Let’s face it – in the world of wireless earbuds, Apple’s AirPods are legendary. Sleek, minimalist design coupled with phenomenal sound quality and convenient features, they’ve got it all. But even legendary items are not without their quirks. One complaint we frequently hear from users is that one AirPod tends to die faster than the other. Does that sound familiar? Well, worry not because we’re diving deep into this mystery today. We’ll explain why it happens and how you can solve it. So, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s go!
Unbalanced Battery Drain: Is it Normal?
First, let’s address the elephant in the room. Is it normal for one AirPod to die faster? The short answer is ‘Yes.’ It may seem strange, but it’s actually due to the way this item is designed and how it functions. Allow us to explain.
AirPods are not just earbuds; they’re smart earbuds. They’re packed with sensors and microchips that enable a variety of features, such as audio balancing, noise cancellation, automatic ear detection, and even Siri. Now, here’s the thing – each AirPod operates independently and undertakes different tasks. Depending on the usage, one might work harder than the other, thus consuming more battery power.
Why the Right AirPod Often Dies First?
The most common observation is that the right AirPod tends to drain faster. This isn’t just a coincidence; it’s by design. When you’re using only one, it’s usually the right one that’s programmed to work solo. Plus, the right AirPod is typically the ‘primary’ earbud, handling more tasks like phone calls, Siri, and the bulk of noise-canceling tasks. Hence, it often consumes more battery.
Effects of Software & Firmware
The software and firmware versions of your AirPods also play a significant role in battery performance. Older versions can sometimes have bugs or inefficiencies, leading to an unbalanced battery drain. Regular updates can fix these issues and improve overall battery life.
How to Fix Uneven Battery Drain?
Now that we’ve got the ‘whys’ out of the way, let’s move on to the ‘hows’. Here’s a step-by-step guide to tackle this problem:
1. Check Battery Health
Apple doesn’t provide a direct way to check the battery health of your AirPods as it does for iPhones. However, you can indirectly gauge their health by observing how long the battery lasts compared to when they were new. If you’ve been using your AirPods for a couple of years and the battery life is significantly lower, it might be a sign of battery degradation.
2. Update AirPods
Ensure your they are updated to the latest firmware version. To check, connect them to your iPhone, go to Settings > General > About > AirPods, and see the ‘Firmware Version.’ Updates usually happen automatically when the AirPods are connected to an iPhone, but it’s good to keep an eye on it.
This is an easy and effective step. It’s like giving your AirPods a fresh start. To reset, put your AirPods in the case, close the lid, and wait for 30 seconds. Then, open the lid, press and hold the button on the back of the case until the LED light flashes amber, then white. Reconnect your AirPods to your device, and see if the problem persists.
4. Optimize Battery Settings
You can optimize your AirPods settings to reduce battery drain. Disable features like ‘Ear Detection’ and ‘Automatic Switching’ when they’re not needed. Lowering the volume can also significantly extend battery life.
5. Contact Apple Support
If none of the above steps work, it’s best to reach out to Apple support. If your AirPods are under warranty, Apple might replace them for free.
Maintaining the Lifespan of Your AirPods Battery
Now that we’ve delved into the intricacies of why one AirPod might die faster than the other, let’s shift gears to focus on some additional ways to maintain and extend the lifespan of your AirPods’ battery. After all, taking proactive measures can save you from the hassle of uneven battery drain and help you enjoy uninterrupted music.
One of the critical factors influencing the lifespan of any lithium-ion battery, like those in your AirPods, is your charging habits. As a general rule, it’s good to avoid letting the battery drain to 0% before recharging. In fact, lithium-ion batteries prefer more frequent, smaller charges rather than large, infrequent ones. Therefore, consider plugging in your AirPods when they’re around 20-30%, rather than waiting until they’ve completely died.
Use AirPods Optimally
Interestingly, how you use your AirPods can also affect battery life. For example, using both AirPods simultaneously instead of just one can help balance the battery drain, thereby enhancing the battery life in the long run. Similarly, activating noise cancellation or transparency mode only when necessary can also extend battery life, as these features tend to consume more power.
Believe it or not, where and how you store your AirPods can significantly influence battery health. High temperatures are the nemesis of lithium-ion batteries. Therefore, avoid leaving your AirPods in hot places, like a car in the summer, which can degrade the battery faster. Cold temperatures can temporarily reduce battery performance but don’t usually cause long-term damage like heat does.
Replace the Battery or AirPods
Lastly, if your AirPods have been serving you for a couple of years and you’ve noticed a significant drop in battery performance, it may be time for a battery replacement or a new pair of AirPods. While replacing the battery isn’t officially supported by Apple, there are third-party services that can do it. However, it’s important to weigh the cost and reliability of these services against the cost of a new pair.
Is it Time for a New Pair?
Consider factors like your current AirPods’ condition, any new features in the latest model that you might be interested in, and the environmental impact of your decision. Remember, electronics aren’t biodegradable and often contain materials that can be harmful if not disposed of properly. So, if you opt for a new pair, look into electronics recycling programs.
So, there you have it! The mystery of the draining AirPod is solved. While the uneven battery drain is largely normal due to the design and functionality of AirPods, certain issues can exacerbate the problem. Regularly updating, resetting, and optimizing the settings can help manage and mitigate this issue. Remember, if the problem persists, don’t hesitate to contact Apple Support. After all, you’ve invested in a legendary product, and you deserve a legendary experience.