There are increasing posts on the Apple Help Forums, Reddit, and elsewhere of an AirPods Max battery drain problem. Some owners complain that their headphone battery drains from 100% to 1% or 0% overnight, even though they are left inside the official Apple case intended to easily drop them into ultra-low-power mode. Not quite in the same league, some others are reporting drain, but still significantly higher than expected.
A firmware update released on December 18 (as most complaints are subsequent to that date) may have introduced the issue.
AppleTips claims that when headphones are being used on an iPhone, but are attached to an Apple TV or a non-Apple device, the issue does not appear to exist. There does not seem to be any consistent cure yet, although for some of those affected, a variety of different items have succeeded. Some tips are:
• Push the restart of AirPods Max before the orange light emerges by clicking and holding the Digital Crown and noise reduction keys.
• By doing the above, you restore AirPods Max to factory settings and continue to keep both until the status light turns white.
• Disconnect the AirPods Max link manually after being used from your device’s Bluetooth settings.
• Disable Automatic Device Switching.
• Try using Max on one device for the time being, such as the iPhone.
Since the over-ear headphones don’t have a power button, Apple came under fire and stated that they are meant to be kept inside the unpopular Smart Case to put them in low-power mode. Subsequently, though, Apple said that using the case makes very little difference.
It is not the first recorded issue with AirPods Max: inside the ear cups, some owners have also reported a condensation problem.