Last week I lost my AirPods charger. It was nowhere to be found in my house.
Naturally, my first reaction was to buy a new one from Amazon. But that's when I thought of the 20W USB charger I use for my iPhone.
I went through online forums to find out whether AirPods can be charged with a 20W Charger.
After hours of research, I came to the conclusion that a 20W Charger can be used to charge AirPods.
You can charge your AirPods with a 20w charger, provided the charger is certified for use with Apple devices. You can also use the 20w charger of another apple device if that's an option. Be careful while using third-party chargers as these lack safety mechanisms in the internal circuitry.
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Is It Safe to Charge AirPods With 20w Charger?
No, charging with a good quality 20W charger will not affect your AirPods.
This is because the charging case of the AirPods draws only the power/current required for it to charge and not the entire 20W capacity of the Charger/Power Adapter.
This is the case with most lithium-ion battery devices today.
However, this is not the case with wireless charging devices. If you are using wireless chargers, you need to match the charger wattage with that of the charging device.
Are AirPod Chargers the Same as iPhone Chargers?
Yes, Airpod chargers and iPhone charges are the same and can be interchangeably used. Both use a 20W USB-C power adapter and the apple lightning cable. Therefore you can use an iPhone charger to charge your AirPods.
In fact, almost all iPhones, iPads, and AirPods have the same 20W USB-C power adapter and lightning cable combo.
Only Apple Macbooks use a higher wattage power adapter.
Which AirPods Charge Wirelessly?
All AirPods except 1st generation AirPods can be charged wirelessly. This means you can wirelessly charge your AirPods Pro, 2nd Gen. AirPods, and AirPods Max.
Wireless charging capability is dependent on the charging case rather than the AirPods itself.
1st generation AirPods cases (released in 2016) were made without the capability for wireless charging. This means you could only charge them with a lightning cable. However, if you want to wirelessly charge your first-generation AirPods, you can buy a charging case with wireless charging capability.
Wired Charging vs Wireless Charging for AirPods
Most people who start using wireless chargers refuse to go back to a wired charging setup once they get used to the convenience. Wireless charging offers the convenience of not needing to plug in your lightning cable and lets you just place your charging case onto a charging mat for charging.
However, the downside of wireless charging is that it takes nearly 4-5 times more time to fully charge your AirPods compared to wired charging. But this is not really a problem as most people charge their AirPods only once a week.
AirPods with only wired charging capability is the cheapest option while Airpods with wireless charging option cost around $40 more.
One key point to note is that AirPods with wireless charging capability can also be charged with a lightning cable (wired). So if you don't mind paying $50 more, get the AirPods with a wireless charging option.
When you want convenience and you have a charging mat available, you can use the wireless charging option.
When you want to charge quickly or if you don't have the charging mat available you can use your lightning cable.
Can You Overcharge AirPods?
You cannot overcharge AirPods because the charging case of AirPods is designed to stop drawing current when the battery is fully charged. This means it is safe to leave AirPods charging overnight. However, like other devices, the batteries degrade naturally over time with each charging cycle.
AirPods Won't Charge: How to Fix
If your AirPods won't charge, check if the cables are plugged in properly. In the case of wireless charging, check if the charging case is in the correct position. If the issue persists, clean the AirPods with a dry cloth and try charging afterward.
Check Power Cables
The first and the most basic step is to see if you've plugged in the power cables correctly. The power adapter of the AirPods should be plugged correctly into the power outlet.
Next, ensure that the lightning cable is plugged correctly into the charging case as well as the power adapter.
If you are using wireless charging, make sure that the charging case is set in the correct position on your Qi-certified power mat.
If your AirPods are of the high-end Max series, then you can use a wired connection to play audio without charging the AirPods Max.
Check Charging Case
When you place your AirPods into your charging case, it should click in position with a faint sound. This is the magnet inside the charging case placing the AirPods in position. If you don't notice this effect, your charging case might be broken and you might need to replace it.
Sometimes AirPods accumulate so much dirt and dust over time that the bottom tip doesn't physically touch the charging case.
For the AirPods to get charged, the electrical circuit must be completed and the dirt on the Airpods prevent that from happening.
In this case, thoroughly clean your AirPods with a dry cloth and try charging it afterward.
See If the Case is Getting Charged
The above fixes are for you if you have a problem with the charging of your AirPods and not the case. Sometimes, the charging case itself doesn't get charged.
You should know that an AirPods charging case can hold enough battery power to fully charge your AirPods multiple times.
1. First check if your charging case is actually getting charged.
When the charging case gets fully charged, the indicator light should turn green.
If it doesn't turn green even after charging for hours, you can be sure there is some issue.
2. Check the charging status of the case using your phone.
When you place your iPhone next to your AirPods, you should be able to see the charge percentage on your AirPods and the AirPods charging case.
If your case is being charged, you should see a lightning bolt sign next to the charge percentage.
3. Clean your AirPods Case if the above two fixes don't work.
Just like your AirPods, dirt can accumulate in the case as well causing the lightning cables to not get properly connected with the charging case.
4. Reset your AirPods charging case.
In rare cases, a firmware issue might have caused the AirPods case to stop charging. In this case, resetting your AirPods case can be a fix.
When you reset your case, you'll need to pair it with your iPhone again.
Repair or Replace
If none of the fixes work, your AirPods or AirPods case might just be broken. It is rare, but it can happen. In this case, you should take your device to an Apple store for them to look at.
AirPods have a limited warranty of 1 year, so if you are within that period, you should generally be safe.
Within the warranty period, Apple will either repair or replace your AirPods free of charge.
If it's been just 14 days since you bought your AirPods, you might be able to simply return the AirPods and get a full refund.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do AirPods charge wirelessly?
All AirPods except the 1st Gen model can be charged wirelessly. To charge a 1st Gen AirPods wirelessly, you can buy a charging case with wireless charging capability from the apple store.
Can you leave AirPods charging overnight?
You can leave AirPods charging overnight as the charing case of AirPods stops drawing current once the battery is fully charged. This means that AirPods will not "overcharge" and get damaged if you charge them overnight.