If you recently purchased earbuds and want them to charge correctly, the best option is to plug them into an appropriate receptacle to let the battery gather and store energy.
You have three standard receptacle options for most earbuds.
- A USB cable that connects to a computer, mobile device, or charging block.
- Charging cases that work with your specific make and model of earbuds.
- A wireless charger that transfers energy to the battery.
Most people use the first option as it tends to be the most convenient. If your earbuds aren’t charging as expected, it’s likely due to having the wrong amperage at the connected block.
If your earbuds will charge when connected to a computer, but not when charging at an outlet, the problem is with the block.
Not All Chargers Are Created Equal for Earbuds
Most earbuds come with a charger, but not all of them do. If you’re struggling to keep your battery levels high, it could be a problem with the amps, watts, or voltage.
Chargers for tablets and phones are meant for larger batteries, delivering energy at a higher current. Not only could this issue impact your earbuds, but it could also cause the electronics to burn out.
The opposite problem also exists. Some chargers are meant for smaller batteries that require a lower transfer rate. Connecting a slower charger to the earbuds will take much longer to reach 100%.
If you purchase a spare charger, make sure it is an authentic product. It shouldn’t have incorrect capitalization for milliamps (mA), an incomplete or inaccurate CE logo, or printed instructions with multiple typos.
I’ve Found the Best Charger – Now What?
Once you have a charging block or a powered device available to use for your earbuds, you’ll need to connect it with an appropriate cable.
Most products use a micro-USB cord today, but the older ones and more expensive models use a standard USB design. A lightning connection might be necessary to start the charging process if you’re using Apple products.
You’ll need to plug the cable into your earbuds and the charging block or device. Once you’ve got everything hooked up as expected, the power transfer begins.
Most earbuds take between 30 to 90 minutes to fully charge, although some models give you a 50% battery in ten minutes for quick listening options.
Some products offer an LED indicator that lets you know the earbuds are fully charged. You can also press a button on certain models to hear what percentage is available.
How to Use a Charging Case with Earbuds
A popular feature of today’s earbuds is to use a carrying case. This design works like a power bank, charging the product as you deal with the business of the day.
This option provides the most flexibility if you travel a lot and listen to music or podcasts during the commute.
Instead of charging the earbuds directly, you must provide power to the case. Most products in this category use USB or micro-USB connections to facilitate the energy transfer to the battery.
Once the case is fully charged, you will see an indicator light flash or change colours. That’s your queue to place the earbuds inside so that they can start charging.
You’ll get a more complete charge if you deplete most of the energy before putting the earbuds in the case to charge. The time required for this outcome depends on the product, but it can be 15 hours or more.
The disadvantage of this method is that if you lose the charging case, you might need to replace it to recharge your earbuds. Some models don’t offer an alternative connection source.
Related: Top 10 Best Podcast Earbuds
How to Use Wireless Charging with Earbuds
Wireless charging involves placing your earbuds on top of a plate that transfers energy to your battery. Apple uses this technology for some of their earphones, and AirPods come with this tech.
The “wireless” description applies to the earbuds. You must still connect the charging plate to an appropriate receptacle or USB.
Compatible earbuds typically have the status indicator facing upward when charging the device. Your lid must be closed on the case. Once you’ve met the prerequisites, a constant power supply goes into the product without needing a second cable.
Once the battery on the earbuds reaches its full charge, you’ll know that they’re ready to go.
Since a powered mat or plate is required with this option, you have less flexibility when travelling because the charger must come along. You can’t plug in a block or cable into just any compatible power supply.
What Happens If My Earbuds Refuse to Charge?
The cable seating within the receptacle is the most common reason earbuds fail to receive a new charge. If you don’t have the USB or micro-USB adequately connected, there is no way for the battery to obtain energy.
Earbuds that come with a charging case face a similar issue. If the product isn’t seated n the container correctly, it cannot receive more energy.
If there isn’t a seating or placement issue impacting the earbuds, there could be dirty connections that require cleaning. Inspect the ports to remove any dust, lint, or wax that could be interfering with the connection.
Batteries are also known to be defective or reach the end of their lifespan. When those issues occur, the product often stops charging. If you can use them while connected to a power source, but not when you remove the charger, this issue could be what needs to be resolved. You’ll need to replace the battery, case, or earbuds.
For those using cables to transfer energy to their earbuds, a defective wire could cause this issue. The different curls and flexes asked of these products can cause them to break down and fail to transfer power. Try using another compatible cable to see if it solves the problem.
When you know how to charge earbuds correctly, you can listen to your preferred audio whenever possible. Keep this guide available to ensure you take the correct approach to your product’s needs.
If you’re looking for headphones troubleshooting guide instead, you can also read our guide, “How to Fix Headphone Static Noise.”