Battery Health for AirPods, Going Back to Wires

Woodcrest64

macrumors 65816
Aug 14, 2006
1,176
329
Spot on. That’s the problem. I don’t count the battery cycles on my laptop because I know I can replace the battery. I look at the AirPod repairability problem from a company that prides itself on caring for the environment, and something doesn’t smell right.
Apple says they recycle them but what isn’t clear are the details of that. The only thing I can find is the cobalt in the batteries is recyclable but there isn’t much in there to cover the costs so Apple uses third parties to handle this. However that is just the battery and not any of the other components.

The other issue is what percentage of people will throw them away when their AirPods don’t hold a charge anymore vs giving them to Apple to mitigate some of the waste?

Here is a website that has an article on the topic.Are AirPods an environmental nightmare?
 

Otflyer

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2017
914
611
SF Bay Area
I don’t expect Apple to release such a feature and admit guilt, but I desperately want a battery health analysis of my AirPods. If Apple isn’t going to allow for battery swaps on the product, they should empower customers with the information of the health of their product. I love my AirPods Gen 1 (despite slow pairing) but I simply cannot accept paying $150-$250 for a product with a two to three year shelf life. It’s wrong, plain and simple. I’ve decided to attempt to go back to wired earbuds. I don’t reasonably believe it will be an easy transition, but I cannot support paying this much money for a product with such a short lifespan.
l don’t concern myself with batteries of my current devices as there will be something new and improved I will move to before the batteries ever wear out on my current devices. Just get what you like and don’t worry about it.
 

pcd213

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 24, 2019
141
58
l don’t concern myself with batteries of my current devices as there will be something new and improved I will move to before the batteries ever wear out on my current devices. Just get what you like and don’t worry about it.
But you're happy to buy the latest and greatest thing when it comes out, and either sell or donate your old gear. For many people, that's simply not sustainable or affordable. It's not unreasonable to wish to repair your device when it needs repair and often times the first thing to go is the battery. As of now, you can have a registered technician replace the batteries in Apple's laptops and iPhones/Apple Watches/iPods Touch. I understand that AirPods are incredibly small with so much technology packed in, but it's not unreasonable for consumers to wish that Apple would find a battery replacement solution so they can keep using their AirPods for 5-7 years. That sort of request is not unreasonable simply because it doesn't match your buying patterns.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Woodcrest64

Otflyer

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2017
914
611
SF Bay Area
But you're happy to buy the latest and greatest thing when it comes out, and either sell or donate your old gear. For many people, that's simply not sustainable or affordable. It's not unreasonable to wish to repair your device when it needs repair and often times the first thing to go is the battery. As of now, you can have a registered technician replace the batteries in Apple's laptops and iPhones/Apple Watches/iPods Touch. I understand that AirPods are incredibly small with so much technology packed in, but it's not unreasonable for consumers to wish that Apple would find a battery replacement solution so they can keep using their AirPods for 5-7 years. That sort of request is not unreasonable simply because it doesn't match your buying patterns.
It’s not an unreasonable request but, that’s the way it is with nearly all in ear headphones. We know that going in. If that’s unacceptable one should look elsewhere.
 

Steve686

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2007
3,221
1,151
US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
The bigger issue is not so much the battery longevity for people but not even Apple can replace the batteries in these things, they give you a replacement. With the popularity of AirPods that is ALOT of waste. Unless I’m missing something here I don’t think that is environmentally smart. Apple is an advocate for green energy and recycling so I’m surprised these things were made the way they were. I’d love to proven wrong on this but it is concerning to me.
I get all of that And agree.
But in this case the OP seems to be more concerned about longevity since he is trying to sell AirPods 1 that gets roughly 50% the usage time since purchase.

My remedy for the environmentally concerned?

Purchase AC+ for the AirPods and wait until they “break”...and get a new pair. Apple will recycle the parts responsibly.
 

pcd213

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 24, 2019
141
58
I get all of that And agree.
But in this case the OP seems to be more concerned about longevity since he is trying to sell AirPods 1 that gets roughly 50% the usage time since purchase.

My remedy for the environmentally concerned?

Purchase AC+ for the AirPods and wait until they “break”...and get a new pair. Apple will recycle the parts responsibly.
Correct. I thought about buying AppleCare+ if I were to purchase the AirPods Pro, because they’re so expensive. I ended up purchasing the AirPods 2 Wireless (I found the Pros to be very uncomfortable) and decided that within three to four years of using those, there will probably be a non pro AirPods 4 by that point, so spending $29 + $29 on a replacement AirPods 2 at that point will be less ideal. But it’s sad how we need to (a) use insurance as a replacement game plan, (b) pay Apple an additional $58 for extended longevity when a battery replacement would likely cost less than that*.

*I decided to see how much an Apple Watch battery replacement costs to have something to compare this to, if Apple did offer battery replacement on the AirPods. Apple charges $79 to replace the battery on the Apple Watch. If we’re using the Apple Watch 3 as an example, that’s 39.6% of the MSRP. Using AppleCare+ to replace AirPods 2 Wireless is 29% of the MSRP. So, in fairness, a better deal than Apple Watch battery replacement.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Steve686

VSMacOne

macrumors 601
Oct 18, 2008
4,628
1,350
I mean there’s only so much they can do with the current battery technology and the small footprint of the AirPods.
 

Closingracer

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2010
3,571
1,396
I don’t expect Apple to release such a feature and admit guilt, but I desperately want a battery health analysis of my AirPods. If Apple isn’t going to allow for battery swaps on the product, they should empower customers with the information of the health of their product. I love my AirPods Gen 1 (despite slow pairing) but I simply cannot accept paying $150-$250 for a product with a two to three year shelf life. It’s wrong, plain and simple. I’ve decided to attempt to go back to wired earbuds. I don’t reasonably believe it will be an easy transition, but I cannot support paying this much money for a product with such a short lifespan.
Which is why I got Apple care.... for $30 more you get about 4-6 years basically
 

Closingracer

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2010
3,571
1,396
All depending on the value you get. Wires get in the way, rub on clothing, make noise with anything they contact, and become tangled with use/storage. I don't think I could go back to wired headphones after using AirPods for the last few years. Several family members are in the same boat.

Yeah, the $ is kinda steep but for me it's convenience over the alternative.

But I hear you - Apple is getting me to shell out more and more of my $. There's gunna be a limit somewhere.
lol I guarantee to have new earbuds anyways by the time it’s an issue. If I don’t I have Apple care so I’ll replace them before it runs out
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigMcGuire

Hoyboy

macrumors regular
Nov 9, 2012
138
60
Except you already do. Clothing typically lasts only a few years. Restaurant meals don’t last long at all. There are probably many consumables you purchase that cost $250 or more over a three year period.
Except we’ve gone from wired headphones which weren’t consumables to wireless headphones that are. The things you’ve mentioned have always been consumables.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G4
Jul 18, 2011
11,793
9,405
Singapore
I am not sure what sort of battery health feature you think you need. Simply pay attention to how long your AirPods last in between charges and when it starts getting too short for your liking, then it’s time to change.
 

pcd213

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 24, 2019
141
58
I am not sure what sort of battery health feature you think you need. Simply pay attention to how long your AirPods last in between charges and when it starts getting too short for your liking, then it’s time to change.
Battery life and battery health are two different things. On the iPhone, battery health helps you understand the health of your battery, expressed in a percentage. It's pretty self explanatory what I meant.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G4
Jul 18, 2011
11,793
9,405
Singapore
Battery life and battery health are two different things. On the iPhone, battery health helps you understand the health of your battery, expressed in a percentage. It's pretty self explanatory what I meant.
How is the line “On the iPhone, battery health helps you understand the health of your battery” self-explanatory? It’s just rephrasing the question.

My 8+ had 90% battery health, but battery life had been dropping since iOS 13, so I brought my phone in for a battery swap.

Point being that knowing the battery health of your AirPods is not going to let you know anything useful, and just ends up being an extra (and pointless) metric to fuss over, since there won’t be issues like peak voltage that will impact your AirPods the same way it might your iPhone.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
10,603
2,730
Bay Area
I have AirPods 1 that are over two years old now. Yes, the battery has gotten pretty bad. And yes, that sucks. And yes, I will get another pair when these get unusable.

It’s a lot of money, but these are one of the best products Apple has made in a long time. For the amount I use them, it’s worth it. Still sucks, but tolerable given the utility.