Do you use Apple AirPods or Beats wireless headphones with Ubuntu (or any Linux distribution using GNOME Shell) and want to be able to check battery levels on your desktop?

Well, now you can!

The new Airpod Battery Monitor GNOME Shell extension makes it easy to check the battery levels of your AirPods or Beats bluetooth headsets.

Don’t See AirPods Battery Levels in Ubuntu?

Apple’s wireless audio devices (including Beats, an Apple subsidiary) work “out of the box” in Ubuntu and other Linux distros) using the regular Bluetooth stack you won’t see any indication of their battery level.

Not seeing battery levels for Bluetooth audio devices in Ubuntu isn’t unusual.

You can enable experimental Bluez features to get missing battery levels for your connected Bluetooth audio devices to appear in Settings > Power (as well as in neat GNOME Shell extensions like Bluetooth Battery Meter).

But Bluez experimental features won’t get AirPod battery levels to appear.

(Why? Apple’s audio equipment doesn’t report its battery status using the Bluetooth Battery Service (BAS) most audio devices do. The creator of this extension explains AirPods instead share battery and model information using BLE advertising packets).

Ignore the technical side; if you install the Airpod Battery Monitor (sic) GNOME Shell extension you will be able see AirPods battery levels in Ubuntu when paired to/with the distro.

You will see battery levels for each AirPod (left, right) separately, which is especially helpful.

AirPod Battery Meter GNOME Extension

AirPods battery levels showing in GNOME Shell
This extension shows AirPods battery levels

As of writing this extension supports:

  • Apple AirPods (all gens)
  • Apple AirPods Pro (all gens)
  • Apple AirPods Max
  • Beats
  • AirPods wireless charging case

And the extension is compatible with GNOME 43 and above, meaning you can use this on Ubuntu 22.10, 23.04, 23.10 and the latest development builds of 24.04.

  1. Install the Airpod Battery Meter extension1
  2. Connect your AirPods to Ubuntu
  3. Open the extension’s preferences panel
  4. Select your AirPods model to initiate BLE beacon scanning

It can take a minute or two for this extension to “discover” your AirPods and show their battery information (due to the mechanism for gleaning battery levels).

From the preferences panel you can choose where/how battery levels appear:

  • As a label in the top bar – click to see battery info, or:
  • Icons in the top bar – battery info shown in Message Tray

So yeah – if you’ve got AirPods, you use them with Ubuntu, and you want to be able to keep an eye on they battery levels, give this extension a go and let me know if it works!

Let me know how it works!

As awesome as this extension looks I can’t test it myself as I don’t own AirPods or Beats devices (my main headphones are wired, and I use a Bluetooth sound bar for everything else). The screenshots in this post are composites made using screenshots from the project’s developers.

  1. I recommend using the GNOME Shell Extension Manager desktop app – it’s in the Ubuntu repos and makes installing, managing, and configuring extensions easier than via a web browser ↩︎




GNOME Extensions