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Apple’s AirPods have become hugely successful since their original launch in 2016, and especially since the release of the AirPods Pro last year. The totally-wireless headphones have a lot going for them: great battery life, solid sound quality, and active noise cancellation (Pro model only) among them.
That said, pairing them with the right accessories can make your AirPods easier to charge, harder to lose, and improve their fit. We have recommendations appropriate for every generation of AirPods, but in some cases we’ve recommended both the AirPods and AirPods Pro compatible version of an accessory, so make sure to choose the correct one.
1. Apple AirPods Wireless Charging Case
Every generation of AirPods supports wireless charging if you keep them in a wireless charging case. This case comes standard with AirPods Pro, but is an optional extra if you get the regular model. Once they’re in this case, you can charge your AirPods by setting them down on any wireless charging pad. You still have the option to plug them into a charging adapter with a Lightning cable, too.
2. Anker PowerWave II Wireless Charger
The AirPods are compatible with any Qi wireless charging pad, but Anker’s PowerWave II stands out because it has a maximum power output of 15W (watts). That’s enough to charge the AirPods Pro, an iPhone, or any Android smartphone at their maximum wireless charging speeds.
The circle-shaped charger has a rubber ring around its edge to keep your device from sliding off, and a blue LED that illuminates when your AirPods are charging. Wireless charging is still slower than plugging your device in with a cable, but the PowerWave II reduces the gap.
3. Twelve South AirFly Pro
Twelve South’s AirFly Pro is a Bluetooth receiver that allows you to stream audio from non-wireless sources to your AirPods or AirPods Pro. The best example is an airplane’s entertainment system, which has traditionally required you to plug in a pair of wired headphones. Instead, you’d plug the AirFly Pro into the entertainment system, pair it to your AirPods (this must be done when the AirPods are still in their case), and pick your movie, TV show, or music.
The AirFly Pro could also connect to the headphone jack on your stereo receiver, which would allow you to stream vinyl through your home audio system to your AirPods. The adapter, which charges over USB-C, gets 16 hours of battery life per charge, and can be paired to two sets of AirPods at the same time.
4. CobCobb Magnetic AirPods Strap
AirPods are totally wireless headphones, which means they’re extremely portable, but also easy to lose. If they fall out of your ears, it can be hard to know where to look for them. CobCobb’s strap can be slipped onto the stem of each bud, essentially turning the AirPods into a traditional pair of Bluetooth earbuds. Both sides of the strap are magnetized, so the AirPods can stay securely fastened around your neck if you need to take them out when speaking to someone, or taking a break while exercising.
5. Proof Labs AirPods Pro Ear Hooks Fit Wings
Apple designed the AirPods to fit properly in as many ears as possible, but Proof Lab’s Fit Wings offer a little extra security. The wings, which fit over the AirPods Pro’s buds, can be slipped into the ridge of your inner-ear, keeping them stable if you move around. This accessory is only compatible with AirPods Pro, but this set of fit wings from EarBuddyz do the same thing, and are compatible with first and second-generation AirPods.
6. Native Union Curve Case
Native Union’s AirPods Curve Case (also available for AirPods Pro) can add a protective layer to your AirPods and make them easier to grab in your pocket or purse. The silicone cover fits on top of your existing AirPods case, and has a rigid, textured surface. The case has a cutout for your AirPods case’s Lightning port, and is thin enough that you can still use them with a wireless charger. We’re recommending the Black color, which adds some nice contrast to the AirPods’ white case, but Native Union’s Curve Case is available in an array of fun colors.
7. Elago AirPods Ear Hooks
Elago’s AirPod Ear Hooks work similarly to the fit wings we’re recommending, but have one big difference. Instead of fitting inside of your ear, these hooks slip onto the stem of your AirPods, and hook around the back of your ear to keep them stabilized while you exercise. Elago’s ear hooks are made out of polyurethane, which the company says makes them flexible, durable, and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. As a bonus, you can thread a strap though the hole on the bottom of each ear hook.
8. Satechi Wireless Charging Dock
While the AirPods are compatible with any wireless charging pad, this pocket-sized version was designed exclusively for them. It has a USB-C jack built right into the charger, so you can plug it directly into one of the USB-C ports on Apple’s MacBook laptops. Satechi says this accessory can charge the AirPods at their maximum wireless charging speed, but doesn’t give an official power output.
This is less important because you’re only going to use this charger with the AirPods. A small LED on the front of the charger will begin to glow once it’s connected to a power source, and charging your AirPods. While we’re recommending this charger because of its performance and portability, its aluminum and white finish match Apple’s aesthetics, which is a nice touch.