AirPods launched back in 2016 with AirPods Pro arriving in 2019. If you have had first or second-gen AirPods or first-gen AirPods Pro for several years, the batteries are probably wearing out. Let’s look at a range of options for what to do with dying old AirPods including replacing, selling, and recycling.
Apple doesn’t specifically share how many charge cycles to expect from the batteries in AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max. How long they last for you will depend in large part on how much you use and charge your AirPods.
Dying and old AirPods background
While AirPods are under warranty, faulty batteries are covered. But for many, the batteries are likely to die when AirPods are out of warranty.
Instead of just buying a new pair and tossing (or hopefully recycling them : ), let’s look at some other options.
What to do with old AirPods
For now, there’s no trade-in program for AirPods with Apple, but you can recycle them at any Apple Store (Best Buy and Staples too) if you’re okay with not getting any cash. We’ll cover more on this below, but you can also check the trade-in value with our partner to get cash for your AirPods if they’re working normally.
AirPods battery service with Apple
With Apple’s official battery service, you’re looking at $49 for AirPods and AirPods Pro (per headphone), and the same rate goes for any of the AirPods charging cases.
Meanwhile, AirPods Max battery service runs $79.
Another way you’ll be covered beyond the one-year standard warranty is if you bought AppleCare+ coverage for your AirPods. In that case, you’ll be covered for two years, and there’s no deductible for battery service in that window.
Bought AirPods with a credit card?
If you bought your AirPods with a credit card, you may have an extended warranty. This isn’t quite as seamless as if you’re in Apple’s standard warranty window or have AppleCare, but it may be worth checking into.
Reach out to your card provider to see if your card adds additional one or two-year coverage to purchases like electronics and how to proceed if you’re covered.
Oftentimes, you’ll pay Apple for the repair and then submit the receipt and other proof needed to your bank/card provider to be reimbursed.
Replace old AirPods with The Swap Club
The Swap Club is a neat service to get your AirPods batteries replaced at a discount. You can swap in your gen 1 or gen 2 AirPods with dead batteries for a refurbished and sanitized pair with “restored battery life.”
The company has found a way to replace AirPods’ batteries with “specially developed equipment.” You’re not getting an official Apple battery here, but The Swap Club says it’s done independent testing to make sure “The batteries we use are similar in performance to your original ones from Apple.”
You can get AirPods with new life from $49.99. You’re getting “good as new battery life,” a 90-day warranty, free shipping, and the refurbished AirPods have been fully cleaned and sanitized.
The Swap Club is working on offering a replacement program for AirPods Pro too.
Check out people selling individual AirPods on services like eBay and Craigslist. You can also find refurbished AirPods and AirPods Pro at a discount, but that can be risky since it’s hard to know the true condition of the battery (or the headphones themselves).
If you’re thinking of going for refurbished/used AirPods from any source, a UV device sanitizer can be a good investment and of course useful for more than just AirPods.
Selling and trade-in options
If you’re looking to sell your AirPods, check out a quote from 9to5Mac’s trade-in partner Decluttr. They make it seamless to see how much your AirPods are worth and get cash for them without the potential headaches of selling them on your own.
For a detailed look at the best way to trade in your AirPods, check out our full guide:
If you’re up for a little more legwork, of course, you can always give a shot at selling your AirPods on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, etc. You can often sell them for a little more, but that usually comes with more time and potential risks.
Thanks for reading our guide on what to do with dying and old AirPods!