The AirPods are great headphones and I now have both the classic AirPods Gen 1, 2 and 3, the AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max in use, but they all have one problem in common: the built-in batteries are neither accessible nor replaceable for normal users. The AirPods Doctor solves that problem — but more on that later.
A permanently installed battery means that when the AirPods age and are two, three or four years old, the battery capacity is so low that the earphones only last a few minutes before the warning tone sounds, indicating that the battery level is low .
The time has usually come when the AirPods have to be sent to Apple to have the battery replaced. And Apple's prices aren't the cheapest.
Chapter in this post:
That's what it costs to replace the battery at Apple
Here is a brief overview of what the exchange costs for the individual models. And if you're thinking that's the prices for BOTH earbuds, you're wrong.
Apple points this out as follows ( ):
You can replace a single AirPod (left or right AirPod) or a charging case for a fee.
- AirPods 1, 2, 3 → 65 EUR
- AirPods Pro 1,2 → 65 EUR
- AirPods Max → 85 EUR (gives only one battery)
So for a set of new batteries you usually have to shell out 130 EUR plus shipping costs, which means that most people buy new AirPods directly and the old ones end up in electronic waste.
This need not be…
The AirPods Doctor helps!
Through a reader's tip I'm at some point on the AirPods Doctor caught on. Behind this name is the Dipl. Ing. Ye Tian, who started offering battery replacement for AirPods at the end of 2019.
His motivation is that you can extend the life of the AirPods and thus conserve resources. A quote from his website:
Consume sustainably, conserve resources
Repair instead of renewal: the good old repair method is extremely efficient when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions.
Ye Tian offers the exchange of one battery or both batteries in the AirPods. Plus, there's a fix if you have one AirPod that's quieter than the other.
Which AirPods models are repaired?
The repair is currently only offered for generation 1 and 2 of the "normal" AirPods. However, Ye wrote that he has already replaced the battery in the AirPods Pro and the AirPods 3. Due to the low demand, he does not offer it in the shop yet.
If you have a model that is not represented in the shop, you can always send an email to Ye and ask whether the repair or battery replacement is possible. Chances are good that he can and will do it.
The prices for his work are between 1 and 2 euros for the AirPods Gen 23 and Gen 54 - depending on whether you only want to have the battery replaced in one or both AirPods.
My experience with the AirPods Doctor
Before I recommend the service to you, I wanted to make sure that it works. That's why I sent my 1st generation AirPods - which still had about 5 minutes of battery life - to the AirPods Doctor and paid almost 40 euros for them (for the exchange of both batteries!).
Two days later - on a Saturday - I received an email confirmation that my goods had been received and that the AirPods were now being repaired.
Another day later - on a Sunday (!) - an email came with a DHL tracking code, saying that my AirPods were on their way to me again.
When I unpacked them, I was pleased to find that even the earphones were cleaned, including the grilles, which usually look disgusting very quickly. The AirPods case wasn't cleaned, but you can't expect that for the price.
But I would have liked to add another 5 or 10 euros if you could have booked the cleaning as an additional service (@Ye: just a tip!).
But what is also done for free with the case is the cleaning and lubrication of the charging contacts, which can be found in the recesses.
An amazing service
And Ye was also able to help me with a question I had about the AirPods Pro. It was about the fact that my wife's AirPods Pro always rustled a lot in between. He wrote me that this is probably a bug with the mic for which Apple has a free exchange program running.
Even as Sir Apfelot, I wasn't familiar with this exchange program and I really couldn't ask for more support from the AirPods Doctor.
10% voucher code for you
Ye Tian kindly gave me another code for his shop generated, which makes the repair 10% cheaper for you. You wear the at checkout Voucher "SIRAPPELOT" .
The code is valid until 30.6.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX and can be redeemed for each of its "products".
I still have the 2nd generation AirPods here, which are already weak in terms of battery life. It is therefore already clear that they will soon be sent to the AirPods doctor.
I think the fact that the AirPods 3, AirPods Pro 1 + 2 and maybe my beloved Apple AirPods Max can also get a battery replacement from Ye Tian in the future is great.
For me, the service is definitely what the Americans call a "no brainer". Something you can just hit without thinking. You definitely can't go wrong here. And that's why the service for me is also that Pick of the week become.
2 thoughts on “AirPods Doctor – my experience with the AirPods repair service”
Very interesting. Is there a comparable service for the AppleWatch?
I checked recently, but what I found were services that emphasized that the watch was no longer water-resistant afterwards. This is of course a no go. That's why I would prefer Apple when replacing the battery in this case.