- The batteries in the new AirPods Pro will wear out and die over time, just like regular AirPods or any battery-powered gadget, including iPhones.
- AirPods owners who bought the buds around the 2016 launch time recently reported that their earbud battery lives would last minutes instead of hours after a couple years of use. The same fate surely awaits AirPods Pro owners in two to three years time.
- There are two options that are better than buying a new pair AirPods Pro for $250 outright when the battery starts to wear out on your AirPods Pro.
- One option involves buying the $30 AppleCare+ for Headphones. The other option involves getting Apple to replace the battery in your AirPods Pro out-of-warranty, which costs less than a brand new pair of AirPods Pro.
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Just like regular AirPods, the batteries in Apple’s new $250 AirPods Pro aren’t designed to last forever, and owners will likely need to replace the batteries via Apple or buy a new pair AirPods Pro every two or three years.
Indeed, the batteries in the AirPods and AirPods Pro eventually wear down over time to the point that they will last minutes instead of hours. It’s been widely reported that battery life in AirPods purchased around their 2016 launch have dramatically reduced battery life because of aging batteries. The eventual death of all batteries is an inescapable fact.
And like the regular AirPods, the AirPods Pro are nearly impossible to repair yourself, according to a teardown by iFixit. To replace the tiny watch-like battery yourself, you might be able to take the AirPods Pro apart, but putting them back together is the problem. “There’s still no good way to perfectly reassemble a dismantled ‘Pod, unless you happen to work in the AirPod assembly line at the factory,” iFixit said.
Here are the two best options for AirPods and AirPods Pro owners when their batteries inevitably wear out:
Something to note: Normal AirPods battery wear is not covered in Apple’s standard one-year warranty. But battery wear is unlikely significant in the first year of ownership, anyway. If anything, an issue with the batteries at that point would likely be a defect, which is covered by the warranty.
Option 1: Get the $30 AppleCare+ for Headphones coverage plan when you buy the AirPods Pro.
For $30, AppleCare+ for Headphones will cover worn-out batteries on AirPods Pro and its charging case for two years.
The caveat here is that you’re only covered for two years. Some AirPods owners have reported that their AirPods batteries were wearing out after two years, making AppleCare+ for Headphones useless for battery replacements in their specific cases.
It costs $150 to replace AirPods Pro and charging case batteries after AppleCare+ for Headphones runs out.
Here’s what else you get with AppleCare+ for Headphones:
- $29 fee for accidental damage per incident on AirPods Pro.
- $29 fee for accidental damage per incident on AirPods Pro charging case.
- No coverage for lost or stolen AirPods Pro. Costs $89 per AirPods Pro and an extra $99 for the AirPods Pro charging case to replace if lost or stolen.
Option 2: Don’t buy AppleCare+ for Headphones. Out-of-warranty battery repairs are still cheaper than buying a new pair of AirPods Pro.
After the one-year warranty expires and without AppleCare+ for Headphones, it’ll cost $49 to replace the battery in each AirPods Pro, and an extra $49 to replace the battery in the AirPods Pro charging case.
That’s about $150 to essentially get a new set of $250 AirPods Pro, including a new charging case.
This option lets you replace your AirPods Pro batteries whenever they wear out without spending money on AppleCare+ for Headphones, which you’re not guaranteed to make full use of.
Neither options is perfect.
Do you buy AppleCare+ for Headphones and hope your AirPods Pro battery wears out within the two years? Or do you just “service” your AirPods Pro whenever their batteries wear out and get a new replacement pair for $100 off the price?
That’s up to you.