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How to Charge AirPods Without the Case?

AirPods are the most popular wireless earphones in the world. They come at a premium, but you get what you pay for. They are well-built and offer a good battery life. But, above all, they sound great. 

So, let’s say you are in the unfortunate position of having lost the charging case for your AirPods, but you still have the earphones. I’m quite sure that you’ve either heard or read about some “hacks” that might make it possible for you to charge AirPods without the case.

Let me put your mind at ease by saying that I’m way ahead of you. I’ve spent the last weekend testing all the possible ways of charging AirPods without the case and compiled this article so that we can finally separate fact from fiction. Let’s dive right in. 

How to Charge AirPods Without the Case

How To Charge AirPods Without The Case – Common Myths

I’m going to start by bursting the biggest bubble of all. There is no safe way to charge your AirPods without the case. A lot of people fall for this myth since the internet is rife with false rumors claiming that it is possible. 

If you do a quick search on YouTube for “charging your AirPods without the case,” you’ll find a plethora of videos. Most of which are absolute garbage. Many of these videos are pure clickbait, and the few helpful ones are very obscure, making it had to separate the wheat from the chaff. 

One of the most viewed results for this search on YouTube is a complete joke. It features a child and even a video description that reads: “This video is a joke, don’t take it seriously, please.”

So, what to do?

With all this misinformation floating around on the Internet, it makes sense that so many folks think that you can charge your AirPods without the case. This is quite unfortunate since many of these so-called “hacks” can damage your AirPods.

To prevent more users from breaking their expensive Airpods, I’ll be dissecting each one of these methods in turn.

Myth #1 – Using a Narrow Pin Charger

This is quite a cruel one to play on people if you ask me. The idea that you can use a narrow pin standard charger to charge AirPods individually seems so feasible. Sadly, I’m afraid that despite how good it might look, it’s a total pipe dream.

The Myth 

So, the story told by people on the internet is that you can use a DIY charger. Specifically, the old narrow pin Nokia 1110 charger to charge each of your AirPods individually.

There’s a video on YouTube that shows this being done. And the fact that the pin fits inside the opening at the bottom of an AirPod so well also makes you want to believe it’s true.  

The Truth 

Well, it turns out that there are several reasons that this wouldn’t work. After doing some research and speaking with professionals, I realized that “if the shoe fits” is not a good axiom to follow when it comes to charging electronics. 

When you connect a device to a charger, you need to ensure that the pin sizes match up exactly to ensure a proper connection and avoid damaging the device. Secondly, you need to make sure that the power output of the charging device matches the device that you are trying to charge. 

Thirdly, charging a device with any charger other than the one that it came with is problematic. Battery charges are a bit more complicated than one might think and, therefore, can not be mixed and matched to devices freely. 

Why is that?

At the very least, a basic power charger for an electronic device these days will consist of:

  • Rectifier Circuit.
  • Power Circuit.
  • Ripple Monitor.
  • Control Circuit.
  • Regulator Circuit.
  • Fault Detection Circuit.

Each one of these parts is integral to the proper functioning of the charger and can be broken up into further components. 

For example, the fault detection circuit… 

This is a part of the charger’s BMS or Battery Management System. It is designed to work by receiving exact amounts of energy in exact quantities.

So, should this deviate, because of an incorrect charger being connected, the tiny circuits will malfunction and overheat, which could lead to permanent damage or underperforming batteries. 

Myth 1 – The Verdict

Chargers are made specifically for the products that they are sold with. In the case of the AirPods, this is true to the most extreme extent. Trying to make your own DIY AirPods charger just isn’t feasible. 

By the way, look closely at the AirPods in the video with the DIY charger. Did you notice that the person is using a fake AirPod?

Myth #2 – Using An App To Charge Your AirPods

Charge Your AirPods

If you’re the right age, you might remember a meme that circled the internet a few years back. It somehow convinced people that it was possible to download more RAM onto a computer or laptop. 

Impossible as it might seem, a new one of these fantastic rumors has gained traction recently. This one has people thinking that an app can somehow charge a pair of earphones instead of draining them. 

The Myth

By downloading a special app and using it with your AirPods, you can transfer a charge from your phone or tablet to your AirPods. Unfortunately, many people believe this kind of thing is how to charge AirPods without the case.

The Truth

Wireless charging is possible only by using specialized hardware. There is no way that some random app will charge your AirPods using your device’s battery as a source. The only reason software like this exists is to snag gullible folks into downloading it so that some form of malware can be installed on their devices. 

It seems like a lot of trouble, but people can develop phony apps in a matter of weeks. It’s the malware that they take their time with, so don’t be fooled.

Always bear in mind…

You can charge your AirPods and your AirPods case in one of two ways. Firstly, via a direct connection using a lightning cable. And secondly, using specialized QI-certified hardware that allows for wireless charging.

The QI Standard is what’s used by most devices that are capable of wireless charging. Including Apple’s AirPods. It works via one device that can transfer the charge and another that can receive it. These are hardware components and, therefore, have nothing to do with an app. 

1st and 2nd-generation AirPod cases are not equipped with QI capability. But, you can upgrade the case and purchase a QI wireless charging mat. 3rd generation AirPods and AirPods Pro cases are equipped with QI components. Therefore, they can be charged with any QI wireless charging mat. 

Myth 2 – The Verdict

False. No app can help you charge your AirPods. Or any other wireless device for that matter. These apps are developed for the sole purpose of getting malware installed on your device. The most popular option by cybercriminals at the moment is crypto-mining software. 

Myth #3 – Using Your MacBook Magnets To Charge Your AirPods

The third and final myth is a strange one indeed. The fact that it has been able to gather any momentum at all is just as strange since it seems counterintuitive. Hopefully, this article will help to smother this little flame before it becomes a fire. 

The Myth

The magnet-myth seems to have its origins in a Tik Tok video that shows a single AirPod stuck to the internal magnets on someone’s MacBook. The Tik Tokker then explains that while hanging there, the earphone is somehow drawing power from the magnet. 

The Truth

Yes, magnets play an integral role in the manufacture and functioning of many electronic devices, including laptops and wireless earphones. However, simply attaching a device to a magnet will not charge it. Magnets are incapable of generating power on their own.

So, anyone on Tik Tok video that says magnets can somehow charge batteries is trying to do one thing – mine as many views as they can. 

TikTok users with fake names and phony information are nothing new. The lesson to take away from this is that TikTok is a source of entertainment, not a reliable source of information.

Myth 3: The Verdict

False, but quite harmless. Hanging your AirPods by the magnets in your MacBook will not charge them. But, since those magnets aren’t very powerful, they won’t do any real damage to the earphones either. 

The purpose of these magnets is to keep the MacBook securely closed when it’s not being used or transported. These magnets also let the laptop know when to go into sleep mode. 

Now that the three major myths have been analyzed and dissected, let’s dig into two frequently asked questions about how to charge AirPods without the case.

FAQ 1 – Can you charge your AirPods using a different charging case?

Yes, it is possible to use a charging case other than the one your AirPods shipped with. As long as the case and AirPods model are compatible, they can charge. 

This is great news if you’re planning on using a friend’s case to charge your AirPods. Just make sure that the earphones and the case model are compatible, and you’re good to go.

For example… 

The AirPods Pro case cannot be used to charge standard 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generation AirPods, and vice versa. But, you can charge 1st generation AirPods in a 3rd generation charging case.

Of course, using a friend’s case is only a temporary fix. The best course of action would be to get your case replaced or repaired if damaged. 

Pricing

To replace a standard 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generation AirPods charging case will cost you around $60. For a Mega Safe charging case, it will be about $80. 

If you need to replace a case that is damaged and you have AppleCare+, then you’re looking at around $30. If you want to replace a damaged case, but you do not have AppleCare+, it will cost you about $60 for a standard case and $70 for a Mega Safe charging case. 

For AirPods Pro, replacing a case will set you back about $100. To replace a damaged case with Applecare+ will be about $30, and around $90 to replace a damaged case without AppleCare+.

FAQ 2 – Can you get third-party charging cases?

charging cases

It is possible to get your hands on third-party AirPods chargers and charging cases. But, if you like your AirPods, you will probably not want to go this route. 

I can understand waiting to get the best possible deal. And, let’s not be unduly modest, replacements from Apple are very expensive. 

The problem is that while the third-party case may be able to charge your Airpods (and you won’t even be sure if it’s doing so properly), what about all the other functions that your case gives you access to?

In most cases…

Third-party charging cases can’t reset the AirPods properly. Furthermore, they are not compatible with Apple’s Find My Device app. So, if you lose them, or if they are stolen, the software will be utterly useless. 

Finally, all the functionality of the setup button on the AirPods case will be lost with a third-party charging case. 

One of the most popular third-party AirPods case options is the BLANDSTRS AirPods 1 & 2 case. Even this highly praised option is plagued by problems. Inability to pair with iPhones, not delivering a proper charge, and substandard build quality. Finally, the setup button for paring is not functional. 

In the end…

The best option is to just take the hit and replace the case with a proper one from Apple. Having to payout some hard-earned cash will hopefully motivate you that much more not to lose or damage this one. 

Need More AirPods Information and Advice?

If so, take a look at our detailed articles on AirPods Connected But No SoundAirPods Blinking Orange? How to Fix ItCan I Use Two Different AirPodsCan Reset AirPods Be Tracked, and Do AirPods Work Well on Android Devices for more useful information?

Also, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best AirPods Alternative, the Best Apple AirPods Pro Alternatives, the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, and the Best Wireless Earbuds For Small Ears you can buy in 2023.

How to Charge AirPods Without the Case – Final Thoughts

Some people out there will try to convince you, but do not be fooled. The only way to properly charge your AirPods is by getting a genuine Apple AirPods charging case compatible with your model. If you want to charge them wirelessly, you need QI-certified hardware to do so. 

Third-party chargers, DIY charges, and Apps are never going to work, and that’s the bottom line. 

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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