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AirPods Max battery drain reports surface, some saying they empty overnight

There are growing reports of an AirPods Max battery drain problem on the Apple Support Forums, Reddit, and elsewhere. Some owners are reporting that their headphone battery is draining from 100% to 1% or 0% overnight, even when left inside the official Apple case designed to drop them quickly into ultra-low power mode.

Others are reporting drain not quite in the same league, but still dramatically higher than would be expected …

Dutch site AppleTips spotted the reports.

More and more AirPods Max owners are complaining about battery problems. Users discuss the problem on Reddit, social media, the Apple Support forum, and various other forums. For example, that the battery drains during the day without using the AirPods Max.

A Smart Case is supplied with the headphones, when you place the Max in the case, the energy saving mode is switched on and active connections are disconnected. In practice this does not seem to be the case, and the battery life drains during the night. From 100% to 1% is not uncommon.

From Apple Support Forums:

“My AirPods Max are deeply self discharging overnight. They go from 90+% down to 0 overnight.”

“Yup, same exact problem here. I fully charge my Airpods Max, place them carefully in the Apple case (which is supposed to put them in ‘low power mode’), and then when I go to use them a few hours later or the next day, they make the ‘death sound’ indicating the battery is low and I see the battery has dropped down to 1%. Not the behavior I expect in a $549 pair of headphones.”

And Reddit:

“Charged them in the morning to 100% used them occasionally (2-3hrs) during the day and in the evening, put them in to the smart case. Wake up to 0% battery.”

“Yup, same here. Although, I used mine for an entire evening. But still, when I woke up this morning 1% left on battery.”

AppleTips says it has firsthand experience of the issue with its own headphones.

The AirPods Max was stored at 96% in the Smart Case at around 7pm. The next morning, the battery percentage had dropped to only 1% and the headphones could no longer be used. This is not an occasional problem, rather a recurring one. This makes it almost impossible to use the AirPods Max the next day because they have to be charged first.

The issue may have been introduced with a firmware update released on December 18, as most reports are subsequent to that date.

AppleTips says that the problem does not seem to occur when the headphones are used only with an iPhone, but when they are connected to an Apple TV or non-Apple device. There doesn’t yet appear to be any consistent fix, but a number of different things have worked for some of those affected.

  • Force restart AirPods Max by pressing and holding the Digital Crown and noise control button until the orange light appears.
  • Restore AirPods Max to factory settings by doing the above and continuing to hold both until the status light turns white.
  • Manually disconnect the AirPods Max connection after use via the Bluetooth settings of your device.
  • Disable automatic switching by device.
  • For the time being, use the Max with one device, for example your iPhone.

Apple had come under fire for the fact that the over-ear headphones don’t have a power switch, and are supposed to be stored inside the unpopular Smart Case to put them into low-power mode. However, Apple subsequently said that using the case makes very little difference.

It’s not the first reported problem with AirPods Max: Some owners have reported a condensation issue inside the ear cups.

Have you experienced unusual AirPods Max battery drain? Please let us know in the comments.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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