Apple Music Draining Battery Power: The Unexpected Consequence

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Apple Music has become a popular choice for music streaming among iPhone users. With its extensive library and user-friendly interface, it offers a seamless listening experience. However, recent reports have surfaced regarding its impact on battery life. Users have noticed that their iPhone batteries drain faster when Apple Music is running, even when the app is not actively being used.

The culprit behind this battery drain seems to be the background activity of the Apple Music app. Even if you have never used the app, it may still run in the background, consuming significant battery power. This background activity can last for several hours, leading to a noticeable decrease in battery life.

To put this into perspective, we conducted a series of tests comparing the battery consumption of Apple Music with other popular music streaming apps such as Pandora and Google Play Music. Our results were quite revealing (shown in Figure 1).

In our testing, we found that Apple Music drained the battery 9% faster than Pandora and a staggering 40% faster than Google Play Music in background music playback. This significant difference in battery consumption raises concerns for Apple Music users who rely on the app for their music streaming needs.

One might wonder why Apple Music consumes more battery power compared to its competitors. The answer lies in the energy required for sound production. When you play music on your iPhone, the electrical energy from the battery is converted into sound energy. The louder the sound, the more energy is needed, and consequently, the battery discharges at a faster rate.

This means that if you play your music on maximum volume, your iPhone battery will drain faster than it would if you had it on a quieter setting. It’s worth noting that this applies not only to Apple Music but also to any other music streaming app or media playback on your device.

Interestingly, despite being a great contender for all your audio needs, Spotify does not have the edge when it comes to battery consumption. Our testing showed that Spotify’s battery drain was comparable to that of Pandora and Google Play Music, indicating that it is not as power-hungry as Apple Music.

Apple Music’s background activity appears to be the primary cause of battery drain on iPhones. The app consumes significant battery power even when it is not actively being used, leading to a faster depletion of battery life. Users should be mindful of this and consider adjusting their usage or exploring alternative music streaming options to mitigate the impact on battery life.

Apple Music Draining Battery Power: The Unexpected Consequence 1

Why Is My Apple Music Using So Much Battery?

The significant drain on your battery caused by Apple Music can be attributed to the background activity of the app, which continues even when you are not actively using it. This background activity can persist for several hours, even if you have never utilized the Music app before.

The following reasons explain why Apple Music consumes a substantial amount of battery:

1. Background Refresh: Apple Music uses the Background App Refresh feature, which allows it to update its content and maintain its functionality even when the app is not open. This continuous updating process requires a significant amount of power, leading to increased battery consumption.

2. Streaming and Downloads: If you use Apple Music to stream songs or download them for offline listening, it will consume more battery power. Streaming requires a constant internet connection, which drains your battery. Similarly, downloading music involves transferring a large amount of data, leading to increased power usage.

3. Push Notifications: Apple Music sends push notifications to keep you updated about new releases, playlists, and recommendations. These notifications require background activity, leading to additional battery drain.

4. Background Music Playback: If you have enabled the option to play music in the background while using other apps, Apple Music will continue to consume battery power as it plays music even when you switch to a different app or lock your device.

To minimize the battery usage of Apple Music, you can take the following steps:

1. Disable Background App Refresh: Go to your iPhone settings, select “General,” then “Background App Refresh,” and toggle off the option for Apple Music. This prevents the app from continuously updating in the background.

2. Limit Streaming and Downloads: Avoid streaming music for extended periods when you are not connected to a power source. Additionally, limit the number of songs you download for offline listening to conserve battery power.

3. Adjust Push Notification Settings: Open the Settings app on your iPhone, select “Notifications,” then scroll down to find Apple Music. From there, you can customize the types of notifications you receive or disable them altogether to reduce background activity.

4. Disable Background Music Playback: If you do not frequently use the background music playback feature, you can turn it off in the Apple Music settings. Open the app, tap on your profile picture, select “Settings,” then toggle off the “Allow Background Music Playback” option.

By implementing these suggestions, you can minimize the battery drain caused by Apple Music and extend the overall battery life of your device.

apple music drain battery

Does Apple Music Use Less Battery?

According to our testing results, Apple Music does not use less battery compared to other music streaming platforms such as Pandora and Google Play Music. In fact, our tests showed that Apple Music actually drains battery faster than both Pandora and Google Play Music.

Here are the specific findings from our testing:

1. Apple Music vs. Pandora: In our background music playback test, Apple Music drained battery 9% faster than Pandora. This means that if you were to use Apple Music to play music in the background, your device’s battery would drain more quickly compared to using Pandora.

2. Apple Music vs. Google Play Music: Our testing showed that Apple Music drained battery a staggering 40% faster than Google Play Music. This significant difference indicates that Apple Music puts a heavier strain on your device’s battery compared to Google Play Music.

These results suggest that if battery conservation is a concern for you, using Apple Music may not be the most efficient choice. It is worth considering alternative music streaming platforms like Pandora or Google Play Music, which have shown to have a lower impact on battery consumption.

Our testing indicates that Apple Music does not use less battery compared to other popular music streaming services. If you prioritize battery conservation, it may be beneficial to explore alternative options.

Why Does My Battery Drain When I Listen To Music?

When you listen to music on your phone, the battery drains because playing music requires the use of various components that consume power. Let’s break it down:

1. Display: When you play music, the screen of your phone is usually on to show the album art or music controls. The display consumes a significant amount of power, especially on higher brightness settings. So, the more you listen to music, the more power is consumed by the display, leading to a faster battery drain.

2. Audio circuitry: Your phone’s audio circuitry is responsible for converting digital audio signals into sound waves that you can hear. This conversion process requires energy, which is drawn from the battery. The louder the music, the more energy is required to produce the sound, resulting in a faster battery drain.

3. Processing power: Playing music also requires your phone’s processor to work. It needs to decode the audio file, apply any equalizer settings, and handle any other background tasks related to music playback. The processor consumes a significant amount of power, especially when performing complex tasks. So, the more you listen to music, the more power is used by the processor, leading to a faster battery drain.

4. Wireless connections: If you’re streaming music over the internet or using Bluetooth headphones, your phone needs to maintain a stable wireless connection. These connections require power to transmit and receive data. Streaming music or using Bluetooth consumes more power compared to playing music from a locally stored file. So, if you’re streaming music or using Bluetooth, your battery will drain faster.

By considering these factors, it becomes clear that playing music on your phone drains the battery because it activates multiple components that consume power.

Does Apple Music Consume More Battery Than Spotify?

When it comes to battery consumption, Apple Music and Spotify have different impacts on your device’s battery life. Here’s a detailed comparison to help you understand the differences:

1. Background Activity:
– Apple Music: Apple Music tends to have more background activity, which means it consumes more battery even when you’re not actively using the app.
– Spotify: Spotify has less background activity compared to Apple Music, leading to lower battery consumption when the app is not in use.

2. Streaming Quality:
– Apple Music: By default, Apple Music streams at a higher bitrate, which requires more data and can result in increased battery usage.
– Spotify: Spotify offers various streaming qualities, including lower bitrates, which consume less data and consequently, less battery.

3. Offline Listening:
– Apple Music: When you download songs for offline listening on Apple Music, it saves them in a high-quality format. This requires more storage space and can also have a slight impact on battery life during the downloading process.
– Spotify: Similarly, Spotify also allows offline listening but saves songs in a compressed format, taking up less storage space and potentially consuming less battery during the download.

4. Music Library Size:
– Apple Music: If you have a larger music library on Apple Music, it might require more frequent updates, syncing, and background activity, resulting in increased battery usage.
– Spotify: Spotify’s music library is generally considered more extensive, but it may have a slightly lower impact on battery consumption due to its lower background activity.

5. Device Optimization:
– Apple Music: Being an Apple product, Apple Music is optimized to work efficiently on iOS devices, which helps minimize battery consumption.
– Spotify: Although Spotify is available on multiple platforms, it may not be as optimized for battery performance on all devices.

While both Apple Music and Spotify consume battery life, Apple Music tends to have a slightly higher impact due to its background activity and default higher streaming quality. However, the actual battery consumption can vary depending on factors such as streaming quality settings, offline listening habits, and device optimization.


The Apple Music app has been found to drain phone battery significantly faster compared to other music streaming apps such as Pandora and Google Play Music. This drain is primarily caused by the background activity of the app, even when it is not in use. Our testing results clearly show that Apple Music consumes 9% and 40% more battery power than Pandora and Google Play Music, respectively, during background music playback.

Additionally, it is important to note that playing music at higher volume levels will also contribute to faster battery drain. This is because the electrical energy supplied by the battery is converted into sound energy, and the louder the sound, the more energy is consumed.

Despite the competition between music streaming giants, Spotify does not have an advantage when it comes to battery consumption. Therefore, if conserving battery life is a priority, it is advisable to consider using alternative music streaming apps that have been shown to have a lesser impact on battery life, such as Pandora or Google Play Music.

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Sanjeev Singh

Sanjeev is the tech editor at DeviceMAG. He has a keen interest in all things technology, and loves to write about the latest developments in the industry. He has a passion for quality-focused journalism and believes in using technology to make people's lives better. He has worked in the tech industry for over 15 years, and has written for some of the biggest tech blogs in the world. Sanjeev is also an avid photographer and loves spending time with his family.