My first AirPods Pro battery began to die just after the warranty expired. Over the course of a few months, full charge battery life went from five hours to two hours to one hour. When it hit 45-minutes on devices that were not two years old, I decided enough is enough.
Thankfully, Sir Jonny Ive, Apple’s former design master, is gone, and maybe Apple will become more pragmatic about such things as, 1) battery life, 2) user replacement batteries. That’s what happened with iPhone 11. Apple upgraded the cameras and computational photography to best Google’s Pixel and take on expensive DSLRs. Oh, and battery life? An extra four or five hours.
Way to go, Apple. Now, about battery life.
Somewhere down the road of historical moments, I remember an Apple executive saying that an iPhone’s battery should reach 80-percent charging after three years. I keep my iPhones, at most, two years, but that number seems about right. iPhones hold the full charge far longer than expected, even after a couple of years (your mileage may vary).
AirPods? Not quite.
Let’s put the 80-percent rule to the test. If AirPods were designed to last five hours on a single, full charge, then after three years they should last four hours. 80-percent. Obviously, that’s a generalized average and not everyone uses their AirPods the same way, so battery life will vary.
Less than one hour of battery life after two years seems to be way under the curve, though.
Cameron Faulkner did the standard features test of AirPods Pro vs. wireless earbuds from Sony, Amazon, and Beats. Yes, Google and Microsoft plan to enter the wireless arena soon, too. If sometime next year is soon.
Comparing specifications and physical attributes in standardized same old same old.
Comparing Apple’s two headphones against each other is fairly simple to do, but it gets a little bit more tricky if you’re trying to pick between other brands. The Beats Powerbeats Pro have the same H1 wireless chip, which makes them just as easy to pair with an iPhone, and just as responsive to “Hey Siri” hands-free commands, and those are usually $50 cheaper than the new AirPods Pro. Amazon’s new Echo Buds offer active noise reduction (not quite the same as cancellation), but at nearly half the cost, they might be the best choice for you. Sony’s WF-1000XM3s have excellent noise cancellation and charge via USB-C, though their case is rather hulking.
I want to know how long the damned batteries will last. Not just in hours, but in hours after they’re a year old. Or, two years old. Now it makes sense why Apple has AppleCare+– a subscription warranty– for a growing number of products.
I’ll buy a pair of AirPods Pro after, 1) I try them on, 2) listen to the sound, 3) get some reviews on how long the battery will last, 4) find out how much AppleCare+ costs.
Otherwise, they’re pretty, but they’re dead to me.