Apple has officially turned the wireless headphone game on its head with the AirPods, and then again with the AirPods Pro. These headphones offer so much more than even its predecessors with the addition of Active Noise Cancellation.
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- AirPods Pro vs Beats Solo Pro: Which ones should you buy?
- Are the new AirPods Pro waterproof?
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But as one would suspect, a big concern for many is the battery life offered, along with the charging methods. Considering that the AirPods Pro offers both wireless and wired charging, along with quick charging methods, these are really the perfect “all-in-one pro” headphones.
- AirPods Pro Battery Life Basics
- How long does it take for AirPods Pro to charge wirelessly?
- How long does it take for AirPods Pro to charge with the cable?
- How do you check the charging status when charging your AirPods Pro wirelessly?
- Can you use your iPhone or iPad charging cable to charge your AirPods Pro?
- Can you fast charge your AirPods Pro using the 18 Watt fast charger that comes with iPhone Pro models?
- How do you check the AirPods Pro battery level
- Can you charge AirPods without the AirPods case?
- Can you charge the AirPods case without the AirPods inside?
How to charge your AirPods Pro–it’s your choice!
To charge your AirPods, all you need to do is charge up the AirPods case–then choose if you want to charge wirelessly using a Qi-certified charging mat or plug them in using the included charging cable.
You can charge your AirPods case with the AirPods inside the case or not–again, it’s your choice. And you can charge your AirPods in anyone’s case–as long as its an AirPods Pro case.
Look at the status light on the case–the amber light means it’s still charging while the green light means it’s fully charged and ready to go.
AirPods Pro Battery Life Basics
Similar to the 2nd generation AirPods that launched in early 2019, the AirPods Pro are touted as lasting for 24 hours. This is adjusted down to 18 hours if you are primarily using the AirPods for phone/video calls.
Now, while we wish this were true, there’s a bit of a catch. The AirPods Pro themselves are rated for lasting up to five hours of listening time, but you can take an hour off of that time if Active Noise Cancellation is enabled.
The reason why Apple touts the 24 hours of battery life is because of the case itself. Apple’s AirPods Pro case will do the heavy lifting when the AirPods themselves run out of juice.
Nonetheless, there is a quick-charge feature built-in which allows for up to three hours of battery life after just 15 minutes in the case. This is perfect for those who are deep into a project but are running out of juice and need to throw the AirPods in to charge while you go get a cup of coffee.
How long does it take for AirPods Pro to charge wirelessly?
While there is a lot to be said about the convenience of the wireless charging, there’s one thing we know for sure. It’s pretty slow. Wireless charging has been around for a few years now, but it seems that anyone other than Samsung has really stopped short of pushing the limits.
The same can be true for Apple and the AirPods Pro, as you will have to “deal” with just normal wireless charging speeds. In some tests, the AirPods Pro charged from 0% to 100% in just under three hours. Part of this is because the AirPods themselves receive the charge, and then the case charges afterward.
You may be able to finagle and speed this time up if you take the AirPods out of the case. However, just be prepared to have some of the juice taken from the case after placing them in the fully-charged case.
How long does it take for AirPods Pro to charge with the cable?
Depending on how much juice is left in both the case in the AirPods themselves, this can vary. Some have seen charging to 100% in just 30 minutes, while others (usually if the AirPods are dead) have seen charge times take up to 2 hours.
However, Apple has included a little extra benefit for users with the AirPods Pro and the H1 chip. Now, you can charge the AirPods Pro in the case for just 15 minutes, and get up to 3 hours of playback time.
How do you check the charging status when charging your AirPods Pro wirelessly?
If you have AirPods Pro, you can tap the case when it’s on the charging mat to see whether your AirPods Pro are charging (amber light) or fully charged (green light). Even if you are not actively using the AirPods, you can double-tap the LED indicator on the front to get a rough idea of the battery life.
After double tapping the case, the charge level LED indicator will stay solid for 8 seconds. This will give you a pretty good idea of how much longer you should try charging the case before taking them off.
Can you use your iPhone or iPad charging cable to charge your AirPods Pro?
The short answer here is yes, you can use your existing charging cable to charge the AirPods Pro. This is true for iPhone owners, as both the iPhone and AirPods Pro use the standard Lightning cable.
2018 iPad Pro owners will have to look elsewhere, as there is no USB-C charging port on the AirPods Pro. However, you can use a USB-C to Lightning cable and plug the AirPods Pro into the iPad and charge your headphones.
Can you fast charge your AirPods Pro using the 18 Watt fast charger that comes with iPhone Pro models?
Unfortunately, there is no way to “fast charge” your AirPods Pro, even if you use the 18 Watt charging brick from the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. If you look at the packaging for the AirPods Pro, the input is set to “5V 1A”, meaning it will only charge at 5W.
On the plus side, plugging your AirPods Pro into the same 18W charger as your iPhone won’t hurt anything. There is technology built into the charging case which prevents “overcharging”. This is when the device takes too much power too quickly and eventually burns out.
How do you check the AirPods Pro battery level
As we have previously detailed here, there are multiple ways for you to check the AirPods Pro battery level. The easiest and most detailed way to do so is to add the Batteries widget to your iPhone and/or iPad.
When connected, not only will you be able to view the battery level of the charging case, but also each earbud. This makes it easy to get an idea of how much time you have left before needing to top them off.
One more method using your iPhone takes advantage of good ole’ Siri. Fire Siri up and ask her “what’s the battery life of my AirPods Pro” and she’ll let you know quickly.
Finally, it’s easy to see an approximate of how much battery is in your AirPods Pro case, even when charging wirelessly.
Place the case on the wireless charging pad, and then tap the case near the LED light.
If you see green, there’s at least 80% battery left, with amber coming in between 25% and 80%. If you are below 25%, the LED indicator will flash red, meaning you shouldn’t take the case off the charger just yet.
Can you charge AirPods without the AirPods case?
Unfortunately, there is no alternative way to charge your AirPods in the event that you forgot your case. This is not exactly a “sales” tactic to make sure people purchase more cases.
Instead, this is a trend you will see across all of the other truly wireless headphone options. The reason for this is that there are special pins and connectors on the headphones which plug into the case for charging.
Can you charge the AirPods case without the AirPods inside?
Looking at the reverse side of charging, you do not need to put the AirPods inside the case to charge your AirPods Pro case. This is something that we have done more times than we can count, as we want to listen to our favorite podcasts but need to charge the case.
All you have to do is take the AirPods Pro out, then either plug-in the case with a cable, or place the case on a wireless charging pad. The case will continue to charge and will have more than enough juice to recharge your AirPods Pro when the time comes.
We can’t say enough nice things about the AirPods and especially the AirPods Pro. Apple has created the perfect headphones, even if you primarily use an Android device. Although we hope to see improved battery life from the AirPods themselves, it’s hard to argue with up to 24 hours with a fully charged case.
If you have any more questions about the AirPods Pro or have run into issues, just let us know in the comments below. We’ll be more than happy to help out, and if you have found out about some new tips or tricks, we want to know about those too!
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.