A good idealistic young man

Recording an Airpods repair experience


I have had the new (although not really new) Airpods 3 for almost a year now. In January of this year (2023), the right earphone started having issues. Specifically, when the earphones were placed in the charging case, it would show a battery level of 100%. However, as soon as I took them out, the battery level would instantly drop to 0% (including the pop-up on my iPhone and the widget on the home screen). Additionally, there was no prompt for ear detection when I put them on, and I couldn't hear any audio. The left earphone was working fine, so based on its performance, I deduced that the charging function of the case was also normal. The problem seemed to be limited to the right earphone.

Since I had purchased Apple Care, I didn't have to worry about any warranty issues as long as I found an Apple Store. During the Chinese New Year period, I was staying in my hometown of Changzhou, but after returning to Nanjing, I planned to find a nearby Apple Store (even if it meant taking a one-hour subway ride) to get my Airpods repaired. I went to the Apple Store in Nanjing Hongyue City, as I had previously gone there to repair my iPad Pro, so I was familiar with the place.

Nanjing Hongyue City

Apple tends to refer to the service area within their stores as the Genius Bar, so I will refer to it as such in the following text.

Nanjing Hongyue City


Interestingly, when I arrived at the Genius Bar early and was waiting to be called, the right earphone miraculously started working again. The staff jokingly said to me, "It seems like you just need to scare it a little, and it'll be fine." In response to my description of the issue, the staff at the Genius Bar tested the earphones, including:

  • Whether they could charge properly: Previously, they couldn't charge properly, or the battery level displayed incorrectly, possibly due to a firmware mismatch between the left and right earphones.
  • Whether the ear detection was functioning: Based on the test results, both the left and right earphones had no issues with ear detection.
  • Whether they could connect and pair: After testing in the background, it was discovered that the earphones could no longer pair. After long-pressing the button on the charging case until the white light flashed, the device did not display a pop-up.

Since they couldn't consistently reproduce the issue I described, the staff suggested sending the earphones to the factory for further testing. If there was a problem, they would replace them. Airpods are not repairable due to their high level of integration, so the entire Airpods with the faulty component would be replaced.

Although getting a direct replacement in-store would have been the most convenient solution for me, I was willing to accept the option of sending them for repair.

Repair Authorization

On March 4th, I sent the earphones to the Genius Bar and received an email confirming the work authorization. On March 10th, I received an email stating that the repair center had started working on my Airpods. On March 11th, I received an email stating that the repair center had shipped the repaired Airpods. The entire repair process took the 7-15 days timeframe mentioned by the staff at the Genius Bar, although the time it took to send the earphones from the Genius Bar to the repair center was quite long and there was no feedback. Which customer who sends their device for repair doesn't want to receive the repaired (or even replaced) product as soon as possible?


At nine o'clock in the morning, I was woken up by a call from the delivery driver from Kerry Express. I signed and received the package, which was sent from Shanghai Changshuo.

I have to say, Apple's packaging for deliveries is very meticulous. The accompanying repair certificate was folded and tucked inside the lid of the delivery box (as shown in the picture). The certificate stated that both the left and right earphones had been replaced, but the charging case had not been replaced.

After waiting for this moment for two weeks, I couldn't wait to connect the earphones to my phone and finally say goodbye to the constraints of wired earphones on my ears.

Packaging for the new Airpods

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