Apple's AirPods have quickly become one of the most popular wireless earphones you can buy today, with the new AirPods 2 now available and sure to continue the trend. While both models come with a plastic case that also doubles as a charger, you may decide that additional protection is in order to stop the smooth surfaces from picking up scratches.
In this article we've gathered together some of the best AirPods cases so you'll know what to look for when you go shopping.
Apple Wireless Charging Case for AirPods
If you're thinking of purchasing the new AirPods 2 or fancy upgrading the charging experience of your original AirPods, the new wireless charging case is a solid option.
Pop your AirPods in the case, then place it on any Qi-compatible wireless charging mat (a list of options which we now know will not include AirPower, sadly) to top up the power reserves. The construction itself is almost identical to the original case, with a compact design of smooth white plastic, a lid to access the magnetically assisted AirPod chambers, and a Lightning port in the bottom if you want to charge through conventional means.
The only real change is the addition of a small LED on the front to let you know when the case is receiving power.
So, if you want wireless charging (which can come in handy at airports, hotels, or Starbucks), then this could be the case for you. The device is compatible with either model of AirPods, and can be bought with the new AirPods 2, adding £40/$40 to the price, or on its own for £79/$79.
Catalyst Waterproof Case for AirPods
Water is one of the great destroyers of technology: a powerful downpour or accidental dip can quickly turn your AirPods into expensive novelty ear decorations. To stop this happening, Catalyst has created a silicon sheath that fits over your existing charging case.
Thanks to its IP67 rating, the Catalyst Waterproof Case for AirPods turns your vulnerable tech into something that can survive being dunked to a depth of one metre, while offering protection against snow, dust, and short drops. A flap on the bottom means you can also charge the case without having to remove the cover.
The Catalyst comes in three colours - white, black, and glow-in-the-dark - also featuring a karabiner (the metal clip used by climbers) to secure it to the inside of your bag or pocket so it doesn't get lost or stolen.
Elago Duo Case
Elago makes a wide range of cheap and cheerful cases for AirPods. Like most products in this area, the Elago Duo Case fits over your existing charging case to offer more colourful options than the traditional white.
The Duo part of the name refers to the two-tone design: the main case is one colour and the lid another. Each case comes with two different lids.
Some of the options available include charcoal with peach and grey lids, Italian rose (pale red) with coral blue and yellow, or pink with white and pastel blue.
Each case is made of silicon, which protects against scratches and the occasional fall, while allowing for wireless charging if you have the appropriate Apple case. The only downside is that the LED on the latter won't be visible, so you'll have to trust that it's actually powering up.
ICETEK AirPods Case Cover
One of the most highly rated cases on Amazon UK is the IceTek AirPods Case. This silicon sleeve for the Apple charging case is available in a range of colours and comes equipped with several additional accessories.
These include a belt clip, a rubber clasp that can hold both AirPods securely to the strap of your Apple Watch, a behind-the-neck lead to stop AirPods falling to the ground if they slip out of your ears, and a case to put everything inside.
It's not exactly groundbreaking in terms of design and build quality, but for less than a tenner you're adding a bit of protection and a few handy accoutrements to the mix. US customers can opt for the Dzanhot AirPods case, which features pretty much the same arrangement, all for $8.97.
Twelve South AirSnap
Twelve South has been making interesting Apple-related cases and accessories for years. Its BookBook iPhone case is something of a classic, and the new AirSnap is a little touch of luxury without the price tag to match.
This full-grain leather pouch holds the AirPods charging case securely in place, with a wrap-over flap and metal fastener ensuring it won't slip out. The AirSnap features an opening in the underside to allow charging via a Lightning cable, but also is thin enough to work with wireless charging as well.
A clip at the top allow it to be attached to the zip on your bag or to a belt loop, so you won't mislay them when out and about. You've a choice of three colours: Cognac (a tannish brown), Deep Teal, and Black, all of which look very smart indeed.