How to Recharge AirPods: Using Wireless Charging or a Wired Power Cable

One standout feature of Apple AirPods is their ability to recharge conveniently by placing the earbuds inside the MagSafe charging case when their battery levels drop. Thanks to Apple’s rapid charging technology, a mere five minutes inside the case can provide you with an additional hour of listening time (specifically for the AirPods Pro). Furthermore, the MagSafe case offers the capacity to store up to 30 extra hours of charge, a significant upgrade compared to the AirPods’ standard five to six hours of battery life when fully charged.

Similar to the AirPods themselves, the MagSafe case will inevitably require recharging as well. However, when this moment arrives, you have multiple options at your disposal. You can recharge the case using either a Lightning USB cable or USB-C, particularly if you happen to own the latest AirPods Pro model. In some instances, wireless charging is also an available option. Below, we’ll guide you on how to charge your AirPods.

Recharging Your AirPods Using a Wired Power Connection

If your AirPods model, such as the first and early second-generation versions, does not come with a wireless charging case (or if you haven’t upgraded it), or if you are not utilizing the wireless charging capabilities of more recent models, you will need to use a cable connection to charge your AirPods or AirPods Pro case, which in turn charges the AirPods. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Insert your AirPods into the charging case.

All varieties of AirPods come with a charging case that serves the dual purpose of storing and protecting the earbuds while recharging their batteries. Your initial action should always be to return the AirPods to their charging case.

Each case is designed for the AirPods to fit in a specific orientation: In early charging cases, the speaker tips should face outward, while the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro should have their speakers facing each other. It should be quite evident when your AirPods are correctly placed, and the status light should flash when each AirPod is properly inserted.

An exception here is the AirPods Max, which are over-ear headphones and do not come with a charging case. You can simply skip this step and locate the charging connection directly on the AirPods Max.

Step 2: Connect your charging case to a power source using a Lightning cable.

Examine the bottom of your AirPods case, and you will find either a Lightning port or, in the case of the latest AirPods Pro, a new USB-C port. This is how you recharge the case when it’s needed. Once you have your AirPods paired with a compatible Apple device, you should be able to open the charging case near that device and receive an immediate notification of the current battery status for each AirPod and the case itself. This is useful if you want to monitor when it’s time to recharge in advance.

Step 3: Your AirPods come with a Lightning to USB cable or, for the AirPods Pro, a USB-C cable for charging. You can connect this cable to any compatible adapter (though it’s highly recommended to use Apple’s own adapters)

Wireless Charging for Your AirPods

Are AirPods compatible with wireless charging? The answer to that question hinges on the type of case you possess.

For the first-generation AirPods, the original case that was bundled with those earbuds does not support wireless charging. Consequently, you’ll need to rely on a cable for charging.

As for the AirPods 2, it’s important to note that there are various versions available. Some were sold without wireless charging capabilities, while others came with an upgraded wireless charging case. Buyers typically had the choice when purchasing directly from Apple. To determine if your AirPods 2 support wireless charging, you should verify the specific version you own.

On the other hand, if you own the AirPods 3 or the AirPods Pro, all versions of these models come equipped with a wireless charging case, including the latest iteration, the USB-C AirPods Pro 2.

For those who possess the first-gen AirPods or AirPods 2 without a wireless charging case, there is the option to purchase a separate wireless charging case. This accessory can be used to upgrade your existing setup to include wireless charging capabilities. However, it’s important to note that, as of now, there is no standalone wireless charging case available for AirPods Pro.

Once you have a wireless charging case, the only other component you need is a wireless charger.

Using a Wireless Charger:

If you possess a wireless charging case, you will require a Qi-standard wireless charger. Fortunately, the majority of wireless chargers available on the market adhere to the Qi standard, giving you a wide array of options to choose from.

Apple offers its MagSafe charger, which is compatible with the AirPods case, and there are numerous other excellent alternatives from brands such as Belkin, Logitech, and more. Some of these chargers even incorporate wireless charging stands designed to accommodate iPhones, Apple Watches, and AirPods simultaneously, allowing you to charge all your devices conveniently in one location.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that charging cases for AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 are also compatible with the Apple Watch charger.

Step 1: Once you have obtained a wireless charging pad, plug it into an electrical outlet and position your AirPods case directly on it, ensuring that the front or indicator light faces outward. You can easily discern when the case begins charging because the indicator light will illuminate and remain on.

If you’re wondering how to charge your AirPods Pro wireless case, rest assured that these steps apply equally to the AirPods Pro, albeit with a slight difference in case design.

Step 2: Monitor the Charging Status Light for Further Information

Every AirPods case is equipped with an indicator or status light to keep you informed about the charging status. In the case of the original non-wireless charging case, the status light is located on the inside, so you’ll need to open it to view it. For all other cases, the status light is positioned on the exterior, typically on the front of the case.

When the case light emits an amber glow, it indicates that there is less than one full charge remaining, signaling that it’s time to recharge. To check the status while charging via cable or wireless pad, simply open the charging case and observe the status light. When it shines green, it signifies that the case has been fully charged.

If you’re interested in enhancing your AirPods experience, consider exploring our comprehensive guide on the best AirPods accessories currently available. This includes a range of options, from new charging solutions to ear tips, case covers, and more.

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