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The best AirPods cases and covers

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Published onNovember 30, 2023

Catalyst Waterproof case
MSRP: $29.99
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Positives
One piece design
Waterproof
Negatives
Might tear eventually
Needs two hands to fold down
Pelican Protector case for AirPods
MSRP: $15.28
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Positives
Full-body defense
Anti-lost carabiner
Unobstructed charging
Anti-dust protection
Premium silicone
Uncompromising quality
Negatives
Bulky design
Limited color options
Slightly expensive
Potential dust cap hassle
Catalyst 330ft Waterproof Total Protection Case for AirPods Pro
MSRP: $49.99
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Positives
Waterproof
Extremely durable
Secured latch
Protects against bumps and scratches
Wireless and USB-C charging
Fully sealed for total protection
Negatives
Pricey
Hard to open latch
The design may be a bit bulky
Left-handed users may find the lid orientation less convenient
Native Union Roam Case for AirPods
MSRP: $29.99
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Positives
Aesthetic
High-quality material
Good protection
Pleasing texture
Easy access
Qi wireless compatible
Negatives
Pricey
Detachable top
Prone to staining (light colors)
Not easy to remove
LifeProof Eco Friendly Case for Apple AirPods Pro
MSRP: $18.51
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Positives
Eco-friendly
Allows visibility of front light
Durable and protective
Wireless charging
Qi-wireless charging
Includes quick-snap carabiner
Negatives
Limited color options
Some colors too vibrant
Original clip quality is poor
Unclear if top stays closed during use

While Apple has certainly improved the durability of its AirPods and AirPods Pro models over the years, they’re still plastic and costly. So it’s perfectly understandable why you would want to preserve your buds and protect them from use and abuse. We’ve put together a list of some of the best AirPods cases and covers to keep your investment longer.

Editor’s note: this list was published on October 25, 2023, and is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.

Best AirPods case or cover overall/for most people: Catalyst Waterproof Case

Look, most people aren’t performing parkour, but if you are, it’s nice to feel like your AirPods will survive if you bail. The Catalyst Waterproof case is simple, and that’s part of what makes it great for Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro. The simplicity is that it’s basically a sleeve that fits over most of the charging case, including the lid.

The green Catalyst AirPods Pro case shown on a white background with water splashing off of it.
Keep it simple with a one-piece cover.

To use, simply fold down the top and flip open the case’s lid. This effectively seals the AirPods with the IP67-rated case. One of the challenges with a good case or cover is that you want to still be able to use your AirPods without hindrances. To top it off, Catalyst includes a carabiner so you can clip your AirPods to your backpack for easy access.

See price at Amazon
Catalyst Waterproof case
3%off
Catalyst Waterproof case
Water and dust resistant
Drop-proof
Wireless charging
See price at Amazon
Catalyst Influence Series Waterproof and Drop Proof Case for AirPods 3
Catalyst Influence Series Waterproof and Drop Proof Case for AirPods 3
MIL-STD-810G rated
Carabiner

The only reasons this case isn’t the one for you are if you need something more protective, or if you take issue with folding down the top. By the way, the fold-down top of the case, in all likelihood, will eventually tear at the side seams, but all cases seem susceptible to literal wear and tear.

Best AirPods case and covers: Pelican Protector AirPods case

The Pelican Protector case is not so different from the Catalyst case above, but it’s a bit cheaper. The lid rolls down, so you don’t have to deal with the cover’s lid falling — which is very common with AirPods covers.

The Pelican Protector cases shown in three colors.
Pick a color, any color, so long as it’s one of these.

The case is shock-resistant and keeps dust and water out by covering the lid with an IP67 certification. It’s not MagSafe compatible, but you can wirelessly charge your AirPods. The port has a cap to keep out water and dust, and your LED remains visible. In addition, the silicone cover is highly textured, so you’re unlikely to drop the buds. Lastly, the material is treated with an antimicrobial finish, which is a bonus basically.

Pelican Protector case for AirPodsPelican Protector case for AirPods
Pelican Protector case for AirPods
Full-body defense • Anti-lost carabiner • Unobstructed charging
MSRP: $15.28

Best AirPods case and covers: Catalyst 330ft Waterproof Total Protection Case

If overkill is your baseline normal, the Catalyst 330ft Waterproof Total Protection Case is the right pick for your AirPods Pro.

On a white background the Catalyst 330ft case for Apple AirPods Pro is shown in green with water droplets.
Jasper Lastoria / SoundGuys
This chunky case ought to outlast most activities.

Kitted out with a MIL-STD-810g rating and purported to be waterproof, this thick case is your best defense against the elements. Ensuring that the lid doesn’t pop open unexpectedly, Catalyst includes a latch. Like a lot of cases on the list, this one has a sturdy carabiner to round out the package.

Catalyst 330ft Waterproof Total Protection Case for AirPods ProCatalyst 330ft Waterproof Total Protection Case for AirPods Pro
Catalyst 330ft Waterproof Total Protection Case for AirPods Pro
Waterproof • Extremely durable • Secure latch
MSRP: $49.99

Best AirPods cases and covers: Native Union Roam Case for AirPods

Those of us who just want a sleeve to slip over our AirPods cases will enjoy the simplicity of the Native Union Roam Case. Available in a few colors, it sufficiently protects the charging case.

Against a white backdrop the Native Union Roam AirPods Pro case is shown in a mint green.
Simple and stylish is the Native Union Roam’s mandate.

Complete with a carabiner, you can clip it to your pack. The Native Union Roam case won’t make your case any more waterproof, but it’ll add a layer of protection from errant raindrops and rough surfaces. You can still easily access the charge port, and the LED indicator is visible.

Native Union Roam Case for AirPodsNative Union Roam Case for AirPods
Native Union Roam Case for AirPods
Aesthetic • High-quality material • Good protection
MSRP: $29.99

Best AirPods cases and covers: LifeProof Eco Friendly Case for Apple AirPods Pro

The folks at LifeProof know that not only does our increasing reliance on batteries for everyday life pose a threat to our environment, but all of our devices and their covers seem to end up in landfills. Rather than create brand new polycarbonate, the LifeProof Eco Friendly Case is made from 75% ocean-based recycled plastic.

LifeProof Eco AirPods case shown with the buds included.
If you want to minimize your carbon footprint, this is an Earth friendly option.

Functionally, the textured cover aids in keeping a good grip on your AirPods, but it’s not waterproof or dustproof. Otherwise, LifeProof includes a small, round carabiner clip, which keeps the size down. It’s not exactly the kind of carabiner you’d want to use for rock climbing, but these are AirPods we’re talking about, after all. You can’t use the case with MagSafe chargers, but conventional Qi wireless chargers work with it. You also still have access to the ports and LED.

LifeProof Eco Friendly Case for Apple AirPods ProLifeProof Eco Friendly Case for Apple AirPods Pro
LifeProof Eco Friendly Case for Apple AirPods Pro
Eco-friendly • Allows visibility of front light • Durable and protective
MSRP: $18.51

Who should buy the Spigen Mag Armor (Mag Fit) Designed for AirPods Pro 2nd?

On a white background the Spigen Mag Armor case is shown from two angle, front and back with an Apple MagSafe charger in the background.
A case doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sacrifice MagSafe compatibility.

Spigen has a great reputation for solid designs that consider everyday problems, and the Mag Armor case is no exception. Unlike many AirPods cases, this one has internal adhesives and magnets to ensure that the case does not come off. The downside is that now you might have to manually remove that adhesive should you choose to remove the cover at some point. However, it’s designed with some shock absorption if there’s a drop, and you can still use MagSafe and access the ports just fine.

Spigen Mag Armor (Mag Fit) Designed for AirPods Pro 2ndSpigen Mag Armor (Mag Fit) Designed for AirPods Pro 2nd
Spigen Mag Armor (Mag Fit) Designed for AirPods Pro 2nd
Secure magSafe charging • Strong magnets • Protective and durable
MSRP: $26.99

The best AirPods cases and covers: Notable mentions

  • CASETiFY Impact AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) Case: this trusted brand is sort of pricey ($38.4 at Amazon) but you can choose from an enormous selection of colors and finishes with a MIL-STD-810G rating.
  • Native Union Leather Case for AirPods: If all you really want is a simple, stylish sleeve for your AirPods, here’s your leather jacket for only $9.99 at Amazon
  • OtterBox Soft Touch Case for AirPods Pro: One of the nicest features of this Otterbox case for AirPods Pro is that the lid has a clasp to stay shut if you drop it. You also get a lifetime guarantee on the case for $29.95 at Amazon.
  • Pela AirPods Case: This case ($29.95 at Amazon) is uniquely made from flax with some shock-absorbing properties, and it’s biodegradable.
  • Spigen Silicone Fit Designed for AirPods Pro: This simple, slim case is designed to slip over your AirPods ($17.99 at Amazon) and provide some protection for bumps and scraps, with a lanyard.

What you should know about AirPods cases and covers

The AirPods Pro 2 with water droplets on them.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) buds and case are water resistant.

Frankly, there is a limit as to how much a case or a cover can truly protect your AirPods. Beneath the sleeve, they’re still just plastic cases. Plastic is great because it keeps AirPods lightweight and portable, plus it’s cheap to produce. While a few manufacturers have toyed with metal-clad cases, you’re basically making different trade-offs. You end up with dents and scuffs instead of cracks and scuffs. Metal cases tend to have more mass, which is fine for some but seems antithetical to Apple’s current philosophy.

One of the issues to keep in mind is that two-piece cases frequently have the issue of the lid piece coming off if there isn’t an adhesive on the inside of the lid cover. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common to see these kinds of cases, and you can perform your own make-do solutions, but it’s something to be aware of when looking at cases. Similarly, some low quality silicone or TPU cases can suffer from stretching out over time and not fitting the AirPods charge case correctly anymore.

So, you can try not to drop your AirPods and baby them, but life happens, so let’s get you a case for your case because Apple Care only covers so much. Lastly, if you’ve got Apple AirPods Max, you might want a case.

What are the most durable Apple AirPods?

The most durable Apple model currently is the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with the USB-C charging case, which has an IP54 rating with the case. Meanwhile, both the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with the Lightning charge case and AirPods (3rd generation) have IPX4 ratings, including the charge cases. The original Apple AirPods Pro (1st generation) does not come with an IP rating for the case, but the buds are rated IPX4. These are water and sweat-resistant but not waterproof.

Whether any of the charging cases have any water resistance is a relatively new feature for any wireless earbuds. We welcome it, considering that AirPods spend most of their lifespans in a charging case. That IPX4 rating on most AirPods won’t spare the cases and their charging ports from filling with lint collecting at the bottom of your bag or pocket though, which is why you want a cover. It doesn’t save them from slipping from your fingers when your hands are full and hitting the ground, either.

Consider for a moment the properties of each case or cover on this list and measure that against your specific needs. A simple silicone sleeve won’t make your AirPods impervious to crushing, for example. However, if you happen to just have butterfingers, maybe a grippy silicone case solves that issue for you. Those planning to kayak with AirPods on hand probably want something waterproof. It won’t matter that a waterproof case’s dimensions are significantly larger than a simple silicone sleeve in that instance because the trade-off makes sense.

Keeping that in mind, when choosing the best AirPods case or cover, ask the question, “the best for what?”

How we choose the best AirPods cases and covers

In picking out the best AirPods cases and covers, it comes down to considerations around durability, trustworthiness, and different use cases. Our contributors have many years of experience with AirPods, so we understand the weaknesses and strengths in the design. We also know that different covers and cases address some concerns but not others. This list combines that knowledge and experience with recommendations for users with differing needs.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) lays on a wooden surface next to the Apple AirPods Pro (1st generation), earbuds in open cases.
We’ve tried all the AirPods.

At SoundGuys none of our writers have any stake in which product you choose. The company may benefit from an affiliate link if you decide to purchase one of our recommendations, but we don’t accept paid promotions, and our writers do not know if you bought anything or what you bought. Our contributors have combined decades of experience in audio and tech, and it’s in our best interest to act ethically so that our readers return. We genuinely want to help folks find the best products for their lives.

Frequently asked questions

It depends largely on what you need your case for the most. A silicone case (generally) offers some grip and won’t shatter, whereas a hard case can shatter, but some hard cases are shatter resistant too, and they won’t rip or stretch out. Look at what you need your case or cover to do for your AirPods, and then see which ticks those boxes before choosing whether you want a silicone or hard case.

To keep your ears healthy, make sure you listen at safe volumes and ensure that you clean your AirPods now and then to avoid infections.

No, the original Apple AirPods Pro case will not fit the newer 2022 Airpods Pro 2.

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