New Apple AirPods usually come fully charged out of the box, offering around five hours of listening time and two hours of talk time (or in the case of AirPods 2, up to three hours of talk time) before you have to charge them again.
There are several ways you can manually check AirPods battery level, but a general indicator is that you'll hear a tone when your AirPods' batteries are low, and another tone just before they run out.
Charging Your AirPods for the First Time
To charge your AirPods, simply put them in their case. A fully charged case will provide AirPods with more than 24 hours of listening time, or up to 11 hours of talk time. If you charge AirPods for 15 minutes in their case, you get up to 3 hours of listening time or over an hour of talk time.
If your AirPods are in their case, the light inside the case (or on the front of the case if you have a Wireless Charging Case) shows the charge status of your AirPods. When AirPods are removed from their case, the light shows the charge status of the case. Green means charged, and amber indicates less than one full charge remains.
To charge a non-wireless AirPods case, plug the Lightning cable that came in the box into the Lightning connector on the bottom of the case. Then plug the other end of the cable into a USB charger or computer port. The case will charge whether or not the AirPods have been inserted.
How to Charge AirPods Using a Wireless Charging Case
Apple's Wireless Charging Case and second-generation AirPods can be charged with almost any Qi-compatible charging mat or stand (although we've heard scattered reports of AirPods incompatibility with some Mophie chargers). If you don't have a charging accessory and are wondering which one to buy, check out our roundup of the best Qi-compatible charging mats and stands for Apple devices. At any rate, here's how the charging procedure works.
- Place the case on the charger with the status light on the front of the case facing up (or towards you if you're using a stand). Note that you can charge your case with or without your AirPods inside.
- The status light should turn on for several seconds, then turn off as it continues to charge.
- If the light doesn't turn on when you put it on the charging mat, try repositioning the case.
If you have trouble getting the case to charge, check that the cable is firmly plugged into the charging mat and that the other end is correctly plugged into a power outlet. If the case still isn't charging, don't forget that you can also charge it by plugging the supplied Lightning cable into the Lightning connector on the bottom, and the other end of the cable into a USB charger or port.
AirPods Battery Life
Although AirPods have great battery life for their size, their charge capacity will naturally degrade over time. If your AirPods are still under warranty and have reduced battery life due to normal wear, Apple offers a $49 per AirPod (or charging case) battery replacement service, while its out-of-warranty battery replacement service costs $69 per earbud or charging case.
If your battery has a manufacturing defect and it's covered by Apple's warranty or consumer law, Apple will service it at no additional cost.