Why Are My AirPods Charging Unevenly?


AirPods are a pair of Bluetooth-enabled wireless earbuds. Apple first unveiled its flagship AirPods alongside the iPhone 7 in 2016. Today, they are a popular must-have accessory for apple users.

They come with built-in accelerometers and optical detectors that respond to tap. The second-generation version came with the H1 chip bringing a hands-free ‘HEY SIRI’ capability.

Later versions came with shorter stems, IPX4 water protection, longer battery life, and other additions. The problem that some users may experience when using Airpods, therefore, is uneven charging.

Why Are My AirPods Charging Unevenly?

AirPods can display uneven charging due to dirt in the charging case, broken charging case, damaged AirPods, software glitches, or battery deterioration. Additionally, one of the AirPods is designed to act as both the microphone and earphone; consequently, it will be depleted faster hence an uneven starting point while charging.

AirPods offer an excellent level of convenience and comfort unmatched by wired earphones. Besides the prestige of dawning in one, you get to bring Siri to life right into your ears. Nevertheless, users have noticed particular problems like uneven charging, slow charging, and short battery life.

As a user, you need to understand the reasons behind such defaults. Below are some reasons you could notice uneven charging of your AirPods and possible remedies.

Accumulated dirt on the AirPods and the charging Case

AirPods charging cases can collect dirt from your back pocket, backpack, or AirPods. Mainly, AirPods are susceptible to dirt from wax in your ears and lint from the surrounding. This dirt can then be transferred to your AirPods charging case.

The most common reason for the uneven charging is that the charging contacts are dirty and have accumulated grime on one side of the AirPod stem or inside the charging case. This will limit equal and sufficient charge to one AirPod.

Cleaning up the charging case would likely solve this problem. You will need:

  • Microfiber cloth that comes with the AirPod
  • Straw cleaner or a periodontal brush
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol

Use the dry microfiber cloth to clean the stem of both AirPods focusing on the silver charging contacts at the end. Use the straw cleaner to clean inside the charging case. You can moisten the straw cleaner with isopropyl alcohol to remove sticky dirt. Do not directly spray cleaning alcohol on the charging case.

Faulty Charging Case

A faulty charging case could be a reason for the uneven charging of your AirPods. Most people do not take particular care of the charging case. Immediately after their AirPods are charged, they tend to drop them to the nearest surface.

Exposure to liquid like alcohol during cleaning or water due to rain. Apple put significant effort into waterproofing its products. However, fluid can still find its way to the electrical components of the charging case, thereby shorting it.

To avoid uneven charging of your AirPods, you need to take great care in handling your charging case. Avoid sudden drops to hard surfaces and exposure to liquid. Water or cleaning alcohol should never be sprayed directly on the casing while cleaning it.

Damaged AirPods

Sometimes you notice that despite thorough cleaning of the AirPods and lack of any visible debris on the charging contacts, your AirPods still charge unevenly. You could first try to charge using a different case. If the problem persists, your AirPods are likely damaged.

Penetration of water to the electrical components or sudden drops to hard surfaces are the most likely culprits. In cases of damage, your only option is to visit an Apple store for
replacement if you still have a valid warrant or purchase new pairs.

Different Usage

There are three scenarios of differences in use. Firstly, one side of the AirPods functions as the mouthpiece and earpiece. This implies that it will draw more power than the other side

Secondly, the audio imbalance can cause differences in usage. You can notice this when one side of the AirPod is louder than the other. Adjusting your iPhone's left and right channel audio volume balance will sort this.

Finally, some people prefer to use one AirPod instead of both. The frequent use of one AirPod at the neglect of the other can cause faster deterioration of its battery. The AirPod pair with a
the deteriorated battery will charge slower than the less used Airpod.

Software Glitches

Your AirPods could be charging unevenly due to software glitches. These glitches could be occasioned by bugs or outdated firmware. You may need a driver update of your AirPods to
solve this problem. In cases of a bug in the software, a hard reset usually fixes the problem. Below is how to go about a hard reset.

  • At the back of your charging case, find the setup button
  • Press and hold the setup button for 15 second
  • Wait for the LED light to start flashing from orange to white
  • This indicates your case has been restored to default
  • Plug into a wall socket or wireless charging mat

You should drain all the power on your Airpods to 0% and insert it into the case. If the issue was software glitches due to bugs, your AirPods should be charging evenly after a hard reset.

Why should you be worried about the uneven charging of your AirPods?

It is a problem when your AirPods charges unevenly. First, the charging case will keep charging until both AirPods reach 100%, which it may never get to. That will consume the case battery, and you may run out of battery sooner than you anticipated. Secondly, the battery inside will be overheated when the fully charged pair keeps charging.

Overheating will not only damage the battery but could also damage the electrical connections in the AirPods.


Owning a pair of AirPods is prestigious as owning the latest model of the iPhone. Being so, it is highly-priced. Users who can afford it expect quality service with few glitches.

However, just like with any electronic device, a few glitched are inevitable. Uneven charging has raised eyebrows. Luckily the causes of these are avoidable and correctable. Propper handling solves most of them. But in case of irreversible damages, you will need a replacement. If you’re still under warranty, you are in luck.

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