Apple AirPods for runners

While I'm sure this has been covered more scientifically elsewhere, I'll put down a few thoughts about the Apple AirPods for runners.

General experience running with the AirPods

  1. The AirPods sound better than any running headphones I've had in recent memory... perhaps ever.
  2. Until you've tried them, there's no way to know how great it is not to have a cable of any kind tugging at your ear every step. It's a marked improvement in comfort, even over the cable-behind-the-neck "wireless" headphones I've tried.
  3. They stay in the ear.

In short, I'm really enjoying the AirPods as part of my running gear, and would recommend them.

AirPods battery life during a run, by the numbers

I've heard battery life noted as a common question when runners are considering the AirPods.

Below are the numbers from my runs this weekend. In both cases, I started with a 100% charge, and streamed music from the Music app on my iPhone for the entire distance of the run.

  • Saturday
    • 6.4k; 4.0mi
    • 39:59 time (6:09min/km; 9:54min/mi)
    • 16°C; 61°F
    • 87% charge at the end
  • Sunday
    • 5.6k; 3.7mi
    • 31:24 time (5:39min/km; 9:05min/mi)
    • 19°C; 66°F
    • 89% charge at the end

(I note the temperature as I don't know how much temperature variation will affect the life of a charge, especially in colder temperatures.)

I don't run marathons, but if you can assume that the battery drain for the AirPods is linear (a big assumption), these numbers suggest you could get in a full 26.2mi marathon with a little room to spare on a single charge, if you maintain around a 10min/mi or under.

Your mileage may vary, unless you use the metric system. Ho, ho, ho.