How to Check AirPods Battery Life on iPhone and Apple Watch

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple AirPods offer around five hours of listening time and two hours of talk time (or with second-generation AirPods, three hours of talk time) on a single charge. And if you pop your AirPods for 15 minutes in their case, you can get up to three hours of listening time or over an hour of talk time.


    During use, you'll hear a tone when your AirPods' batteries are low, and another tone just before they run out. But you don't have to wait for these tones to know how much charge they have remaining. Here are a few other ways that you can keep a closer eye on your AirPods' battery life.

    On iPhone

    If you're not using your AirPods, open the charging case lid with the AirPods inside and hold the case close to your iPhone. The charge status of your AirPods and their case should appear on the device's screen, and if you take out an AirPod, you'll see individual percentages for the two earpieces.

    You can also check the charge status of your AirPods using the Batteries widget in your iPhone's Today View, accessed by swiping right on the Lock screen or on your Home screen's first screen of apps.


    If you're wearing both AirPods, the Batteries widget will show a single percentage for the two of them that's rounded down to the earpiece with the lowest battery. If you place one of the AirPods in your charging case, the widget will show you individual percentages, as well as the current charge level of the charging case itself.

    If you don't have it installed already, you can add the Batteries widget manually. To do so, enter the Today view, scroll to the bottom of the column of widgets and press the Edit button. Then simply tap the green plus button in the list next to Batteries and tap Done in the upper right of the screen.


    If you're a fan of Siri and you're wearing your AirPods, you can always ask the virtual assistant "How is the battery life of my AirPods?" and you should get an answer.

    On Apple Watch

    You can check the battery level of your AirPods from your wrist, whether they're paired with your iPhone or directly with your Apple Watch.

    To do so, bring up the Control Center on your Apple Watch: Swipe up on a watch face, or when in an app, press the bottom edge of the screen then drag up the Control Center. Then tap the Apple Watch battery icon, indicated by a percentage.


    Your AirPods' battery level will be displayed as a ring below the Apple Watch battery percentage, and if you place a pod in its charging case, you'll see individual percentage charges for the lot.

    On the Charging Case

    If your AirPods are in their case, the light inside the case shows the charge status of your AirPods. (On second-generation AirPods, this light is located on the front of the case.)


    If not, the light shows the status of the case. Green means charged, and amber indicates less than one full charge remains.

    Article Link: How to Check AirPods Battery Life on iPhone and Apple Watch
  2. GC251114 macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2015
    Never knew you could see battery % of AirPods on watch !

    I’ve only had AirPods & Watch combo for 18 months !!
  3. tremlock macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2008
    The Land of Cleves
    Can’t get this to work on my Series 1 Apple Watch
  4. CheesePuff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2008
    Southwest Florida, USA
    Do you have it paired directly to the Watch instead of your iPhone?
  5. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
    3 batteries to manage! I'll stick with my single battery Bose headphones thanks.
  6. RowellE macrumors regular


    Mar 5, 2012
    Is there a way to do this for the 12-inch Macbook while it’s charging? Wanna figure out when it’s fully charged without having to open the MacBook.

    Miss the LED light indicator on the old charging cords.
  7. vicviper789 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2013
    I got a pair of these recently and I have to say, I’m honestly disappointed. I thought they would have been a lot better. The battery indicator pop up reminds me of something from the Jitter Bug
  8. HoosBruce macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    My AirPods have gone to **** recently. At least the right one. They don’t last an hour before alerting me that they’re low on battery.
  9. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    I would think it should be simple for Apple to add a feature where you tap one of the AirPods a certain number of times for it to tell you what percentage remains, e.g. 5 taps = battery percentage announcement.

    Personally I wouldn't ever buy earphones you had to recharge within 5 hours' use of charging the last time... seems like a fairly glaring flaw in the product to me. I guess it works for lots of people though, so good luck to all those they work for.
  10. Scotty2Hotty macrumors member


    Sep 16, 2014
    Easiest 3 batteries to manage - EVER! Plus, you've got a case to hold em' in.
  11. bradkrischel macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    Same here. I got mine on release day. I tried to go through Apple Support numerous times about it, and they said it's normal degredation of the battery. You can pay to get a battery replacement ($49 for each airpod and $49 for the charging case), so you're basically better off just buying new airpods.

    I've admittedly used the **** out of mine, so I ended up caving and buying a new pair. That tiny lithium ion battery can't last forever I guess...
  12. Scotty2Hotty macrumors member


    Sep 16, 2014
    Use them mono, (one at a time) and you'll get tired before they do. Easily 36 hours plus worth of usage in total. I charge them once every 3 weeks.
  13. timber macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2006
    Better yet... no battery to manage.
  14. racerhomie macrumors 6502


    Aug 14, 2015
    You don’t have to manage anything. I just plug in my case once a week.
  15. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    I'm pleased for you if they work well for you. They wouldn't for me.
  16. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    A decent single lithium cell will hold close to its original charge for about 300 cycles, and it will become pretty bad after around 500-600 cycles. The reason Apple is able to say their iPhone, iPad, and Macbook batteries hold a decent charge for 1000 cycles is because those devices have numerous cells and Apple's battery controller distributes the load and usage as evenly as possible. Whereas in the past, the first cell would get hit the most and the last cell would almost never see a single cycle; and thus the cells would "age" unevenly.

    The Airpod batteries are just so small that there is just a single cell in each one. So there is no usage balancing that can be done by a controller. It's therefore expected that you would see some degradation appear after about 300 cycles, where it becomes quite noticeable after 600 cycles.

    Totally off-topic, but the battery controller is one of the things that makes Tesla's battery tech so amazing. It's one thing to have a controller manage a few dozen cells in a stable environment as Apple does with Macbooks. It is entirely another thing to have a controller managing many thousands of lithium cells in a variety of harsh environments. Making a good controller is of that scale is a hard science.
  17. 7thson macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2012
    Six Rivers, CA
    In 15 minutes, mine are fully recharged from being @ 10%. Seriously impressed with this aspect of the engineering. Really interested to see how 2nd gen improves upon these.
  18. cosmic68 macrumors 6502


    Dec 26, 2007
    What am I missing? I can’t see AirPod charge on AW S3?
  19. Eriamjh1138@DAN macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2007
    BFE, MI
    Two year-old AirPods last about one hour each on music. Less on phone. So much for five hours of use per charge.

    Case is probably still good for five charges.

    That pop-up widget is very unreliable. Most of the time, it pops up the instant I give up waiting and my touch makes it disappear.
  20. wwooden macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    I've never had an issue with the 4-5 hour time limit on the battery. I would imagine anyone takes a break during that time to....go to the bathroom, get a drink, get food, really anything. During that break just put the Airpods back in their case and they gain another 3 hours of running time in 15 minutes. I've never had my Airpods run out of battery on me during any use situations. I never worry or think about battery life with the Airpods, it's very liberating really.
  21. 7thson macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2012
    Six Rivers, CA
    It wasn’t for me either but for a brief moment. Played some audio on my iPhone and now it shows up consistently on my AW S3.
  22. Kanyay Suspended


    Dec 14, 2018
    Mar-a-Lago, Russia
    on the real tho. who else hates the sound the airpods make when low battery? it scares me every damn time. too loud.
  23. iPrabhu macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2012
    Use the old Macbook charger (MagSafe 1 port, it has the light indicator) combining with the MagSafe2 converter, if you happen to have any old charger lying around. If not, you can buy one from amazon/ebay for cheap.
  24. WiseAJ macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2009
    Mine are down to slightly over an hour battery now (got them back the month they came out) but I’m hoping they release the new ones soon before I replace them.
  25. iPhysicist macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2009
    Thats BS and you know it. Nothing is to manage. The AirPods ping you at 10% and then you put them in the charging case to fill them up in less then 30 minutes.

    How long does your Bose take to charge? Longer I guess. Don't get me start with Bose... you overpaid.

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