Apple in December introduced the AirPods Max, its over-ear Apple headphones that will join the AirPods and AirPods Pro. Since its launch has a growing number MacRumors Readers who bought AirPods Max have complained about battery operation which seems excessive.
Complaints range from high battery levels while the headphones are in use to significant battery loss when the headphones are meant to be inactive. MacRumors reader VL_424 explains:
I have been using AirPods Max since the launch day, the last few days I have run into some serious battery operation.
Last night, for example, I took the headphones out of the case with 85% battery, used them for about 15 minutes, put them back in the case.
This morning I get a notification via my iPhone that there was only 5% left. I did not even try to connect AirPods, I played to HomePod in the room. It’s weird that the AirPod Max was even awake when they were still sitting in the case .. Anyone else having issues like this?
Many of the complaints have suggested that AirPods Max does not run properly in low voltage mode, and without the power button, there is no way to force them to save battery power. When AirPods Max was first launched, there was considerable confusion about how low-power modes worked when AirPods Max was in and out of the Smart case that came with the headphones.
Apple in a supporting document specified that AirPods Max is designed to go into a “low power mode” after five minutes after standing (not placed in a case). If not touched, AirPods Max is meant to stay in low power mode for three days, after which the headphones go into an “ultralow” power mode that cuts off Bluetooth and Find min.
When placed in the Smart Case, AirPods Max power is designed to go into low power mode immediately instead of waiting for five minutes, and after 18 hours, enter the above ultra low power mode.
Given Apple’s description, battery drain should be minimized when AirPods Max is not in use both inside and outside the case, but there may be a problem with low power consumption, given the battery issues that some users experience.
Many MacRumors Readers see high levels of battery drained overnight, sometimes in double digits, but most people see about 10 to 12 percent battery levels per day when the headphones are not in use. There have also been reports from some users who saw the headphones completely empty during the day. From MacRumors DaSal reader:
Standby battery life is really bad. I have only had these for about two weeks, and it has already happened that I wanted to use them only to find that they were completely emptied overnight. You can actually not save them at 30% and assume you can use it the next time you want.
Some users believe that the issue may be related to AirPods Max not disconnecting devices when they are placed in the case or when entering low power mode. From MacRumors reads Broken Hope:
There seems to be a problem with them not disconnecting all the devices properly.
I got mine yesterday, used them with my phone, was annoyed that my Mac kept saying that AirPods were nearby and automatically disabled turning on my Mac, when I put them away for my night Max still showed in the battery program on my Mac, thought it was a mistake I went to work, I have come back and my Max has dropped to 27% since last night.
With no shutdown option, it looks like AirPods Max will run slightly overnight, even in low power mode, but given the number of reports of excessive battery operation, it looks like there may be a software bug that Apple will need to address in the future.
Like AirPods and AirPods Pro, Apple is able to push over-the-air firmware updates for AirPods Max, but so far no new firmware releases have been released.