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 (Neutral)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

thejadedmonkey Avatar
17 months 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
17 months 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
17 months ago
It's really too bad you can't simply turn them off when not in use.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TrueBlou Avatar
17 months 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
17 months ago

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

Related Stories

airpods max b

AirPods Max Launched One Year Ago Today

Wednesday December 15, 2021 7:54 am PST by
A year ago today, Apple made AirPods Max available to purchase a week after announcing its first over-ear headphones via a press release on its website. AirPods Max are Apple's first AirPods branded over-ear headphones and are undoubtedly a premium option for customers looking for over-ear headphones in the market. Rumors had initially indicated the headphones would be called "AirPods...
gucci airpods max case

Gucci Releases $980 Case for $549 AirPods Max

Tuesday February 1, 2022 5:36 am PST by
If you weren't a fan of Apple's Smart Case that comes with the AirPods Max, high-end luxury brand Gucci is here for you with its own case for the headphones priced at $980. Gucci's "Ophidia case for AirPods Max" is an online exclusive that brings "vintage and contemporary together through its archive-inspired design elements. Playing with the contrast between past and present, the inside of...
AirPods Firmware Feature

Apple Stores Can Now Update Firmware on Second-Generation AirPods

Tuesday March 15, 2022 10:25 am PDT by
In late 2021, Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers gained access to a new "AirPods Firmware Updater" diagnostic tool for updating a customer's AirPods Pro to the latest firmware version when necessary. In an internal memo today, obtained by MacRumors, Apple announced that the tool is now capable of updating the firmware on second-generation AirPods as well. Both the AirPods...
AirPods Max new feature

AirPods Max 2: Everything We Know One Year After the High-End Headphones Launched

Wednesday December 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
A year ago today, Apple's AirPods Max launched, marking the company's first push into the high-end over-ear headphones market under its own brand name. One year later, rumors about a successor are thin on the ground, but there have been some indications about what customers can expect from AirPods Max 2. A report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said that AirPods Max, thought at the time to be...
AirPods Max Firmware Update 3e756

Apple Releases New '3E756' AirPods Max Firmware

Tuesday June 8, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3E756 firmware designed for the AirPods Max, marking the third firmware update Apple has introduced for its high-end headphones since their December launch. The new 3E756 firmware replaces the 3C39 firmware that was released to AirPods Max owners in March. Apple does not provide details on what's included in new firmware updates, so we don't know what bug fixes or ...
AirPods Max new feature

Deals: AirPods Max Drop to $519 on Expercom ($30 Off)

Wednesday May 12, 2021 6:52 am PDT by
Expercom today is offering the AirPods Max for $519.00, down from $549.00. This sale marks a new all-time low price on the AirPods Max, and is beating Amazon's current price of $532.26. On Expercom, the $519.00 price tag is available in all five colors of the AirPods Max. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may...
airpods max reaons 3

Deals: AirPods Max Hit $499.00 for the First Time ($50 Off) [Updated]

Thursday June 10, 2021 10:12 am PDT by
Today we're tracking the first $50 discount on Apple's AirPods Max headphones. You can get the Sky Blue AirPods Max for $499.00 on Amazon, B&H Photo, and Adorama, down from $549.00. Sky Blue is the only color at this price. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Adorama. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
airpods pro find my

New AirPods Pro and AirPods Max Firmware Adds Updated Find My Integration

Tuesday October 5, 2021 1:31 pm PDT by
The new 4A400 AirPods Pro and AirPods Max firmware that was released this afternoon adds expanded Find My integration that Apple first promised as an iOS 15 feature back in June. Images via MacRumors reader SRM1982 With the update, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max are able to take advantage of the Find My network, allowing them to be located through connections with the Apple devices owned by...

Popular Stories

widgets ios 16 feature

Gurman: iPhone 14 Pro to Feature Always-On Display Showing iOS 16's New Lock Screen Widgets

Sunday June 26, 2022 7:36 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro models are widely expected to feature always-on displays that allow users to view glanceable information without having to tap to wake the screen. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman said the feature will include support for iOS 16's new Lock screen widgets for weather, fitness, and more. "Like the Apple Watch, the iPhone 14 Pro will be...
maxresdefault

M2 13-Inch MacBook Pro With 256GB SSD Appears Slower Than Equivalent M1 in Real-World Speed Tests

Monday June 27, 2022 1:57 pm PDT by
Benchmark testing has indicated that the 256GB variant of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 chip offers slower SSD performance than its M1 equivalent, and now real-world stress testing by YouTuber Max Yuryev of Max Tech suggests that the 256GB SSD in the 13-inch MacBook Pro is also underperforming in day-to day-usage. The M2 MacBook Pro with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM was slower than the M1 MacBook ...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

Base 13-Inch MacBook Pro With M2 Chip Has Significantly Slower SSD Speeds

Sunday June 26, 2022 2:52 pm PDT by
Following the launch of Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip, it has been discovered that the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage has significantly slower SSD read/write speeds compared to the equivalent previous-generation model. YouTube channels such as Max Tech and Created Tech tested the 256GB model with Blackmagic's Disk Speed Test app and found that the SSD's read and...
m2 mac mini screen feature

Gurman: Apple Planning M2 Pro Mac Mini, New Apple TV With A14 Chip, Revamped HomePod With S8 Chip, and More

Sunday June 26, 2022 6:31 am PDT by
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman outlined additional M2 Macs on Apple's product roadmap, including new Mac mini models with M2 and M2 Pro chips, new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, and a new Mac Pro tower with M2 Ultra and "M2 Extreme" chips. Following the M2 series of Macs, Gurman said the first M3 series of...
M2 Pro and Max Feature

Apple's Upcoming M2 Pro Chip for High-End MacBook Pro and Mac Mini Will Reportedly Be 3nm

Monday June 27, 2022 7:31 am PDT by
TSMC will manufacture Apple's upcoming "M2 Pro" and "M3" chips based on its 3nm process, according to Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes. "Apple reportedly has booked TSMC capacity for its upcoming 3nm M3 and M2 Pro processors," said DigiTimes, in a report focused on competition between chipmakers like TSMC and Samsung to secure 3nm chip orders. As expected, the report said TSMC will...
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro vs. 14 Pro: New Features to Expect if You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday June 27, 2022 11:22 am PDT by
With many customers choosing to upgrade their iPhone every two or three years nowadays, there are lots of iPhone 11 Pro users who might be interested in upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro later this year. Those people are in for a treat, as three years of iPhone generations equals a long list of new features and changes to look forward to. Below, we've put together a list of new features and...
tesla carplay hack

Tesla Apple CarPlay Hack Updated to Work With Any Tesla Model

Monday June 27, 2022 3:38 am PDT by
Polish developer Michał Gapiński has released a new and improved version of his "Tesla Android Project" which brings Apple's CarPlay experience to more Tesla vehicles than ever before. According to Gapiński, version 2022.25.1 provides "100% functional CarPlay integration for any Tesla," and comes with several new features and bug fixes. The project now supports DRM video playback so that...
2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...