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Why Do My AirPods Only Last (1 Hour, 2 Hours, 3 Hours, 30 Minutes, 5 Minutes)? 

As an AirPods owner, I know the frustration of trying to figure out why my AirPods only last 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 30 minutes, or even 5 minutes. After doing some research and testing, I’m here to share how I solved the problem and some other helpful solutions that I discovered along the way.

AirPods are meant to last between three to five hours, at least according to Apple. So, when they drain much faster than they’re supposed to, it’s not only frustrating but also concerning. AirPods are expensive, after all; it won’t be very cost-effective if you had to replace them every few months because of battery issues! 

As an avid AirPods user, I’ve found several reasons that can explain why AirPods die so quickly. I’ve explained every reason in this article, as well as solutions for extending your AirPods’ lifespan, so read on! 

Reason for Battery DrainExplanationSolution
Older Generation AirPodsOlder models have shorter battery lifeUpgrade to newer generation AirPods
High VolumePlaying music at high volumes drains battery fasterLower the volume
Active Noise CancellationConstant noise reduction consumes batteryTurn off Active Noise Cancellation in settings
Spatial AudioThis feature significantly drains the batteryTurn off Spatial Audio in settings
Automatic Ear DetectionPausing and playing music when removing and re-inserting AirPods consumes batteryTurn off Automatic Ear Detection in settings
Damaged Charging Case or AirPodsCharging case or AirPods may have internal issuesGet the charging case or AirPods checked or replaced by Apple

How Long Do AirPods Last Before They Need to Be Recharged? 

According to Apple, Apple AirPods can have up to five hours of listening time on a single charge. The duration decreases by about an hour with spatial audio enabled, but most users enjoy at least three to four hours of use before the charge depletes. 

The charging case that comes with the AirPods holds multiple charges at a time, allowing users to charge their AirPods several times a day even without plugging the case in. 

As such, you can feasibly get a full day’s use through recharges before the charging case runs out of power. 

A fully charged case can get you up to 24 hours of listening time or 18 hours of talk time—that’s pretty neat, considering it only takes about an hour or so to charge fully. 


Why Do My AirPods Only Last 3 Hours? 

If your AirPods lasts only three hours, two reasons come to mind: you’re either using an older generation AirPods or listening to music at high volumes. 

Older Generation Airpods 

If your AirPods last only three hours, you might be using older generation AirPods

1st generation and 2nd generation AirPods have a battery span of between 2.5 to 4.5 hours, with the former having 2.5 hours of talk time and 3.5 hours of listening time, while the latter offering 3.5 hours of talk time and 4.5 hours of listening time. 

3rd generation AirPods have a higher battery life than their predecessors, with 3 hours of talk time and 5 hours of listening time (4 with spatial audio enabled). 

High Volume

Here’s what Apple doesn’t tell its users: AirPods drain much faster when music is played at higher volumes

Higher volumes draw more power than lower volumes, which might explain why your AirPods are dying in under three hours. 

Why Do My AirPods Last Under 2 Hours?  

If your AirPods die in under one or two hours, it’s likely that you’re using several functions that cause quick battery drainage

Active Noise Cancellation

One of these battery-draining functions is Active Noise Cancellation, which is available in both Pro and Max. 

To dramatically reduce background noise, Active Noise Cancellation “borrows” a bit of power from your AirPods to detect and neutralize external sound before it reaches the ear. When open, this feature works tirelessly to get rid of unwanted noise—but at the expense of your battery. 

As such, it’s best to turn off Active Noise Cancellation to extend the life of your AirPods. That, or reduce its use. 

You can turn it off by saying, “Hey Siri, turn off noise-cancellation,” or going to Settings > Bluetooth, and tapping on the Noise Control icon. There, you’ll be able to disable Noise Cancellation. 

Spatial Audio 

Another function that depletes the battery is the spatial audio function, which again excessively drains the battery. To disable this function, open Control Center, press and hold the volume button, and turn Spatial Audio off. 

Automatic Ear Detection 

Automatic Ear Detection is a feature that pauses a song or video when you remove one AirPod from your ear and continues to play when you put it back in. It’s a neat feature to have, but it does consume your AirPods batteries. 

Disable it by going to Settings > Bluetooth, then tap the AirPods icon. Search for the Automatic Ear Detection feature, and turn it off. 

Why Do My AirPods Last Under 30 Minutes? 5 Minutes?

Read more: What if AirPods don’t fit? 

Even with all the features (Spacial Audio, Active Noise Cancellation, Automatic Ear Detection, etc.), your AirPods should last two hours at least

So if your AirPods last under 30 minutes, there might be something wrong with your AirPods or your AirPods charging case. 

Your charging case might be damaged, preventing it from charging your AirPods properly. Alternatively, your AirPods themselves might be the problem; they might have an internal issue that needs to be looked into. 

Apple AirPods have an average lifespan of around two years. Most users replace their AirPods after two years because this is when the battery life falls below average. Apple uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which at best have a life span of three years. 


Read more: How to use AirPods as a mic on PC

Apple AirPods last between three to five hours, but several built-in functions can drain their battery much quicker. These functions include Spacial Audio, Active Noise Cancellation, and Automatic Ear Detection. 

If you want your AirPods to last longer, you might want to disable these features from the settings.