It’s problematic when your AirPod wireless earbuds don’t charge or discharge at the same rate. One may run out of power sooner than the other, so you’ll have to recharge both units or stop using one.
You might also worry about wearing out the batteries prematurely. It’s not easy to charge both earbuds to optimal levels when they’re drawing power at different rates.
Before you can find a solution, the first step is to understand why your AirPods recharge unevenly.
Why do my AirPods charge unevenly?
Below are likely reasons why your AirPods have been charging unevenly.
It might simply be the case that there is debris in the charging case that has caused your AirPods to charge unevenly. It would help to clean the charging case and to try to wipe the inside of the case by using a cotton swab.
It might also be the case that the charging case itself is broken. If you have a friend who also owns AirPods, you could try charging your AirPods in the case. If both of the AirPods charge evenly, it would mean that it is the case that is causing the problems. If they do not charge evenly, it would mean that the AirPod itself is broken or faulty.
It might also be the case that the AirPod itself is broken. This would be more likely if there is clearly no debris inside the case, if the AirPod drains a lot faster than the other, and if you can’t get the AirPod to charge when using someone else’s case.
It would help to consider if the AirPod recently got wet or if you dropped it.
In this case, your only option would be to take it to an Apple store or to buy a replacement. Alternatively, you can just leave it how it is. If the battery life is not too bad, it would likely be the best option to just do nothing.
If one AirPod is normally only a few percent different to the other, it is not likely that it is broken.
Different amounts of use
A likely reason why your AirPods charge unevenly is that they have been used different amounts.
If you have been using one of the AirPods a lot more, it might be the case that each of them now have different amounts of battery capacity. This would be more likely if one of them also drains more quickly.
One battery discharges more rapidly when you regularly use one AirPod at a time for listening or use one as a microphone. The battery that has been used the most will deteriorate more quickly and need charging more often.
Read more: How to turn off AirPods mic?
How to get my AirPods to charge evenly?
The good news is that there are techniques you can use to potentially solve this problem.
One solution involves thoroughly but carefully cleaning the AirPod’s “tail” and charging case. You may clean the charging ports inside of the case with a periodontal brush, soft toothbrush or straw cleaner.
It’s best to clean the tail with a completely dry piece of cloth. Other parts of the device also need occasional cleaning, but they aren’t likely to affect charging.
Resetting your AirPods
If they still don’t charge evenly, you could try resetting them. This action restores the original settings and has the potential to solve a variety of problems.
To accomplish this, put the earbuds back in the case. Shut the lid for 30 seconds before reopening it. Using an Apple mobile device like an iPhone, navigate to “Bluetooth” under “Settings.” Find AirPods on the paired device list and select “More Info.”
The next step is to click “Forget this device.” Your phone or tablet will ask you to confirm this decision. The AirPods will disappear from the list of devices.
Press the button on the charging case’s rear panel and hold it for about 15 seconds. Let go of the “setup” button when the case’s indicator light turns amber. The reset process is complete. To pair the earbuds with your iOS device again, hold the charging case near the mobile device and open its lid.
Deactivating “Hey Siri”
If you have 2nd generation or newer AirPods, they include a feature known as “Hey Siri.” It lets you talk to Siri using the built-in microphone.
Unfortunately, this means that one AirPod is constantly listening to hear the words “Hey Siri.” The battery drains faster and charging may become unbalanced. You can deactivate this feature by finding “Siri and Search” under “Settings” on a paired iOS device. Select “Listen for Hey Siri” and shut it off.
Using a single AirPod
Uneven charging is less of a problem if you listen with one AirPod while charging the other unit. This technique could possibly help you correct an imbalance in charging levels or cycles as well.
Your device will switch to mono audio when you use a single AirPod. To do so, put one earbud in your ear and place the other one in the case. There’s no need to change any settings.
If none of these solutions work, you could need a new earbud, battery or charging case. One component may have a manufacturing defect. It also could’ve been damaged by rough handling, direct sunlight or harsh conditions. Either way, you can replace individual parts by visiting an Apple Store.
The staff may help you determine what component isn’t working right. Keep in mind that replacing a single AirPod may lead to uneven charge levels because of the difference in age.
Read more: How many times can the case charge AirPods?
Why does one AirPod run out of charge faster?
It’s possible that one earbud is actually discharging more quickly rather than charging at a slower rate. Most AirPod users notice at least slight differences in battery levels. Some experts believe that only one earbud communicates with the iPhone, iPad or other device.
This unit transmits audio signals to the other AirPod, causing it to consume more energy. Aside from only using one earbud at a time, there isn’t much you can do to prevent this from happening.
If you use your AirPods for phone calls, one unit serves as an earphone and the other becomes a microphone.
One side will discharge more rapidly because the microphone requires extra power. Your batteries will drain more equally if you only use the earbuds for audio listening.
Differences in charge levels also depend on the AirPod model or age to some extent. Users have reported that they often see bigger disparities when using older units.