Do your AirPods have a fraction of the battery life they had when you bought them? You are not alone. While Apple may not offer a simple battery swap, there is another route you can take to extend the life of your earbuds.
Apple can replace your AirPods
If your AirPods are still under warranty and they develop a battery problem, Apple should replace them for free. In the US, Apple offers a one-year limited warranty. In other jurisdictions, such as the EU and Australia, this warranty is legally extended to two years.
You can try this route if you are experiencing poor battery life, erratic charging behavior, or problems with the charging case itself. You can make an appointment at an Apple Store and bring your AirPods to test. If Apple decides your problem isn̵
If you purchased AppleCare + for your AirPods, coverage will be extended to two years, including battery replacement if your AirPods have 80% or less of their original battery capacity. If you have AppleCare + on your AirPods, it’s definitely worth requesting battery service before coverage ends, whether you’ve noticed any issues or not.
Unfortunately, many problems do not emerge until after two years. If you’re out of warranty, battery service is still available, although a Washington Post writer said, “Apple’s“ battery service ”for AirPods is code for“ throw away. ”Apple doesn’t fix AirPods – it just replaces earbuds and recycles your old ones . “
You effectively trade in your old AirPods for a refurbished pair for $ 49 per earbud (or $ 79 for a pair of AirPods Max). A similar service is available if you also have issues with the charging case, for $ 49 per unit.
When you consider that a brand new pair of AirPods (without the wireless charging case) will set you back $ 159, paying $ 98 for refurbished earbuds seems like a raw deal. Newer AirPods also use the more reliable H1 chip, so it’s even harder to recommend an older, refurbished model for that price.
Your new AirPods will also slowly lose battery life over time. That’s how all batteries work.
Can you replace AirPods batteries yourself?
Speaking to the Washington Post in 2019, iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens stated, “It’s impossible to take the battery out without completely destroying the AirPod,” after trying the procedure five times.
This is what prompted the DIYer to give the original AirPods a repairability score of 0 out of 10. The iFixit teardown notes that glue is the main hurdle in accessing the insides of Apple’s earbuds.
This is what makes repairing AirPods yourself, at home, such a seemingly impossible task. Not only are the cells Apple uses small (93 milliwatt hours, according to iFixit’s first-generation AirPods teardown), they’re sheathed in adhesive and require the complete destruction of the earbud to access it.
Even if you could find a suitable cell and replace it, you wouldn’t have a plastic shell to put them back together afterward.
Instead, replace your AirPods with Podswap
Despite iFixit’s scathing review, a company called Podswap seems to have figured out the trick to accessing and replacing the battery in AirPods. Podswap offers an AirPod battery recovery process starting at $ 59.99 for Apple’s first generation earbuds.
This is not a traditional battery replacement, but a refurbishment process that focuses on replacing worn-out lithium cells. Failure to return your old AirPods within five days of receiving your refurbished pair will incur an additional fee of $ 49.99.
With this service, you first order a replacement pair of AirPods that arrive by mail. Once they arrive and you are happy with them, you have five business days to post your old AirPods (return shipping is free). Podswap will receive your old AirPods, check if they are genuine, and renovate them for someone else.
If you only have one AirPod to return, you can pay a premium of $ 89.99 to make a “one for two” exchange. Podswap only requires you to ship the AirPods and does not currently service or provide replacement charging cases.
Podswap cleans and cleans any AirPod it service. Since you are receiving a refurbished replacement pair, the replacements will likely not look like new and may show scratches and other cosmetic defects. In terms of battery life, they are just as good as a brand new pair.
Currently, Podswap only serves first and second generation AirPods. The company will likely expand the service to AirPods Pro in the future, as it already has a waiting list to gauge interest.
It’s worth checking out the Podswap FAQ if you’re considering using the service to make sure you know how the whole process works. All replacement AirPods received are warranted for 90 days to cover any defects. Podswap recommends that you fully test your replacement pair before sending in the old pair and completing the process.
Podswap is currently only available in the US, although the company has recognized the global demand for the service and is working to expand its business to meet this demand in the future.
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