirPods Pro firmware should update automatically. All you need for updates to take place are for your AirPods Pro to be connected to power, within Bluetooth range of your iPhone or iPad, and for your device to be connected to Wi-Fi.
If your firmware is out of date, try leaving your charging AirPods right next to your Wi-Fi connected phone for at least 30 minutes, but ideally overnight.
Clean AirPods Pro and Case
And finally, we need to address the issue of case usage. First of all, make sure you’re keeping your AirPods Pro in the case at all times when they’re not in use. This will provide them with a constant flow of power, keeping their battery level high when you come to use them again.
And make sure you’re closing the lid when your AirPods Pro are in there. Some people will flick their lid open and closed and fidget with it, taking their AirPods Pro in and out. This is a surefire way to drain battery life and potentially even damage the connectors in the case and on your AirPods!
It’s also a good idea to clean your AirPod Pros, inside the charging case, and inside the charging port of the case too. To do this, use a dry cloth or a cotton bud lightly dampened with isopropyl alcohol, but never use any liquids when cleaning the inside of the case or the charging port.
You can use a toothpick to extract debris from the charging port, but a dry cotton bud is best for cleaning the connectors inside the case. Doing this will improve the connection between your AirPods Pro and the case, and the case and the charging cable.
It’s easy to get disheartened when your nice expensive headphones suddenly stop working or don’t seem to be lasting as long as they should, but hopefully, one of the fixes in this article has helped you.