When Apple unveiled the AirPods Max, it revealed that there was no on / off button. Basically, they are always on but go into power saving mode when plugged into their Smart Case. This of course left room for questions and concerns. over battery life, if they are not switched off, when the headphones are not in use.
On an official support page, Apple provided answers to questions that suggest the Smart Case is not so essential for preserving battery life. According to Apple, in fact, when AirPods Max are not worn but are not placed in the Smart Case, they still go into “low consumption mode” after five minutes.
A state of very low consumption
If the AirPods Max are not touched, the wireless headset will stay in this low power mode for 72 hours, then enter a “very low power” state which turn off bluetooth and search function to maintain the remaining charge.
Apple has also clarified the behavior of AirPods Max when inserted into the Smart Case: again, both modes are mentioned but activated at different times. The first “low consumption” is immediately activated upon insertion, while the “very low energy consumption” is after 6 p.m. without using them.
Ultimately, at least for short periods of time, so there is no real power-saving benefit to taking the AirPods Max out and putting them in its smart case, rather than leaving them behind. on a desk without touching them. If you don’t plan to use them for a long time, you can keep them in the storage box on the other hand.
What real autonomy?
But one question remains: what happens to the battery if, during a trip or a walk, we remove the headphones while holding them around our necks. Indeed, the sensors continue to feel movement and displacement. On this point, no autonomy information has yet been communicated by Apple.
The AirPods Max, let us remember, have a claimed autonomy of 20 hours of listening with active noise cancellation and activation of spatial audio. In 5 minutes of fast charging, you will gain around 1.5 hours of listening time.
AirPods Max: Apple keeps part of the mystery of the “low consumption” mode
We will talk about it again in our test, but the autonomy of AirPods Max is not crazy, which also raises the question of storage.
Indeed, in the absence of a power button, they are always on, which can lead to excessive consumption even when unused. In a service document, Apple however specifies some subtleties:
• in the case, the AirPods Max immediately goes into standby, but it will take 18 hours to enter mode « ultra low consumption »
• out of the case, the AirPods Max goes into standby after 5 minutes, but it will take 72 hours to enter mode « ultra low consumption »
The difference between standby and « ultra low consumption » obviously concerns the activity of internal chips: bluetooth and “Locate” will be deactivated in the second case, while the connection will be preserved in single standby. If you lose the helmet, it will therefore be impossible to find it after a short day in its case.
More Apple especially forgets to specify the difference in consumption between the two modes! How much energy is actually consumed in each of these two cases? Mystery. In case of prolonged storage (during holidays or a stay away from any electrical source), it would have been interesting to be able to activate deep standby in a few seconds.
Fortunately, the headset recharges very quickly (5mn = 1H30) and a full charge is also very fast.
AirPods Max low power modes explained – how to conserve battery life
Apple’s AirPods Max, strangely, don’t have a power button, so you can’t turn them off if you want to save battery power.
This makes battery life conservation a bit trickier, and Apple’s explanations have caused a bit of confusion so far. Now the company has sought to clear things up with a new support document detailing the various low-power modes of the £ 549 noise-canceling headphones.
In the updated document (via The Verge), Apple says that if you remove the headphones and leave them stationary for just five minutes, they’ll go into low-power mode, which preserves charge. This is also the case when placed in the handbag-type Smart Case. However, for those who like to wear headphones around their necks, this is not really useful as they will never be stationary.
Related: Best Headphones
Apple says that after three days (72 hours) out of the Smart Case, the AirPods Max go into even lower power to preserve battery life. This turns Find My off (so don’t lose them) and turns off Bluetooth. it’s unclear why Apple is waiting so long for this to happen.
Apparently, there’s an even more scrimpy setting called “ultra-low power mode” which Apple says turns off Bluetooth and Find My and maximizes battery life. This happens when they enter the Smart Case for 18 hours without use.
Some users have reported greater battery life at rest than others. YouTube tech sensation Marques Brownlee found it lost several percentage points when left unattended and out of the Smart Case. It would have been a lot easier if Apple had just given noise canceling headphones an on / off switch, but the company has prioritized quick pairing with Apple devices.
The AirPods Max have so far received mixed reviews, with price understandably being a concern for some given the range of brilliant headphones available for around £ 300.
Apple’s AirPods Max are having some battery issues
Apple’s over-ear headphones, sold for 629 euros, do not offer an on / off button. Which could partly explain these problems encountered by several users, who report that the headset battery drains much too quickly during the night.
Several readers of the MacRumors site shared their bad experience. A first reader says that he used the headset for 15 minutes before putting it back in its storage pouch. Before use, the battery was at 85%. In the morning, his iPhone tells him that there is only 5% of battery left, while the case allows, thanks to magnets, to place the helmet in a state of low consumption.
Another reader got used to the idea that he will not be able to use the headphones the next day if they are at 30% battery the day before: “I have only had them for about two weeks and I’ve wanted to use them before, only to find that they drained completely overnight. ”
You can’t leave them at 30% and expect to be able to use them the next time.
Unfortunately, since the AirPods Max don’t have an on / off button, the only possible solution to “force” sleep mode should therefore come from an update from Apple.
So far, the apple brand has published only one document on the “ultra-low consumption” mode, where we learn that if we put the AirPods Max without touching them for 5 minutes, “they switch to low consumption mode to preserve the battery charge. After 72 hours of shutting down out of the Smart Case, the AirPods Max go into low power mode which turns off Bluetooth and the Find Find service to further conserve battery power ”.
Once placed in the case, “AirPods Max immediately go into low power mode to conserve battery power. After 18 hours in the Smart Case, the AirPods Max will go into ultra-low power mode which turns off Bluetooth and Find My service and maximizes battery life. ”
Obviously, it does not work as expected. We will therefore have to wait for a possible update to find out more.
AirPods Max: standby time problems?
A little over a month after the release of the AirPods Max, a few voices are starting to be heard about a possible bug in the sleep mode of Apple’s headphones. Our colleagues from MacRumors have gathered several testimonials from users noting a sharp drop in the battery when the headset is not in use, which in some cases can drop to zero during the night when it was still at a satisfactory level. the day before. The majority of cases mention a drop of 10 to 12% of the battery per day of non-use, which is already too much.
Apple has already detailed how the AirPods Max standby works: the low power mode is supposed to activate within five minutes of the headset inactivity (it is even immediate if it is stored in its case), which is not equipped with an extinguishing button. A deeper sleep mode activates after 72 hours out of the case, or after 18 hours in the case.
Apple has not yet commented on the subject, but everything seems to point to a software problem preventing the headset from activating its standby. If this is the case, an update could quickly return the AirPods Max to normal behavior. If you have a software problem with the Apple headphones, be aware that it is possible to force restart them: to do this, hold down the noise control button and the Digital Crown until the indicator light flashes orange.