To estimate a potential death date for these devices, we scoured each manufacturer’s website and then asked the companies two key questions: First, how many empty-to-full charges – or “cycles” – can the product’s battery last? take until its capacity drops to 80%? (After this point, batteries typically degrade quickly.) Second, what options does an owner have for repairing or replacing their device’s battery once it’s out of warranty?
For example, Bose said the popular QC noise-canceling headphones last 20 hours per charge and can take 500 full charges. So for someone who used the headphones 5 days a week, we estimated that their headphones could start dying in 5 years – with no official service option to replace the battery.
Several manufacturers declined to share battery cycle counts. We have also considered our own experience with the products and published reports from other reviewers and users.