How Long do Wireless Earbuds Last?

A lot of Bluetooth earbuds users have no idea that there are ways to extend the battery life of their earbuds. This has made them keep buying new ones in short sequences. So how long do true wireless earbuds last?

On average, Bluetooth earbuds’ lifespan is around 1-2 years with medium to heavy use. If you take gentle care of your earbuds, you can expect them to last 2-3 years in good condition.

There are some ways that you can use your wireless earbuds and you will be killing the battery life gradually without knowing. One of the ways is by completely draining the battery at all times before charging.

Generally, battery size is what determines how long a Bluetooth headphone lasts. The bigger the size of the battery, the longer it lasts. Bluetooth earbuds are small, thus making their playtime incomparable to Bluetooth headphones.

Fully charged Bluetooth earbuds battery life lasts about 6 to 8 hours. This is much shorter compared to Bluetooth headphones’ battery life of 25 to 30 hours.

Apple has better battery life at 11 hours of talk time and about 24 hours of listening time. For other manufacturers, the numbers might be slightly different.

For example, TaoTronics True Wireless Earbuds would have about 40 hours of user listening experience, taken that they are almost always stored in an included portable charging case.

Related: Top 5 Best Selling Bluetooth Earbuds Under $50

How to Make Wireless Earbuds Last Longer

Ready, set go!
  1. Follow an adequate charging routine: avoid undercharging or draining the battery completely. It should be always be operating and in great condition for you to enjoy your wireless earbuds as long as possible.
  2. Try not to forget to keep them in a charging case at all times if not in use.  You want to prolong the life of your precious device, so make it a routine to keep them stored away when not in use.
  3. Clean your earbuds and the case periodically with a dry, lint-free and soft cloth (you may even dab a little rubbing alcohol on the cloth to make it a 100% bacteria-free experience). The microphone and speaker meshes should be carefully cleaned with a dry cotton swab or a soft-bristled toothbrush. Pretty common sense, but a simple cleaning routine is often overlooked.
  4. Make sure you give your wireless earbuds a “workout” once in a while: don’t leave them unused for weeks and months, rather put them to use. Just make sure you keep the volume at an adequate level and always keep them charging in a case. This way you won’t be disappointed one day after discovering that the battery is completely drained, therefore you won’t be able to have accompaniment for your favorite jog or a spin class workout.
  5. Protect them from any types of liquids: submerging them in any watery substance can seriously damage them in the long run. While some earbuds are made with a water-resistant option, it doesn’t mean that they are waterproof. There are no wireless earbuds currently on the market like that, but let’s hope they will come out soon. Until then the rule is no aqua.  
  6. Avoid going to bed with the earbuds in: it could irreversibly damage them and it’s possible that you won’t be able to get them to work on the same great level. Nobody wants to throw their hard-earned cash away, right? 
  7. Don’t forget about your personal hygiene routine: clean your ears. Very straightforward: let’s just say earbuds don’t combine well with earwax, kind of gross, isn’t it?

What Not to Do with Your Wireless Earbuds

Being that earbuds are really small and delicate, they can be easily exposed to damage. Some of the common reasons are:

  • Sleeping with your earbuds still in your ears: not cool for either your ears or your expensive wireless investment. Damage can occur to both, so any way you look at it, it’s nobody’s benefit. 
  • Cranking up the volume really high, to the point of not only hurting your ears but the device as well. Keep it to an appropriate level: it is understood that sometimes you wanna feel like you are another Ozzie Osborne or Steven Tyler, but let’s face it, nobody needs to be deaf by the time they are 40, it’s not that much fun at all.
  • Exposing earbuds to various forms of liquids. The two just don’t mix well. Period.
  • Keeping your earbuds in a pocket: one wrong move and you can say “adios” to your wireless friend, squashing and smashing its delicate form. Sometimes to the point of no return.
  • Improper cleaning routine: if you go nuts with rubbing and scrubbing hard the meshed surface of the speaker or microphone, inevitable detriment will be on its way.

Should I Overcharge or Undercharge My Wireless Earbuds?

Beautiful young girl listening to music in the park through a wireless earpiece

Don’t worry about leaving your device on charge for too long, you are not going to “overcharge” your battery. As long as the case itself is charged, you should have ample usage time. So, charge away overnight, ever over a week or a month and you’ll never have to worry about your favorite song to stop playing.

If we take a look at a wireless Apple gadget, for instance, we’ll see that the charging case has an indicator light inside, right in the middle of where the earbuds are located: green light means the earbuds are fully charged and when one puts them on charge-amber light comes on to indicate that the charging process has begun.

On the other hand, it is actually not very good to leave your case “undercharged” or with a very little battery capacity since it can cause damage to the battery itself which means that you won’t be able to enjoy your precious earbuds as much as you could’ve if you kept up with the proper charging routine. It’s a good idea not to forget to check on the battery level once in a while: setting up a reminder for yourself on an iPhone, for instance, might be a wise path to follow.

Wireless Earbuds With Longest Battery Life

As mentioned, the size of the battery in your wireless earbuds plays an essential role in the overall life of your earbuds, so finding good, cost-effective, and long-lasting earbuds makes sense if you don’t want to replace them as often.

One of the best and longest lifetime wireless earbuds are Master & Dynamic MW08, though the price of $198 could be a little steep for the extra time you may get from them.

CostBattery LifeWith Case BatteryLife Expectancy
Master & Dynamic MW08$19812 Hours42 HoursBEST
Lypertek Pureplay Z3 2.0$6910 Hours80 HoursGood
Edifier TWS1 PRO$49.9912 Hours42 HoursGreat
Back Bay Duet 50 Pro$59.998 Hours130 HoursAverage
JBL Reflect Flow$129.9510 Hours30 HoursGood
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+$99.959 Hours45 HoursGood
Edifier NB2 Pro$79.999 Hours32 HoursGood
Beats Studio Buds$149.9515 HoursN/AGreat
Apple Airpods Pro$174.994.5 Hours24 HoursAverage
Apple Airpods$1696 Hours30 HoursAverage
JBL Elite Active 75t$209.995.5 Hours24 HoursAverage

The Edifier TWS1 PRO has an attractive price at $49.99 and a very long battery life of 12 hours, which could make it the best value for money long-life wireless earbud.

The average battery life of wireless earbuds is four to six hours, if you see less, you have a problem, but if you’re seeing longer, you’re doing a good job, or your earbuds are great.

Most Sold Wireless Earbuds

The most sold wireless earbuds don’t typically crossover with the earbuds that have the longest life. Apple Airpod Pros are the #1 selling wireless earbuds on the market, but user reports indicate they can last as little as seven months, and they’re advertised to last as long as two years.

Most Sold EarbudsCostBattery Life
Apple Airpods Pro$174.994.5 Hours
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro$199.995 Hours
Apple Airpods$1696 Hours
Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo$69.998 Hours
JBL Tune 225TWS$99.955 Hours

Wireless Earbuds Pros & Cons

  • Convenience: no wires-no tangling and ripping issues
  • Charging case is included with the purchase of earbuds- ease of storage
  • Ample listening time: up to 11 hours of talk time and 24-hour listening time
  • Freedom of movement: you can be up to 40 ft away from your device
  • Lightweight-easily transported
  • Paired through Bluetooth with any of your gadgets: be it iPhone, iPad or a personal computer
  • Attractive design-why sacrifice fashion for practicality when you can have both.
  • Need constant charging otherwise there will be an issue with the draining battery
  • Synchronizing problems: sometimes earbuds don’t easily connect to a device they are supposed to be paired with
  • Periodic audio issues: glitches do happen and it becomes annoying while talking or listening to a favorite song
  • Quite fragile-easily breakable
  • Could be lost in a heartbeat because of their size
  • Not waterproof. For now, but modern-day technology is constantly evolving, so some day there will be a waterproof model.

Love them or hate them, the wireless earbuds are here to stay and many music fans are not giving them up. They offer a hands-free experience, convenience of transportation and a sleek, modern design to satisfy the most aesthetically demanding consumer’s taste.

One cannot forget, however, that in order for this fragile device to last for a while, some necessary steps have to be taken, be it charging, cleaning or storing routine. Take good care of them and you will be able to happily enjoy many weeks, months and even years of great listening experience.

Earbuds FAQ Answered

Go to Bluetooth in your settings and pick the desired Bluetooth earpiece. Take the left and right earbuds out of the case and press the touch control area at the same time for at least 3 seconds. After this, turn both Bluetooth earpieces on.

When only one earbud is working the balance is likely off.  Check balance settings in your device's Accessibility settings.

It could be that the size of the earbuds are too small for your ears. Or the earbuds could be too big for your ears. Try to find what works best for your ears.

If your headphones don’t work, are old or you’ve traded up. Check with the manufacturer to see if they will take them back. You can also check to see if you can recycle them through your city.

Related: Why Are Airpods So Expensive?