How Long Do Wireless Earbuds Last? A Comprehensive Guide

by Julien Gandelin
black earbuds on the floor

When Apple initially made iPhones without the headphone jack back in 2016, it’s no secret that a multitude of consumers understandably panicked (even though they followed this up with the Apple Airpods). With the advent of technology, there’s a wealth of wireless headphones that rely on Bluetooth to connect to mobile gadgets. Moreover, they are arguably more convenient compared to their conventional wired counterparts.

Whether you’re commuting or going for your daily brisk walk, one constant thing around you is people wearing tiny wireless earbuds that have a cool factor and are the epitome of convenience.

If you’ve always wanted to own a pair, you might be curious, ‘how long do wireless earbuds last?’ In this guide, we’ll delve into this question and more to permit an informed decision. Read on!

What Are the Perks of Wireless Earbuds?

This is a relatively new technology whereby there are no wires or connectors between the two earpieces. Therefore, they rank highly in portability. While there’s apprehension about whether they are battery guzzlers, wireless earbuds usher in the following perks.


Having a cord constantly in the way can be a nuisance when you’re cooking, working, exercising, or going about your day-to-day. With a pair of earbuds, this hassle becomes the least of your concerns.

With the distance between your device and wireless earbuds being 30 feet or more (the Bluetooth range), you can still maintain a clear connection.

For added convenience, wireless earbuds models feature portable music storage, allowing you to freely move around without being tethered to your phone. Furthermore, some accompanying charging cases double as power banks for mobile devices.

Easy Access

The hassle of constantly untangling a headphone cord after it’s been tucked away in your bag, pocket, or drawer can be frustrating, to say the least. Usually, fabric-layered or tangle-free corded earphones can be difficult to unwind. Fortunately, with wireless earbuds, this becomes the least of your problems.

Quick Pairing

No need to plug your Bluetooth earbuds into your device. Pairing is a walk in the park. Similar to cycling, once you learn the ropes, you can easily do it with any compatible device. For most wireless earbuds, once the setup process is complete, which means they are successfully paired to your device, they’ll automatically sync the next time you activate them for use.

How Do Wireless Earbuds Work?

Getting music or podcasts from your phone to your ears without anything between sounds like magic, right? Although Bluetooth connectivity might seem like wizardry, it’s straightforward. Bluetooth technology transmits a signal like a radio or old-school walkie-talkie.

Your earbuds play the role of a satellite dish, catching the signal and playing it accordingly. Like a TV or radio, earbuds sometimes require some fine-tuning in your ears to receive the best signal.

How is the Audio Quality of Music Transmitted by Wireless Earbuds?

Bluetooth has evolved considerably since it was first introduced, and now, wireless earbuds can receive CD-quality audio. Coupled with echo reduction and noise isolation or active noise cancellation in some models, the result is excellent sound quality.

Nevertheless, there are a few discrepancies between major headphone brands regarding the audio standard that should be incorporated. While Qualcomm uses AptX HD, Apple pushes AAC encoding via Bluetooth and Sony advocates for LDAC.

Are Wireless Earbuds Safe?

Yes! The Bluetooth used in wireless earbuds functions closely similar to WiFi, with the only difference being that the frequencies are too low to be regarded as dangerous for human use.

To put things into perspective, they discharge such a low frequency of up to 1000 times less than standard mobile phones. If you have concerns about wearing a Bluetooth headset while you drive, we’d recommend being more cautious and limiting any distractions. Nevertheless, if you must take a call, it’s safer to do so hands-free with a Bluetooth headset.

In light of previous phone battery explosion concerns, you might be understandably wary of devices powered by a lithium-ion battery. Like most bluetooth headphones, these types of batteries can be hazardous.

Nonetheless, the likelihood of this happening is slim to none. Other preventative measures you can take are to keep your wireless earbuds in a protective case to prevent exposure to the elements.

How Long Do Wireless Earbuds Last?

When the initial cable-free models entered the market, one of the greatest concerns was poor battery life. Still, battery life is debatably the weakest spot of all wireless earbuds compared to wireless headphones. That’s partly because maintaining connectivity between the earbuds and your phone is draining on the earbuds’ battery.

Secondly, the smaller form factor makes it an uphill battle to fit in a big battery. The longest estimated battery life available on a single charge is 8 hours of playtime – Bose and Beats are great high-end options. Most models usually have anywhere between 3 and 5 hours of playback time. Fortunately, a wealth of manufacturers has found the perfect solution to the problem of short battery life. They have created wireless charging cases that also come with built-in extra battery capacity.

The portable charging case has been a significant improvement when it comes to power efficiency, with the listening time or talk time skyrocketing by up to 24 hours with the case. Since the case charges both earpieces concurrently, you have immense freedom to croon your favourite playlist without worrying about the battery giving out.

Most charging cases carry 2 to 15 additional charges, which means you can power up your wireless earbuds or mobile phone when the battery is running low.

Another advantage is that their fast-charging feature allows you to charge them in an hour fully. Thirdly, the charging case is light, allowing you to effortlessly carry it everywhere you go and enjoy long play hours on the move.

Can You Exercise with Wireless Earbuds?

Now that we’ve answered the question, ‘how long do wireless earbuds last?’ you might be wondering whether they are workout-friendly? Most models are sweat and water-resistant, making them perfect for exercise.

Therefore, you can put down your device, enjoy your favourite playlist, and have the freedom to move around your local gym unrestricted. Higher-end wireless earbuds also have a feature bone conduction that comes in handy when you go for a swim.

Can You Lose the Earbuds While You’re on the Move?

women wearing apple earpods while running

Source: Shutterstock

Most potential users of wireless earbuds share one concern which is losing an earpiece when in motion. However, that’s harder than it seems because most models come with secure in-ear hooks that hold them safely in place.

Although most wireless earbuds are slightly bigger than their wired counterparts, they are still comfortable and lightweight. Knowing that the likelihood of the earbuds falling off while you’re running or walking is slim to none should put your mind at ease.

However, if against all odds you lose an earpiece, companies such as Apple will sell you a replacement at a discounted price.

Tips to Make Your Wireless Earbuds Last Longer

Besides the convenience that the charging case provides coupled with the fast-charging feature of your wireless earbuds, the good news is that you can take some simple measures to increase their lifespan.

Carry Your Case

It boils down to habit. All you need to do is remember to carry the portable charging case every time you head out. By doing so, you eliminate the risk of your earbuds running out of charge.

Furthermore, carrying the case with your wireless earbuds safely tucked in means there’s no fear of damaging them and shortening their lifespan. Dust can lead to premature wear, so popping them in your bag or pocket with a boatload of other knickknacks might not be the smartest move.

Come Up With a Charging Routing

For your peace of mind and the battery life of your wireless earbuds, avoid letting them completely drained of charge. Instead, set a routine use your charger when they’re not in use, allowing you to enjoy the music seamlessly or make essential phone calls while you’re on the move.

Set a Cleaning Routine

To avoid your earbuds getting damaged by dust, it’d be good to set a cleaning routine. All you require is a damp cloth to clean the exterior and gently use a toothpick to get rid of the dirt inside.

With these straightforward measures, your wireless earbuds will reward you with optimal functioning, an increased lifespan, and long battery life.

Wireless Earbuds: The Don’ts

Let’s discuss a few things to avoid with wireless earbuds. Their delicate and small nature makes them susceptible to damage.

  • Avoid sleeping with these small devices plugged into your ears. Doing so can damage your eardrums and shorten the lifespan of the earbuds
  • Avoid cranking up the volume that damages the earbuds and, more importantly, your ears
  • Avoid exposing the earbuds to other liquids as they don’t mix well. Always check the warranty for this to see if the damage is covered by the manufacturer
  • Keep your earbuds safely in an appropriate case and your pocket. Cramping them up with other items might cause irreversible damage


There are a lot of options for wireless earphones on the market today – from the Samsung Galaxy buds to Airpods Pro. Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of what makes up a true wireless earbud, you can make an informed decision. While they have a couple of flaws, their numerous perks take precedence and they are compatible with any smartphone – both iOS and Android. These devices are portable, innovative, practical, and deliver superior sound quality to wired headphones.


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