AirPods Max have gotten amazing reviews for its noise quality and features, but the issue that sticks out like a sore thumb is its ‘Smart Case’. The Smart Case is used not only to protect AirPods Max, but also puts them in an ultralow power mode when they are not in use.
There had been some confusion as to how the battery is preserved and when do AirPods Max automatically power off or go into a lower power state. Apple has finally answered these questions in a new support page that it recently uploaded to its website.
Apple explains how AirPods Max low and ultralow power modes work, with and without the Smart Case
As per the support page, AirPods Max go into a low power mode when they are not in use for 5 minutes. If they are not placed into the Smart Case for 72 hours, they enter an ultralow power mode that turns off Bluetooth and ‘Find My’ features to save battery.
If you set your AirPods Max down and leave them stationary for 5 minutes, they go into a low power mode to preserve battery charge. After 72 stationary hours out of the Smart Case, your AirPods Max go into a lower power mode that turns off Bluetooth and Find My to preserve battery charge further.
When AirPods Max are placed in their Smart Case, they instantly enter their low power mode. After they are in the case for 18 hours, they enter an ‘ultralow’ power mode that turns of Bluetooth and ‘Find My’.
If you put your AirPods Max in the Smart Case when you’re not using them, they go into a low power mode immediately to preserve battery charge. After 18 hours in the Smart Case, your AirPods Max go into an ultralow power mode that turns off Bluetooth and Find My and maximizes battery life.
What is surprising is that Apple found it appropriate to make the AirPods Max wait for 72 hours outside the case, and 18 hours inside the case, to enter ultralow power modes. Ideally, they should enter ultralow power states within 15 – 30 minutes to save battery, when they are not in use.
It is surprising that Apple has chosen these specific values to put the AirPods Max in extended battery saving modes. There has been some backlash from users who are unhappy that Apple has made headphones so complicated when it comes to battery management, instead of just giving a power button.
If the power saving modes bother you, you can always turn off AirPods Max by pressing and holding both the Digital Crown and side button for around 10 seconds. Let’s hope that Apple improves the power mode situation with a future software update for AirPods Max.