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AirPods Max still shows stellar battery life if left out of the Smart Case

Airpods Max On End Hero
Airpods Max On End Hero (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • AirPods Max don't blow through battery life outside of the case as some have feared.
  • Testing has shown that the headphones only drained by 3% over a four-hour period.

When AirPods Max first got into the hands of reviewers, many pointed out that there was no way to turn the headphones off and the only way to get them into "Ultra-Low Power Mode" was to keep them in the Apple's Smart Case that is shipped with the headphones.

A lot of people are accustomed to turning their headphones off to preserve the battery life and leave them on a stand on their desk, in a drawer, or just lying around. Because of this, many have expressed concern about the lack of a power button and the case situation, wondering if their AirPods Max would blow through the battery and die if left out of the Smart Case.

Airpods Max Digital Crown Hero

Airpods Max Digital Crown Hero (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

Well, it appears that MacRumors has put their AirPods Max to this exact test and found that no one has anything to really worry about.

The outlet found that, after four hours of the headphones being connected and unused with their iPhone, the battery drained a total of three percent.

At 12:00 p.m., three hours later, the AirPods Max remained connected to the iPhone over Bluetooth and did not disconnect or go to sleep. During this time, the iPhone was in use for various activities and also in a rest mode where it wasn't in active use. The AirPods Max were left alone and not touched. Over a four hour period, the AirPods Max didn't disconnect and the battery life drained a total of three percent.

AirPods Max Smart Case

AirPods Max Smart Case (Image credit: Apple)

In comparison, the AirPods Max only drained by one percent over a four-hour period when stored inside Apple's Smart Case.

We left the AirPods Max in the case to test battery drain while in Apple's advertised "ultra low power mode." From 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, the AirPods Max drained approximately one percent while in the case. The battery was at 60 percent when they went in the case at 1:00, and 59 percent when they came out of the case at 5:00.

So, while there is certainly an advantage to keeping your AirPods Max stored in the included Smart Case when it concerns battery life, leaving them outside of the case is not going to fly through battery life in the way that many feared.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

2 Comments
  • But they do drain. In contrast, I have a pair of Bose, that have a physical on off switch. I just stuck these on and flicked the switch. It told me battery, 70%. I haven't had these out of their case for a year and a half. (Why? because I used them for traveling on an airplane, which I haven't done in a year and a half.) Not even sure what they were at when I turned them off and put them in the case. If you assume the MAX loose 1% in 4 hrs, that's 100% in 400hrs or about 16 days, even in the chaps. A third of that if you leave them out. Now, it is hard to imagine someone that buys these, not just wearing them 24x7, so they will get charged frequently, but really Apple?
  • I think the way they operate will be perfect for the masses and anger the few that want a more active way to manage battery life. The Sony’s and Bose are fantastic travel headphones and give you those precise adjustments but that’s not what Apple was going for here. It’s for the person that does not or will not care to consider those kind of things, and that’s going to be most people.