One of Apple’s more popular creations has been the wireless headphones, the AirPods. While people balked at the price initially, they still bought them, and this introduced many, many copycat headphones that look similar and also charge in their own case.
But what wasn’t known originally and is only being learned after Apple’s AirPods have been around a while is that once the batteries die out, they can’t be fixed or repaired. Your only choice is to buy a new pair.
Sure, all batteries die. None are expected to last forever. That happens to our phones as well. In fact, Apple got a lot of flak not too long ago for the performance of iPhones when the batteries started to get old.
They were throttled purposely, with consumers believing Apple did this to force you to buy a new phone. This resulted in them being cajoled into offering cheap battery replacements in their phones and admitting on their website, “All rechargeable batteries have a limited life span and may eventually need to be serviced or recycled.”
But with Airpods it’s different – the batteries cannot be replaced or serviced. If you take them to the Genius Bar at Apple, you’ll only be told there’s nothing they can do.
While Apple spokeswoman Lori Lodes says, “AirPods are built to be longlasting,” some report that theirs die in as little as 18 months. And because AirPods are glued together, they’re not even meant to be opened.
The Washington Post reports that you have three options once your AirPods officially give up the ghost:
- If the AirPods are under a year old and the battery isn’t lasting for at least five hours, the Apple Store will replace them for free.
- If you buy the $29 AppleCare+ warranty, it will last one year longer, just two years in total, which isn’t long enough for the life span for some AirPods.
- If you have no warranty, Apple will replace them at $49 for each ear. The charging case doesn’t wear out as quickly, yet that can also be replaced for $49.
So to replace them once they die out, if you’re out of warranty, you’re buying a whole new set. If you piecemeal it and replace only what dies out, it’s cheaper, but eventually you’re paying to replace the whole thing. This makes it different than other Apple devices. An iPhone battery can be replaced for $49 and an Apple Watch battery for $79.
While it’s great that the AirPods are so slim, small, and wireless, the price we pay for that is not being able to replace the battery or repair them. It seems the only way to create them was to use glue, which leaves the consumer less options. And of course, there will be many, many conspiracy theorists who say this is purposeful to make Apple more money in replacements.
Do you have Apple AirPods? Have yours ever died out? Tell us how you handled the dead batteries in your AirPods in a comment below.