Review: Podswap lets you trade in old AirPods for a pair with new batteries

Posted:
in General Discussion
Trade in your old 1st or 2nd generation AirPods and get a refurbished pair with new batteries from Podswap.


Refurbished AirPods with new batteries from Podswap


The way every battery degrades over time involves relatively simple chemistry and physics, and small batteries can degrade very quickly with use. Regardless of the platform, whether it's your Mac, iPad or iPhone, your battery will eventually lose its ability to hold a charge.

Of all Apple's devices, the degradation of AirPods batteries is the most noticeable, in part due to the battery in each earpiece being quite small. This is also compounded by the complete lack of user repairability.

Apple has solutions, of course. Users with Apple Care+ can swap out old AirPods with degraded batteries at no charge, as long as it's within two years of purchase. Without Apple Care+, replacing a single AirPods or AirPods Pro through Apple costs $49.


Apple's pricing for replacing AirPods


Podswap is the first company to develop propriety engineering techniques that allows it to physically replace the battery inside AirPods. For $59.99, Podswap will ship you a refurbished pair of AirPods with a new battery in exchange for your old 1st or 2nd generation pair.

For users who have lost a single AirPod, Podswap also offers a "One for Two AirPods Replacement Swap" for $89.99. The company is also working towards adding AirPods Pro to their service, but that is not available just yet.


My 1st generation AirPods


I had a first-generation pair of AirPods bought just a month after they were first released. The batteries became unusable, and I chose to swap them out. After ordering, the refurbished pair from Podswap arrived within five business days.

Since the AirPods you receive from Podswap are refurbished, they can include fine scratches or imperfections on the exterior. The pair I received looked almost brand new.

Users keep their old charging case, as that isn't swapped by the firm. Customers are also unable to reclaim their old AirPods after they've been sent to Podswap.


Refurbished pair from Podswap


Shipping the old AirPods involved putting them in a supplied ziplock bag, resealing a box, and used the included return shipping label. Failure to return your old AirPods to Podswap results in an additional fee of $49.

Once a pair has been refurbished, they are cleaned with medical-grade solutions and delivered in sterilized, "no-touch" packaging.


Use the same packaging to return your old AirPods


After placing the refurbished pair into my old charging case, they paired easily with my Apple devices and worked fine. Battery life is great and like new. The Podswap silicone "Protective Case Cover" can be added to any order for an additional $4.99.

If you have 1st or 2nd generation AirPods with significantly degraded battery life, we highly recommend giving Podswap a try. They are only shipping within the US but hope to expand to more countries in the future.

Pros

  • Fast shipping
  • Refurbished AirPods in great condition
  • Battery life is like-new
  • Easy process

Cons

  • Only available in the US
  • Not available for AirPods Pro
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,340member
    While I'm happy that this service exists (and I hope similar services spring up in other countries where getting to an Apple Store is not possible), I'm a little confused as to why I wouldn't just get the battery service from Apple if that option is available to me. Podswap's service costs $10 more, and you don't get to keep your AirPods. It should be mentioned that Apple doesn't provide a service similar to the "two for one" $90 offer Podswap makes, so there's that in their favour.

    Nonetheless, for those in the US where access to an Apple Authorized Repair Provider is for some reason unavailable or inconvenient, Podswap keeps these lovely earbuds out of the landfill and extends their useful life for years longer. The battery service vastly increases the resale value if you've decided its time to upgrade, and so I applaud the providers -- Apple and now Podswap -- that help extend the usefulness of the devices and prevent undue hard-to-recycle waste. Hopefully Podswap can add AirPods Pro to their service offerings in the near future.

    If you do have access to an Apple Store or an authorized reseller and you do want to recycle your AirPods, the Apple Stores will gladly take them for recycling and I believe most authorized repair places will as well.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    chasm said:
    While I'm happy that this service exists (and I hope similar services spring up in other countries where getting to an Apple Store is not possible), I'm a little confused as to why I wouldn't just get the battery service from Apple if that option is available to me. Podswap's service costs $10 more, and you don't get to keep your AirPods. It should be mentioned that Apple doesn't provide a service similar to the "two for one" $90 offer Podswap makes, so there's that in their favour.

    Nonetheless, for those in the US where access to an Apple Authorized Repair Provider is for some reason unavailable or inconvenient, Podswap keeps these lovely earbuds out of the landfill and extends their useful life for years longer. The battery service vastly increases the resale value if you've decided its time to upgrade, and so I applaud the providers -- Apple and now Podswap -- that help extend the usefulness of the devices and prevent undue hard-to-recycle waste. Hopefully Podswap can add AirPods Pro to their service offerings in the near future.

    If you do have access to an Apple Store or an authorized reseller and you do want to recycle your AirPods, the Apple Stores will gladly take them for recycling and I believe most authorized repair places will as well.
    Apple charges you $49 dollars each and Podswap charges you $60 for a pair. Also I would be surprised if Apple sends you your exact same pair back. I would’ve assumed that they just trashed the old pair.
    drdavidalanhStrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 8
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,533member
    This sounds like a great option. Nice to see someone stepping up to fill an obvious need. 
  • Reply 4 of 8
    If you are considering something like this not because of battery life but instead because one AirPod is quieter than the other, buy some BlueTac (or equivalent) from Amazon and squeeze it into the grills of both of them repeatedly. This pulls out all the crud and won't damage the AirPods and fixes the problem completely. I do it every four to six months.

    Also, refurbished AirPods ... ew!
  • Reply 5 of 8
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,105administrator
    If you are considering something like this not because of battery life but instead because one AirPod is quieter than the other, buy some BlueTac (or equivalent) from Amazon and squeeze it into the grills of both of them repeatedly. This pulls out all the crud and won't damage the AirPods and fixes the problem completely. I do it every four to six months.

    Also, refurbished AirPods ... ew!
    That's what you're getting when you get battery service units from Apple.
    edited April 5 fastasleepStrangeDays
  • Reply 6 of 8
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,157member
    chasm said:
    While I'm happy that this service exists (and I hope similar services spring up in other countries where getting to an Apple Store is not possible), I'm a little confused as to why I wouldn't just get the battery service from Apple if that option is available to me. Podswap's service costs $10 more, and you don't get to keep your AirPods. It should be mentioned that Apple doesn't provide a service similar to the "two for one" $90 offer Podswap makes, so there's that in their favour.

    Nonetheless, for those in the US where access to an Apple Authorized Repair Provider is for some reason unavailable or inconvenient, Podswap keeps these lovely earbuds out of the landfill and extends their useful life for years longer. The battery service vastly increases the resale value if you've decided its time to upgrade, and so I applaud the providers -- Apple and now Podswap -- that help extend the usefulness of the devices and prevent undue hard-to-recycle waste. Hopefully Podswap can add AirPods Pro to their service offerings in the near future.

    If you do have access to an Apple Store or an authorized reseller and you do want to recycle your AirPods, the Apple Stores will gladly take them for recycling and I believe most authorized repair places will as well.
    Apple charges you $49 dollars each and Podswap charges you $60 for a pair. Also I would be surprised if Apple sends you your exact same pair back. I would’ve assumed that they just trashed the old pair.
    Correct, but they don’t trash them. As I recall they disassemble and recycle what can be reused and dispose properly what can’t. Better than tossing your into the bin since the batteries have heavy metals, etc. 
    edited April 5
  • Reply 7 of 8
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,007member
    If you are considering something like this not because of battery life but instead because one AirPod is quieter than the other, buy some BlueTac (or equivalent) from Amazon and squeeze it into the grills of both of them repeatedly. This pulls out all the crud and won't damage the AirPods and fixes the problem completely. I do it every four to six months.

    Also, refurbished AirPods ... ew!
    That's what you're getting when you get battery service units from Apple.
    I seriously doubt that you’re getting refurbished vs. new. 
    Since they are glued together, I think Apple just recycles the plastic, and the electronics since they set aside millions of the pods and cases for service replacements. It would be too tedious to disassemble the pods, replace the battery, flash the hardware with a new serial number and firmware and then put it in new plastics and seal it up. That’s probably why the replacement isn’t cheap compared to a DYI battery replacement. 

    Podswap’s website is down right now so I can’t see what kind of warranty they give you. Apple gives you 90 days if the airpods were out of warranty when you replaced them. 
  • Reply 8 of 8
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,157member
    I signed up for it. FYI after shipping & tax it's $70 to swap a pair -- since Apple charges $98 a pair, it's not like a huge savings. Dunno if Apple charges shipping? They likely do charge tax as well tho.
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