AirPods Max Firmware Update Appears to Fix Smart Case Battery Drain Issues

Apple on Tuesday released new 3C39 firmware for the AirPods Max, and there was speculation that the new software was meant to address a battery life problem that users had been experiencing. Some ‌AirPods Max‌ headphones were seeing excessive battery drain while in the Smart Case, and now there's evidence that the update does indeed fix the problem.

airpods max firmware update
Developer Guilherme Rambo tested ‌AirPods Max‌ battery drain before and after the firmware update to see how much battery life was being lost while the ‌AirPods Max‌ were in the Smart Case. Battery drain was measured in half hour intervals, and as the charts show, the ‌AirPods Max‌ lost more battery life in the Smart Case prior to the firmware update.


In addition to Rambo's testing, there are also anecdotal reports on the MacRumors forums that suggest the ‌AirPods Max‌ are no longer losing large amounts of battery life in the case overnight. From MacRumors reader F23:

Updated yesterday. 24 hours later, they did NOT lose a single percent. Still at 97% after 24 hours in the case. On previous software version i would lose 10%+ overnight consistently.

Other MacRumors readers have noted improvements to automatic switching when using the ‌AirPods Max‌, and a fix for a bug that could sometimes cause them to disconnect between devices. From MacRumors reader TechKris:

I can report a 6% battery drop with the new FW after about 8h overnight placed in the case. Automatic switching between M1 MacBook Air and iPhone seems to be much better now. It was unusable before and just had in manual on the Mac.

According to 9to5Mac, the firmware update appears to put the ‌AirPods Max‌ into an ultralow power mode after 30 minutes. Prior to the firmware update, ‌AirPods Max‌ would go into a low power mode when placed in the case, and an ultralow power mode after 18 hours. If this is the case, though, Apple has yet to update its support document to reflect the charging changes.

There's no clear cut way to update firmware for the ‌AirPods Max‌ like there is for devices like the ‌iPhone‌, but connecting the ‌AirPods Max‌ to a power source and then listening to music for a few seconds to connect them to an ‌iPhone‌ or iPad typically forces the update.

You can check the firmware on your ‌AirPods Max‌ by following these steps:

  1. Connect your ‌‌AirPods Max‌‌‌ to your iOS device.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Tap About.
  5. Tap ‌‌‌‌‌AirPods‌‌‌‌‌.
  6. Look at the number next to "Firmware Version."

Have you noticed better battery life since upgrading to the 3C39 firmware? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: AirPods Max
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Max (Buy Now)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

thejadedmonkey Avatar
14 weeks ago

It's really too bad you can't simply turn them off when not in use.
Apple should invent a power control device using some form of toggle.

It'd take some serious courage to create something so innovative.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mascots Avatar
14 weeks ago

It's really too bad you can't simply turn them off when not in use.
While there have been issues with the power management occurring for some people, I really haven't had any issue with the lack of power button: nothing has been more delightful than just putting them on and setting them down without having to worry about whether I am "done" with them or not.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EvilEvil Avatar
14 weeks ago
It's really too bad you can't simply turn them off when not in use.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TrueBlou Avatar
14 weeks ago

Do you own a pair?
I don't yet (they're ordered), but I don't see a reason I would want that from what I've read or seen from my the pair my partner has.
It’s initially a bit odd, when you’ve been used to decades of wireless cans having a power button. But you get used to the idea quickly, it’s nice just being able to plonk them on your head and have them instantly connect to whatever device is playing music/film/whatever.

I’ve got to the point where I wish all of my wireless cans worked that way. It’s more like having a good old wired pair (without having to connect them of course).

I know people have, and will, complain about the battery life. But I’ve yet to see the problem.

I’m on day 3 since I last fully charged them, I’ve gone through god knows how many hours of listening and since that last full charge, they haven’t been back in the case. When I’ve finished with them, they get placed on the coffee table, or bedside table until the next day.

Right now, they’re at 62% battery. Which for the amount of listening I’ve done and them not going near the case, is pretty damn good in my opinion. Power switch? An archaic notion, vive la revolution :D
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fozziebear71 Avatar
14 weeks ago

Somebody give me three reasons why I should get AirPods Max?
Why?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
14 weeks ago

Apple should invent a power control device using some form of toggle.

It'd take some serious courage to create something so innovative.
They shut off when the magnets in the Smart Case get near the Hall effect sensor in the Maxs.

I wonder how long before somebody sells a magnet as a "wireless" off switch.



Attachment Image
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Says iOS Picture-in-Picture Coming to All US Users

Friday June 18, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
After a long wait, YouTube for iOS is officially gaining picture-in-picture support, allowing all users, non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window. In a statement to MacRumors, YouTube says that picture-in-picture is currently rolling out to all premium subscribers on iOS and that a larger rollout to all US iOS...
Top Stories 63 Feature

Top Stories: Beats Studio Buds Announced, Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors, and More

Saturday June 19, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The Apple news cycle started to move beyond WWDC this week, but that doesn't mean there still wasn't a lot to talk about, led by the official debut of the much-leaked Beats Studio Buds that might give us a hint of what to expect for the second-generation AirPods Pro. With no hardware announcements at WWDC, we also took a look at when we might finally see the long-rumored redesigned MacBook...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
maxresdefault

Video: 20 Annoyances Apple Fixed in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Friday June 18, 2021 11:36 am PDT by
With iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple is adding several quality of life improvements, which are designed to address some of the complaints that people have had with these operating systems for years now. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we're highlighting some of our favorite "fix" features that address long-running problems in iOS and...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
space gray magic accessories trio

Apple Stops Selling Magic Accessories in Space Gray

Friday June 18, 2021 9:16 am PDT by
Apple this week stopped selling its Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 accessories for the Mac in a Space Gray color, around three months after discontinuing the iMac Pro, which also came in Space Gray. Last month, Apple listed the Space Gray accessories as available while supplies last, and the company has now removed the product pages from its website...
m1 v intel thumb

Intel Processor Market Share May Fall to New Low Next Year Due to Apple Silicon

Friday June 18, 2021 2:06 am PDT by
Intel may see its market share fall to a new low next year, in large part thanks to Apple's decision to move away from using Intel processors in its Mac computers and instead use Apple silicon. Apple announced last year that it would embark on a two-year-long journey to transition all of its Mac computers, both desktops, and laptops, to use its own in-house processors. Apple is expected to...
3nm apple silicon feature

Apple Supplier TSMC Readies 3nm Chip Production for Second Half of 2022

Friday June 18, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMC is preparing to produce 3nm chips in the second half of 2022, and in the coming months, the supplier will begin production of 4nm chips, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple had previously booked the initial capacity of TSMC's 4nm chip production for future Macs and more recently ordered TSMC to begin production of the A15 chip for the upcoming iPhone 13,...
2021 back t0 school

Apple Launches 2021 Back to School Promotion: Free AirPods With Eligible Mac or iPad Purchase

Thursday June 17, 2021 4:56 am PDT by
Apple today launched its seasonal back-to-school sale for the upcoming school year in the United States and Canada, offering students free AirPods alongside purchases of select Macs and iPad models. Similar to last year's promotion, this year's offer includes free AirPods alongside the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the new 24-inch iMac, the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and the new M1-powered ...
applecare lower prices

Apple Lowers Prices of AppleCare+ Plans for M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Thursday June 17, 2021 7:33 am PDT by
Apple today lowered the prices of AppleCare+ plans for MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M1 chip. Coverage offered by the plans, as well as accidental damage fees, appear to remain unchanged. In the United States, AppleCare+ for the MacBook Air now costs $199, down from $249. The new price applies to both M1 and Intel-based MacBook Air models, although Apple no...