5 ways to protect your new AirPods case

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Do you hyperventilate every time your AirPods charging case hits the ground? As some of the best wireless earbuds around fitted with powerful yet delicate technology, I do. 

The fear of scratching or cracking the charging case drives me nuts.

Whether I'm using an older original AirPods generation or the latest AirPods Pro 2, I care about the condition they are kept in and go out of my way to keep these fragile devices safe. And I imagine I will feel exactly the same about the new case for the AirPods Pro 2 that swaps Apple's Lightning cable for USB-C charging on September 22

Although they feel surprisingly robust, the fear of scratching or cracking the AirPods charging case drives me nuts, even when I’m wirelessly charging it on flat, stable surfaces.

Maybe it’s my fault for not investing in protecting my AirPods with some of the best AirPods cases out there. Then again, 90% of the options out there overlook protective details that expose the buds to hazardous dangers like earwax and moisture. Some even lack the magnet strength to prevent the AirPods from flying across the floor after smacking the concrete. 

How to clean an AirPods case

If you don't want your AirPods charging case looking like this, make sure you follow our tips below to keep it looking in tip-top condition. (Image credit: Future)

Dealing with these design issues is frustrating. However, there are still effective safeguarding measures you can take to ensure your AirPods and MagSafe charging case don’t end up becoming recycled electronic waste. 

A protective case is the most ideal answer, though you’ll need one that checks a few boxes. Common sense tactics and utilizing Apple’s proprietary features can also help maintain the appearance and functionality of your AirPods case. 

Read on to learn from my mistakes and follow these simple steps to keep your AirPods' charging case in tip-top condition.

1. Charge your AirPods wisely

AirPods Pro 2 showing battery life

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Reports suggest that AirPods have an expected lifespan of 2 to 3 years. Can this be extended? It’s possible. 

Start by never charging your AirPods or AirPods Pro to 100%. The battery inside the case only holds a certain amount of charge cycles. In other words, the more you fully power it, the more you depreciate the battery over time. Make sure to enable the Optimized Battery Charging feature in the dedicated AirPods menu via iOS settings. This will automatically enable a power-saving mode that stops charging at 80%.

2. Buy a protection case with stronger magnets

Elago AirPods Pro 2 protective hang case on white

Elago makes a series of protective AirPods cases. Check out the nerdy Elago AW5 AirPods case, which has "classic game player design". (Image credit: Elago)

I have never trusted the magnets on any AirPods case. Neither should you. Look for a protection case that doesn’t just deliver solid shielding against dust and moisture, but also has a magnetic locking lid to keep the case completely shut. 

My recommendation is the ESR Cyber Armor Case (HaloLock), currently discounted to $15 at Amazon, which features four strong built-in magnets and a durable polymer design for protecting the case against high-impact drops.

3. Seriously, use the lanyard loop

Apple AirPods Pro 2 charging case placed on MacBook keyboard

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

This mainly applies to AirPods Pro 2 owners. Apple installed the metal inlet on the case for a reason, and it wasn’t for style. You may want to consider using it. 

Yes, you must purchase a lanyard because Apple doesn’t include one with purchase. Brands like Incase have noteworthy options with an integrated clip for attaching to travel objects, along with durable braiding that forms a tight grip around the inlet.

All other AirPods users must pick up a case with a lanyard holster built in. If you’re someone who often drops their AirPods case when pulling it out of your tight denim pockets, this can be a much more secure and less cumbersome solution.

4. Add an AirTag to the equation

Apple AirTag

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple offers a few ways to find misplaced or lost AirPods. Selecting your model in the Find My app can trace their location in real time, while Precision Finding allows AirPods Pro 2 users to find the precise location of each bud and the charging case. 

So, why even bother with an AirTag? Experts believe that it’s faster and more reliably accurate. Some mobile accessory brands sell cases with a slot for Apple’s tiny Bluetooth tracker. Our current favorite is the Spigen Tag Armor Duo currently discounted to $22 at Amazon.

5. Dust-guard protection

It’s amazing how a slim and tiny sheet of metal can make your AirPods case dustproof. Certain brands sell dust guards with chrome plating that sticks to the outer molding of the AirPods slots, both at the top and bottom on the inside of the case. This prevents iron and metal from accumulating permanent black markings and blocks dirt from reaching the charging pins. 

Elago has versions available in different colors for the AirPods Pro series and AirPods 3. You can purchase a set for as low as $10 on Amazon.

Don't sweat it — monitor the charging case temperature

Like any other electronics, Apple’s AirPods and charging cases can experience overheating. It’s unlikely to occur when recharging because Apple engineered their cases to stop charging when the battery is full. There’s also an auto-off feature that automatically powers off the AirPods when reaching extreme temperatures. 

However, Apple’s ingenuity can’t make up for common human mistakes, like leaving the case exposed to bright sunlight for several hours at your work desk or on the beach. You’ll also want to clean your AirPods regularly since dirt increases the risk of overheating by blocking the ventilation ducts.

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Alex Bracetti

A lifestyle journalist with an affinity for consumer products, Alex has over a decade of experience and has worked with popular publications such as Complex, Thrillist, Men’s Health, Gear Patrol, AskMen, and Hoop Magazine. He currently focuses on audio, reviewing the most coveted headphones in the market for both Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine.

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