Apple’s AirPods are some of the most popular wireless earbuds in the world, for a few different reasons. To begin with, Apple was the first major manufacturer to produce True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds. Before TWS, you couldn’t get good quality stereo audio from a pair of wireless buds. Everything was in mono, and the audio sounded hollow and tinny. The AirPods proved that with TWS, your wireless earbuds could sound as good as your wired buds. Other manufacturers were quick to catch on, and now there are thousands of alternative earbud models. But Apple was first to market. Much like Kleenex, their brand is permanently attached to the product they pioneered.
Another reason people love AirPods is that they’re designed specifically to work with your iPhone. Since the iPhone is the world’s most popular device, it makes sense that the AirPods sell well. Everything is made and programmed by Apple, so you don’t have to worry about quirky compatibility issues. Finally, they just plain sound good. They might be pricey, but you get rich tones across all frequencies.
But like all wireless earbuds, the AirPods need to be charged from time to time. So, what do you do when you lose your charging case? Buy a whole new set of AirPods? Thankfully, there are a number of replacement cases available. This way, you can replace your original case without needing to buy a second set of AirPods.
Today, we’re going to be reviewing three of the best AirPods and AirPods Pro charging cases money can buy. We’ll start with the Apple Wireless Charging Case for AirPods. This is the OEM replacement case for the original AirPods, with no modifications whatsoever. Next, we’ll take a look at the CIVPOWER Charging Case. This AirPods Pro replacement case comes in 3 different colors, so you can match it to your personal tastes. Last, we’ll examine the CCAN AirPods Pro Charging Case Replacement. This powerful AirPods Pro replacement case charges your buds 5 times before you need to plug it in. Which one is the best? Let’s look a little closer, and find out!
What Should I Expect From My AirPod Batteries and Charging Case?
Before we review any charging cases, we should set some baseline expectations. What exactly should you expect your charging case to do? Let’s start with the basics, and look at the AirPods themselves. There are actually three different types of AirPods. The original, first-generation AirPods were produced up through March of 2019. They last up to five hours per charge when listening to music, and provide two hours of talk time. A fully-charged case will recharge the batteries nearly five times, for 24 hours of playtime and 18 of talk time.
Starting in March, 2019, Apple switched over to the Generation 2 AirPods. When it comes to listening time, these perform exactly the same, albeit with better audio quality. But the biggest difference is in the talk time. You get up to three hours of talk time per charge, for an increase of 50 percent. Both generations of AirPods will fully charge in less than 30 minutes. That said, a 15-minute charge will get you up to three hours of listening time. That’s not too shabby!
The AirPods Pro are Apple’s premium earbud. They come with silicone tips, which block out ambient noise and help to provide a more secure fit. They also have richer audio and better mic quality on phone calls. On a full charge, a single set of AirPods Pro will provide up to 4 ½ hours of listening time. It also provides good talk time, at a respectable 3 ½ hours per charge. In an OEM charging case, you’ll get a little more than five full recharges. That works out to around 24 hours of listening time, or 18 hours of talk time. Like the original AirPods, you can quick charge the AirPods Pro. With a five-minute quick charge, you’ll get about an hour of listening or talk time. A full charge takes under 30 minutes.
When your battery starts to get low, your iPhone or iPad will start dinging and showing notifications. You’ll get a notification when the charge drops to 20 percent, again at 10 percent, and again at 5. The audible ding will sound when the charge drops to 10 percent. It will ding again immediately before the AirPods power down. You charge the AirPods by dropping them into their case and closing the lid. When the case itself is drained, you can use an ordinary USB charger, or a wireless Qi charger.
In addition to all that, the AirPods Pro come with the capability for optimized charging. This is a special charging mode that’s designed to reduce wear and tear from everyday use. It does this by fully charging your AirPods Pro only when you need them, which extends battery lifespan. When you put your buds in the case, they’ll only charge to 80 percent. Then, Apple’s algorithms will learn when you usually put in your buds. Right before you do, the case will charge them all the way full, so they’re ready to go. To use this feature, you’ll need an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. It’s active by default if you use iOS 14.2 or later, but you can turn it off in your Bluetooth settings.
Apple Wireless Charging Case for AirPods
The Apple Wireless Charging Case for AirPods is the most straightforward of today’s three options. It’s an OEM case, literally identical to the original charger. In terms of appearance, it’s a Gen 2 style, with the light on the outside of the housing. That said, the difference between the two cases is purely cosmetic. In fact, some Gen 1 AirPods shipped with Gen 2 cases, and vice-versa. Otherwise, the two styles are identical. This charger is white and rectangular, with gently curved edges that won’t jab you through your pockets.
In terms of performance, we’ve already discussed the standard Apple case. To recap, you can expect to recharge your AirPods approximately five times. That’s enough for 24 hours of listening, or 18 hours of talk time. It will charge your earbuds in about 90 minutes, and also has a quick charge function. If your earbuds are completely dead, you’ll get three hours of playback time from a 15-minute charge. Another option is to use a wireless Qi charger. This takes a bit longer, and there’s no quick charge function. That said, you also don’t have to fuss around with any wires.
CIVPOWER Charging Case
The CIVPOWER Charging Case is designed to work with the AirPods Pro. It has a fashionable aesthetic, with a sharp-looking glossy finish on the case. It comes in three colors: black, white, and an attractive mint green that’s easy on the eyes. In addition, the Bluetooth button has been slightly modified. It protrudes a hair from the front of the case, which makes it much more prominent. When you press the button, it will automatically pair with your iPhone, even though it’s a third-party product.
When it comes to charging performance, this case is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, it only charges your AirPods Pro four times. That’s 20 percent juice than the original case, and it’s a bit disappointing. On the other hand, this case provides blazing-fast charging performance. The AirPods Pro themselves charge in about 25 minutes, and the case itself will charge in three hours. That’s just a touch faster than the original case’s real-world performance.
Just like the original AirPods Pro case, you can charge with a wire or with a wireless Qi charger. This gives you plenty of flexibility, particularly if you don’t have a cable on you. You also get a full suite of safety features to keep your earbuds safe. The CIVPOWER case protects you from overcharging, overcurrent, and short-circuiting. So does the original charging case, but that’s the point; you don’t have to settle for a safety downgrade.
CCAN AirPods Pro Charging Case Replacement
The CCAN AirPods Pro Charging Case Replacement is a bit more understated than the CIVPOWER case. It’s only available in black, and it has a matte finish instead of glossy. Then again, the matte finish is less prone to collecting fingerprints, and easier to keep clean. Along the same lines, the Bluetooth pairing button is flush to the front of the housing. This is more in keeping with the original Pro charger’s minimalist aesthetic. The button will pair you automatically with your iPhone or other Apple device. There’s also an LED indicator light just above the button, to let you know you’re charging.
The main attraction of this case is that it performs as well or better than the original AirPods Pro case. It has a comparable 660mAh battery, which is enough for five full charges. In addition, it’s fast. It can charge the AirPods Pro in as little as 20 minutes, or 20 percent faster than the original. The case charges in only three hours, so plugging in overnight will have you at maximum power. It supports both wired and Qi charging, whichever you prefer.
So, which replacement charging case is right for you? In the event of the original AirPods, why not just stick with what works? The Apple Wireless Charging Case for AirPods is a well-engineered piece of equipment, and is good at its job. It charges your buds quickly and safely, and it pairs effortlessly with your phone or iPad. We see no reason to improve on perfection.
If you have the AirPods Pro, we had two different options. The CIVPOWER Charging Case is the most fashionable of the two. With three different color options and a slightly raised Bluetooth button, it has a unique aesthetic. It also comes with all the safety features we’d wanted to see. That said, they don’t provide as much power as we would have liked. The CCAN AirPods Pro Charging Case Replacement does much better in that regard. It looks fairly plain, and it only comes in black. But it provides five charges, just like the original AirPods Pro charger.