Apple also attempted to explain the problem with an updated support page after some initial uncertainty about how the AirPods Max manages power control, explaining how and when the new $550 headphones automatically save battery life.

Originally, the company said that AirPods Max reached an ultra-low-power state that retains charge when placed in their soft, slim smart case. But there was confusion about what happens when they are left outside the case. I discovered in my review that when left out overnight without a case, the headphones lost just a few battery percentage points, nothing close to an alarming drain level. But not everyone had that experience; when the AirPods Max was idle, Marques Brownlee observed a greater amount of battery failure.

According to Apple, when removed from your head and left stationary for five minutes outside the case, the AirPods Max enters a "low power mode." They go into a lower power mode that turns off Bluetooth and features such as Apple's Find My Position Tracking if they are left in that state for 72 hours. This looks literally, like when they actually turn "off." But quite unexpectedly, the smart case doesn't activate this deeper sleep mode automatically as easily as I would have expected. Inserting AirPods Max into the case instantly places them in the lighter low-power mode. But it takes 18 hours to reach the ultra-low power mode for the headphones to be in the smart case. Apple never states that the headphones have to be "stationary" to reach these modes when the situation is factored in. But it's a little odd to me that it takes almost an entire 24 hours for the AirPods Max to reach the point where they optimize battery, even in the event.

Clearly, the company prioritizes quick system reconnections and comfort over the AirPods Max's final battery. One big question is what happens if when removed, the headphones are left worn around your neck; since they're not stationary in that case, my guess is that when taken off and placed on a table or stand, they remain completely operational. I do wish they had a power button, even though I saw limited battery drain, and just like I said in our video analysis. for the sake of convenience.