Can You Put AirPods in a Different Case to Charge or Pair?

Author: James Potts | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

AirPods and AirPods Pro come with a sleek and stylish case that also functions as a charger for your wireless headphones.

But if something happens to that case, or your AirPods run out of battery and you don’t have it with you, can you use someone else’s?

Can you pair AirPods with a different case, for example, someone else’s?

The good news is yes, you can, but you may not want to use a non-Apple case!

The AirPods Case

The case that comes with your AirPods is designed for more than just storage. When the case itself is fully charged, it will hold multiple full charges for your AirPods for when you’re out and about.

Fully charged AirPods should last for around 5 hours, so there’s about 30 hours of listening time in a fully charged case, and around 20 hours of call time.

The case is also essential for pairing your AirPods with your iPhone or Android device.

Using a Different Case

First of all it’s important to note that 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation AirPods can use each other’s cases to charge.

Unfortunately, AirPods cannot use an AirPods Pro case, and vice versa, as the devices are of a different shape and size.

If you’re wondering whether you can use a friend’s AirPods case for charging your AirPods, you’d be pleased to know that you can do that without any issue whatsoever.

To use someone else’s charging case, follow these simple steps:

  • Ensure your AirPods and the case are compatible (they should snap into place without any hiccup)
  • Place your AirPods in the case. They should click in when the magnets make contact.
  • Close the lid
  • Wait 30 seconds
  • Open the lid
  • The light should flash amber
  • Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case until the light flashes white
  • Follow the prompt on your device to connect your AirPods to the new case

Once the connection is established, your AirPods should charge as normal.

To disconnect from a secondary case, follow these steps:

  • Put the AirPods back in the case
  • Close the lid
  • Wait 30 seconds
  • Open the lid
  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth, and find your AirPods
  • Tap the information (i)
  • Select Forget This Device
  • Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case
  • When the light flashes amber, stop pressing the setup button

And there you go, you’re disconnected!

Using a Non-Apple Case

There are cases available out there that are not made by Apple, but that claim to be compatible with Apple products like AirPods and AirPods Pro.

Be warned, while these cases may appear legitimate, and they may well charge your AirPods when you put them in, they are by no means endorsed by Apple and if something goes wrong with your beloved AirPods after using one, you’ll be stuck!

Bear in mind that the case does much more than just charge your AirPods. You can reset them with it, and use it to locate your AirPods using the Find My app in the event they’re lost or stolen.

If a third-party case is made poorly, it may damage the AirPods upon insertion, charge insufficiently, and provide inadequate protection if dropped.

You also won’t be able to make use of any of the features built into the official case, such as using the setup button to pair your AirPods with an android device.

Case Protectors

If you don’t like the look of the all-white official Apple charging case, then there are plenty of case covers you can buy to not only improve the appearance of the case but also to provide more protection for your AirPods too.

No Case At All

Despite what you might see or hear on the internet, there is no way to charge your AirPods without a case (although you can still turn them on)!

Hanging them on your MacBook screen or connecting wires to the bottom will only leave you with damaged AirPods and possibly a nasty shock. Don’t do it!

Final Thoughts

When it comes to AirPods, the case is a necessity. Without one, they can’t be charged or paired, so they’re effectively useless.

If your case breaks or gets lost, and you don’t have AppleCare to cover the replacement, it can be tempting to spend a lot less money on a third-party case that looks exactly the same as the Apple one, but as I repeatedly mentioned above, it’s just not worth the risk!

Use someone else’s case wherever you can (if you need to), and make sure to protect your own case and look after it before something goes wrong. My advice would be to treasure the case that comes with your AirPods, buy a protector, and don’t even consider a third-party case!

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About James Potts

James is an amateur guitarist and home-recording enthusiast. He loves all things music related - writing songs, playing in a band, and finding the best ways to listen to it. It all interests him, from the history of acoustic guitars, to the latest Bluetooth headphones, to his (ever-growing) collection of vinyl records.

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