AirPods Battery Drain: The Truth & The Fix!

AirPods battery drain

Ever since AirPods first showed up back in late 2016, I saw them everywhere on campus my Freshman year. There were so many memes. It was a simpler time. Even as an Android guy myself, I will admit that AirPods are pretty cool, even if I don’t own a pair.

I may not own AirPods, but I know for a fact that AirPod battery drain is a very real problem. If it hasn’t happened to you already, it will eventually. It happens to all lithium-ion batteries, in fact. I have some tips that will help you keep your AirPods going strong and I’ll tell you what you need to do if you start noticing that they are going bad.

What Is AirPods Battery Drain?

You know how you gradually lose energy over the course of the semester, ultimately feeling like you just don’t have anything left to give by the time finals week rolls around? That’s pretty similar to how AirPod battery drain works. Over time, the lithium-ion batteries degrade and make each charge shorter and shorter. Simply put, they will run out of power more quickly as time goes on.

This isn’t because they are using more power. Over time, the maximum capacity of the batteries inside the earbuds will start to decrease. Battery degradation is caused by all sorts of factors, one of them being the growth of dendrites, which if left to grow inside of a battery unchecked can, in extreme cases, cause the battery to catch fire and explode.


Not lithium-ion dendrites, but this is pretty much the same thing. From Royal Society of Chemistry.

Ultimately, there is no way to completely prevent battery degradation in AirPods. The only thing you can do is to slow down the process to make the most out of your AirPods before they will need to be replaced.

Severe Drain

Sometimes batteries just go bad, no matter what you do. A hard impact can damage a battery. I got the opportunity to hold an AirPod I found at Curl Market once. It has since been returned to its rightful owner, but man these earbuds are small. I can imagine them getting crushed very easily, even just a little bit, if you happened to leave one on a desk and sat a book on top of it by mistake.

me, holding an airpod I found at Curl Market

This AirPod has since been returned to its owner!

Sometimes it can be difficult to explain why AirPod battery drain happens. If you find that your AirPods aren’t lasting as long as they used to, it might be time to get them replaced. However, you really shouldn’t just throw them away. The batteries can cause serious fires, even the battery is no good anymore. There have been many chemical fires at recycling plants and garbage disposal locations because of people throwing away cell phones, tablets, computers, and other devices.

What Should I Do With My Old AirPods?

Instead of throwing them away, it might be worth trading them for a fresh pair of AirPods. When trading them in with Podswap, you don’t have to worry about the hassle of taking all the correct steps to recycle them. You’ll not only help protect the environment, but you’ll get a fresh pair of headphones for cheap. Thumbs up for that!

How to Keep Your AirPods Going Strong

Praying to the clocktower won’t keep AirPod battery drain at bay, but there are some steps you can take to keep your AirPods in top shape for longer.

Don’t Let Your AirPods Get Too Hot or Too Cold

One lesser-known killer of lithium-ion batteries is temperature. AirPod battery drain can be accelerated by extreme temperature. A quick walk from the Ohio Union to Thompson Library in sub-zero weather won’t kill them, but don’t spend a long time outside while wearing them while it’s that cold. The same can be said about hot weather.

According to the University of Michigan (yeah, I know), it’s especially important not to charge devices when it’s too cold. So, if for some reason you thought about charging your AirPods in the freezer, think again!

Don’t Leave Your AirPods Case Plugged In Continuously

I’m sure we’ve all left our laptops plugged in for long periods of time before. It’s just easier, and you never have to worry about them running out of battery. I doubt that very many people do this with AirPods because they are so portable. Leaving them plugged in doesn’t make much sense.

Let’s imagine though that you aren’t going to be using them for a while. Leaving the case plugged in for a long time is bad for the battery. So, don’t do that! If you are going to store them for a while, leave the case unplugged for a bit. If it’s for a really long time, then make sure you take them out every once in a while and at least have them play some music for a little while so that it discharges the batteries a little.

Don’t Get AirPods Wet, or Abuse Them in General

AirPods aren’t exactly the most durable things in the world. However, with cell phones these days pushing water resistance ratings further and further, it’s easy to be a bit careless with our technology. AirPods do not have a water resistance rating, so they are definitely not waterproof. They might survive a splash here and there, or even a washing machine cycle, but don’t count on it.

Try to take care of them in general. Make sure not to leave them anywhere exposed where they might get crushed. The case might help protect them, but it is also a battery itself. Try to protect the case with a case cover! It’s like a case for your case. Plus, it gives you an excuse to decorate and change up the color a bit.

red airpods case cover

I really like this red AirPods case cover. Show off your school spirit by making your AirPods case don scarlet. Go Bucks!

Upgrade Your AirPods

If you are looking for a pair of AirPods with better battery life, performance, and features, AirPods Pro are definitely the way to go. Again, I’m an Android user so I enjoy my Samsung Galaxy Buds and Surface Earbuds, but AirPods Pro definitely make my mouth water.

AirPods Pro have excellent battery life

AirPods Pro have active noise cancellation and ambient sound pass-through, which makes them an excellent choice for an Ohio State student. You need a pair of earbuds that can allow you to hear things around you and also block out sound when necessary.

Have you ever seen that meme, “Oh no, they can’t hear us! They have AirPods in!” Well, that won’t happen to you if you use AirPod’s Pro’s transparency feature. If you’re at Thompson Library and don’t want to hear the guy chewing his potato chips next to you while you’re trying to study, active noise cancellation will be a life saver on these things.

Best of all, AirPods battery drain won’t happen to you as quickly because they have longer lasting batteries in their charging cases.

Take Care of Your AirPods!

Now that you know everything you need to know about AirPods battery drain, I hope that I’ve convinced you to take care of your earbuds. Make sure you take care of yourself too!

We can’t completely stop battery degradation, but we can slow it down with best practices. Don’t let your AirPods get too hot or cold, don’t abuse them, and don’t overcharge them. If they’ve got you in the dumps, try trading them in for a new pair or upgrade to the next level.

Thank you for reading! If you have any friends with AirPods, be sure to send this article their way. You might be able to save them from bad battery drain. Drink lots of water and Go Bucks!