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10 Tricks to Extend the Battery Life of Your Earbuds & Headphones

Last updated: 12 months ago
4 min read

Your earbuds don’t last long? Here are 10 tricks that significantly prolong the battery life of your earbuds and headphones.

Extend battery life of wireless earbuds

5 to 6 hours. That’s the battery life of most wireless earbuds on a full charge. And lifespan isn’t long either. According to this survey the average earbud and headphone lifespan is 2.7 years (for those that die in the first 5 years).

Also, the average AirPods battery life is 4.7 hours per charge. Even though the official battery life is supposed to be 6 hours.

Battery life lowers over time.

Most batteries inside earbuds and headphones are lithium-based Li-ion batteries. In theory, the technology works forever. But the reality is different.

Things that decrease Li-ion battery capacity:

  • Charging and discharging cycles
  • Changes in temperatures
  • Age of materials

Due to these reasons, earbuds and headphone manufacturers estimate 300 to 500 charging/discharging cycles before dying (Or severely deteriorating).

So, how do you extend the battery life per charge and the overall lifespan of your earbuds?

Here’s how:

Tricks to Extend Earbud Battery Life

Each tip here works. But can have a different impact on the battery life of your wireless earbuds. It depends on your model. So, try those that make the most sense.

1. Avoid overcharging

Overcharging the lithium-based battery strains it, which leads to faster aging. This results in reduced battery life over time. This is why quick charging stops before reaching 100%.

Best wireless earbuds under $100 - Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
5 LEDs shining indicate the case is fully charged. Connecting it now would only put strain on the battery.
  • Stop charging the earbuds once they’re full to prevent overcharging. In the case of true wireless earbuds, disconnect the case when it’s full or sooner. This way, you avoid straining the battery inside the case.
  • For maximum battery-saving effect, charge your wireless earbuds (and case) only up to 60-80%. Then discharge down to 25% and charge again. This can dramatically increase battery lifespan and capacity:
Charge & discharge rangeBattery capacity drops to
75% – 25%74% original capacity
85% – 25%64% original capacity
100% – 25%48% original capacity
After 14,000 charging cycles. Source: Battery university

The closer to the optimal charging range, the longer the lifespan and battery capacity per charge.

Frequently check the battery charging status to avoid leaving them connected for too long. The same is true for Qi wireless charging, don’t leave your earbuds on the charging mat for too long.

  • Don’t leave them connected overnight, as that is always too lengthy. The battery will slowly discharge, then charge to 100% again. This cycle will continue for the whole night, speeding up the aging process.

Here’s everything you need to know about batteries in headphones and earbuds.

2. Use the recommended charger

  • Always use the original charger you got with your earbuds or headphones. In case you lose it, only use reputable third-party cables compatible with your earbuds/headphones.
Edifier TWS NB charging
Original charging cable (the one you get in the box) is specifically made for the model.

A wrong charger with a higher voltage or current output can push too much power and strain the battery. It’s also dangerous, as it can make batteries burn.

  • Avoid using other chargers from other devices. They may not provide the best charging conditions for your earbuds.

3. Lower volume

  • Higher volume levels use more power, resulting in a faster battery drain.
Volume Control app menu

Listen to your earbuds at a reasonable volume. The lower the volume, the longer the battery will last.

Generally, keeping the volume under 50-60% of the maximum is also safer for your hearing.

4. Reduce bass and sound enhancements

Music with strong bass and sound enhancements like virtual surround sound use the battery faster.

  • Reduce the bass with equalization (if possible) and turn off the sound enhancements when you want to lower battery consumption.
Boost bass on headphones EQ
Boosted bass slightly increases power consumption in wireless earbuds.

P.S. But don’t lower it to the point of disliking how it sounds.

5. Keep devices close to each other

A longer distance between your Bluetooth device (smartphone) and earbuds lead to a weaker Bluetooth connection. This causes increased energy consumption in earbuds because they try to keep a stable connection.

  • Keep your Bluetooth device close to yourself when wearing earbuds.

6. Disable unnecessary connections

Sony activate multipoint
Turn off multipoint and connect to 1 device only.

Maintaining a Bluetooth connection consumes energy even when not playing music.

  • When you’re not using earbuds or headphones, disconnect them from your Bluetooth device to conserve power.
  • When you’re low on power, disable the multipoint connection and only connect to 1 device. Multiple connections at the same time use up more energy.

7. Update firmware for improved efficiency

  • Check for firmware updates from the earbud manufacturer.
EarFun Air Pro 3 app first page
Updating firmware is simple in a companion app.

Firmware updates often include enhancements and optimizations of power consumption and, thus, battery life.

Regularly updating your earbuds’ firmware also ensures you have the latest improvements and bug fixes. This way, your earbuds work optimally.

8. Turn off when not in use

  • Turn off your earbuds when you’re not using them. Especially if you don’t intend to use them for a while. Many earbuds don’t have the auto-off feature that conserves power.

Leaving earbuds or headphones in standby mode keeps using power.

9. Disable unnecessary features

Turn off extra features that you don’t need. Wireless earbuds and headphones have features that drain battery like:

Jabra Elite 7 Pro starting app screen
Turn off as many extra features to preserve battery.

Turn them off inside the companion app, in your smartphone settings, or with built-in controls. Check the user manual for details.

The fewer features are turned on, the more energy you will save.

Enable the features only when needed to significantly prolong the battery life.

10. Store in appropriate conditions

A bad storage environment can dramatically lower battery life or damage the earbuds.

Sony WF-XB700 charging case
Leaving true wireless earbuds on the sun can make them hot.

Store your earbuds away from:

  • High temperatures, keep it under 113°F – 45°C to avoid increasing the battery’s internal resistance and aging.
  • Low temperatures, keep it above -4°F – -20°C to retain battery capacity.
  • Moisture and humidity can lead to corrosion of battery parts resulting in malfunction.
  • Don’t leave your wireless earbuds in direct sunlight. They’ll get hot quickly.

All of these tips are useful in protecting the battery life of your earbuds, no matter the model or brand. But it’s also important to check the user manual of your earbuds for specific guidelines.

Conclusion

In the future, with advancements in technology, we can expect longer-lasting earbuds. But until then, we’ll have to make do with a 5-hour capacity.

By developing good user habits and properly maintaining the earbuds, you can extend their battery life and lifespan for months, if not years.

But if none of the tips work for your earbuds battery life, then the logical assumption is that the battery has deteoriorated. And you’ll have to buy new ones.

Check:

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