Although the Apple AirPods are often regarded as the best wireless earbuds money can buy, these earbuds, like many Apple products, are plagued with problems after a prolonged use. Unfortunately, some of these problems are not just software issues, but hardware issues as well which greatly increase the chance of needing a complete earbuds replacement from Apple.
So should you opt out from buying a pair of AirPods? Nope. Although there are many reported issues, the majority of AirPods buyers will not be affected by these problems at all. Only a small percentage of them will have some type of problems; some of which are fixable while some require a pair of refurbished earbuds. Still, if you are planning to purchase a pair of Apple AirPods, you should be aware of these issues in case you’re one of the unlucky one to get a pair with defects. Here’s the only huge problem with the AirPods you should be aware of if you’re thinking of buying one in the future.
Short lifespan due to battery degradation
It has been widely reported that the AirPods battery significantly degrades after one year of usage, losing a more-than-normal amount charging capacity. Apple designed the AirPods to last 5 hours of listening time or 2 hours of talk time on a single charge. Due to battery degradation after the first year, a Reddit user are reported that instead of getting two hours of talk, they get less than 30 minutes and the two five hours of listening time turned to two hours and a half. In the same discussion, another user reported that it has experienced “25% degradation after 14 months.”
So what can you do if you experience battery degradation in your AirPods? Luckily, you are dealing with Apple, the company known for having the best customer support experience in the tech industry. Unfortunately, on the darker side, you’re dealing with Apple, the company known for having the most expensive prices for any type of service in the tech industry. In order to fix your battery-degraded AirPods, you will have to shell out $49 for each ($100 both) if you’re under the given one year warranty. If you’re past the one year warranty, then it will cost you $69 for a battery replacement of each unit, totalling $138 replacing both batteries; something very ridiculous because it’s almost the price of a new pair. Now, if you’re lucky and find the right guy at an Apple Store, he will replace it for free by claiming manufacturer defect. But don’t go with that expectation, because it doesn’t alway happens.
If you take the cheaper route and only replace one unit’s battery instead of replacing both, this will cause you another inconvenience. Now you will have an AirPod that dies before the other one, leaving your with just one earbud.