Some AirPods Max owners have been hit with a weird battery-draining issue that affects the headphones even when they’re not in use, but there may be a simple fix.
According to numerous social media and forum posts, the AirPods Max can lose battery rapidly, draining completely in just a few hours even when sitting in their Smart Case (which should put them into ultra low-power mode). Some owners say their headphones dropped from a full battery to just 1% overnight.
Apple hasn’t commented on the issue, nor are there any official workarounds, but there’s a possible solution: Apple just released a new AirPods max firmware, version 3C39. Apple doesn’t provide patch notes for AirPods updates as it does for iOS and macOS, so we have no idea what this new firmware changes. Hopefully, a fix for the battery drain issue is included. We’ll know for sure once more users install firmware 3C39.
Unfortunately, it’s rolling out slowly, so it could be a while before we know. That said, even though we can’t confirm version 3C39 fixes the AirPods Max’s battery life, it’s still wise to install the update as soon as possible.
How to update your AirPods Max
AirPods firmware updates automatically install while the headphones are connected to your iPhone via Bluetooth and charging. The entire process happens indirectly; if a patch is available, it will download and install in the background. That makes system upkeep easy and means you could already have the patch installed, but you’ll need to dig through your iPhone’s setting to confirm your AirPods Max firmware version.
Here’s how to check:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap “Bluetooth.”
- Make sure your AirPods Max headphones are turned on and listed in the connected devices column. If not, pair them with your iPhone before you continue.
- Tap the Info icon next to your AirPods Max.
- Check the number listed under “Firmware Version.”
If your AirPods Max list version 3C39 (or higher), then you have the latest firmware. The previous version number is 3C16, so if that’s what you see, then you need to update your firmware—though as we said earlier, you can’t manually perform that update.
Note that it can take up to 30 minutes for the firmware update to install. Let your AirPods Max hang out on the charger for half an hour then check again. If the firmware is still the older version, you can try to force the update:
- On your iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth.
- Tap the Info icon next to your AirPods Max in the “Connected Devices” list.
- Tap “Forget this device.”
- Plug your Airpods Max into the charger.
- On your iPhone, go back to Settings > Bluetooth.
- Look for your AirPods from the “Other Devices” list. Tap to pair the headphones with your iPhone.
- Wait 30 minutes then check the firmware version again.
This isn’t a guaranteed workaround, but it’s worth a shot. If you try forcing the update but still aren’t seeing it installed, it’s possible the new firmware isn’t ready for your device yet. Wait a while, then try again. It should show up in the next few days.