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AirPods Max low power modes explained – how to preserve battery life

The Apple AirPods Max, somewhat strangely, do not have a power button, so you can’t turn them off if you’re looking to save battery.

That makes conserving the life a little trickier, and Apple’s explanations have bred a little confusion thus far. Now the company has sought to clarify things with a new support document detailing the £549 noise-cancelling headphones’ various low power modes.

In the updated document (via The Verge), Apple says that if you take the headphones off and leave them stationary for just five minutes they will enter a low power mode, which preserves charge. This is also the case when they’re placed in the handbag-like Smart Case. However, for those who like to wear headphones around their necks, this isn’t exactly helpful as they’ll never be stationary.

Related: Best headphones

Apple says that after three days (72 hours) out of the Smart Case, the AirPods Max enter an even lower power mode to further conserve battery life. This disables Find My (so don’t lose them) and turns off the Bluetooth. It’s not clear why Apple waits so long for this to happen.

Apparently there’s an even more scrimpy setting called ‘ultralow power mode’ that Apple says turns off Bluetooth and Find My and maximizes battery life. That happens when they go into the Smart Case for 18 hours unused.

Some users have reported greater battery life when idle than others. YouTube tech sensation Marques Brownlee found they dropped multiple percentage points when left unattended. It would have been a lot simpler if Apple just gave the noise cancelling headphones an on/off switch, but the company has prioritised the fast-pairing with Apple devices.

The AirPods Max have earned mixed reviews thus far, with the price tag naturally a concern for some, considering the array of brilliant noise cancelling headphones available for around £300.

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