8 Best Apple AirPods Cases (2023): Retro, Quirky, and Spam

8 Best Apple AirPods Cases (2023): Retro, Quirky, and Spam
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Express Yourself With the Best AirPods Cases

From a can of Spam to a retro cell phone, these are our favorite ways to disguise (and protect) Apple’s wireless earbuds.

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AirPods Pro 2nd Generation with earbuds rising out of the charging case

Which AirPods Do You Have?

The Cartoon Case

Casetify Classic Bean Face AirPods Case

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The High-End Case

Mujjo Echelon AirPods Pro 2 Case

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The Retro Case

Casetify Retro Colorful Stickers – Sorority Camping Aesthetic

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Lately, some of us on the WIRED Gear team have been obsessing over AirPods cases. Not just any old cases, we’re talking about ones that look like sneakers, candy, luggage, cell phones, even tins of Spam, allowing us to show off our personalities. Yes, I really do love Spam so much that I’d carry a can on my person at all times. Are these cases as charming, durable, and protective in person as they appear online? To find out, we tested several across Apple’s earbuds lineup. These are our favorite eccentric cases for the standard AirPods (first, second, and third generation) and the AirPods Pro (first and second generation). We’ll be continuing to test more over the coming months.

Be sure to check out our many other buying guides, including the Best iPhone 14 Cases and Accessories, Best iPad Accessories, Best Wireless Earbuds, and Best MacBook Accessories.

Medea Giordano and Julian Chokkattu contributed to this guide.

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  • AirPods Pro 2nd Generation with earbuds rising out of the charging case

    Photograph: Apple

    Which AirPods Do You Have?

    How do you know which case to buy? Apple has several generations of its AirPods, whether you have the standard AirPods or the AirPods Pro, so be sure the case you select works with your model. (Some cases are interchangeable, particularly the first- and second-generation AirPods and the first- and second-generation AirPods Pro.) To find what you have, head to Settings> Bluetooth on the Apple device you’ve paired it with. Tap on the “i” icon next to your AirPods name and you’ll see a model number. If your AirPods aren’t connected to an Apple device, you can find the model number on the device itself. It’s on the underside of each earbud—you might need to use the magnify feature on your smartphone to view it.

    Once you have a model number, you can cross-reference it with this guide to figure out the generation, or check the list below:

    • AirPods Pro (2nd Gen, 2022): A2931, A2699, A2698
    • AirPods Pro (1st Gen, 2019): A2084, A2083
    • AirPods (3rd Gen, 2021): A2565, A2564
    • AirPods (2nd Gen, 2019): A2032, A2031
    • AirPods (1st Gen, 2017): A1523, A1722

    You probably know if you bought a different case for your AirPods, but it’s worth checking the case’s model number too, as Apple has released stand-alone models with wireless charging and MagSafe support. You can find those details here.

  • Photograph: Casetify

    The Cartoon Case

    Casetify Classic Bean Face AirPods Case

    I’ve been in love with Ketnipz since I first saw the adorable cartoon on Instagram a few years ago. The cute introverted bean continues to remain a source of comfort when I’m looking for uplifting, funny, and relatable memes. I was ecstatic to try the Ketnipz AirPods case designed with Casetify. Complete with the “classic bean face,” it feels like I’m carrying my own little Ketnipz everywhere I go.

    The AirPods fit precisely into the case, with a space carved out for the status light above the illustration. It’s made of 65 percent recycled material and feels quite durable. I didn’t have any issues with wireless charging, meaning you can plop them on a charging pad without having to remove the case.

    Compatible with AirPods Pro (1st gen) and AirPods (2nd and 3rd gen)

  • Photograph: MUJJO

    The High-End Case

    Mujjo Echelon AirPods Pro 2 Case

    The Mujjo case is one of my favorite Apple accessories, period. It’s made from Ecco leather, which uses a vegetable-tanning process to reduce environmental impact, and the blue leather is soft and thick. Wireless charging works with my charging pad, and I can clearly see the charging light and hear the Find My speaker through the cutouts. The molded leather nub for the pairing button at the back also works. It’s gorgeous, discreet, and feels smooth and cool in the palm of my hand—just like the AirPods Pro themselves.

    Compatible with AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd gen)

    ★ An alternative: Nomad also makes great leather cases for all AirPods generations. You can go with the same Ecco leather that Mujjo uses or pay up for Horween leather, which feels a bit more luxe. They fit well, have a cutout for the LED on the front, and work well with wireless chargers.

  • Photograph: CASETIFY

    The Retro Case

    Casetify Retro Colorful Stickers – Sorority Camping Aesthetic

    I put stickers on everything. My Kindle, MacBook, and water bottle are covered with ’em, which is why I immediately gravitated toward this case. These “stickers” are technically printed onto the case, but they still mimic that aesthetic. I also love that the case is squishy and sparkly, which feels reminiscent of the jelly sandals I used to wear as a kid. Retro vibes all around.

    Wireless charging worked perfectly fine, and there’s a spot carved out for the LED indicator. It’s made of 65 percent recycled and plant-based materials, a part of which is made from upcycled phone cases. Casetify says there’s an antimicrobial coating that eliminates bacteria, but take these claims with a grain of salt. It doesn’t claim to protect you from viruses, and there’s not much evidence that an antimicrobial case will reduce the risk of disease.

    Compatible with AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd gen) and AirPods (3rd gen)

  • Photograph: Miak

    The Carrier Case

    Miak AirPods Pro 2 Rimowa Case

    This is one of the most popular accessories I’ve seen on TikTok, and pasting on the adorable, tiny stickers is loads of fun. There are several sheets of them, and they’re astonishingly specific. There’s even a sticker for a local Portland brewery (where I live)! The company claims the case is made from a sturdy thermoplastic polyurethane, but to my hand, it feels a lot lighter and more flimsy than several of the other cases I’ve tried. However, I had no trouble with wireless charging, and there’s a cutout to see the charging light. There’s no cutout for the speaker, but I can still hear it when I turn on Apple’s Find My function.

    Compatible with AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd gen)

  • Photograph: Joyleop

    The Pocky Case

    Joyleop Pink Cookie Case

    This case gave me the most instant, incredible joy (and apparently my 8-year-old daughter as well, who absconded with it). It’s a little bigger than you might expect, to maintain the shape of the Pocky box—I measured it at 2.5 inches tall. It’s made from a stiffer silicone than the handmade Etsy Spam case below, so it holds its shape better, and the patterned silicone is clear and incredibly detailed. It doesn’t work with wireless charging, and you can’t see the charging light, but the speaker on the second-gen AirPods Pro comes through clearly when I use the Find My app to ping its location.

    This brand has several other amazing styles if you’re not crazy about Pocky, including Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape, Cheetos, and Nerds, though we haven’t tried them.

    Compatible with AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd gen)

  • Photograph: STSNano

    The Snack Pack

    STSNano Funny Food Case

    If you can’t tell, we’re huge fans of AirPods cases that look like food—including this variety pack that resembles a carton of Goldfish, a pack of Skittles, and a bag of Reese’s miniature peanut butter cups. Each case is thick enough that it offers a solid amount of protection from drops, but they’re still lightweight and easy to carry in my jacket pocket or tote bag. These have been great conversation starters too. It’s hard to pull ’em out without someone commenting on how cute they look.

    The Skittles case in particular didn’t fit my third-generation AirPods perfectly at first, but the silicone stretched itself out after a bit. All of them support the wireless charging feature on the case, but it’s impossible to see the indicator light. It’s easy enough to plug in my Lightning cable through the open slot on the underside.

    Compatible with AirPods (1st, 2nd, and 3rd gen) and AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd gen)

  • Photograph: MYCUTEPODS

    The Spam Case

    ReliableBuys Spam Case

    I unreservedly recommend Etsy as a source for interesting and unusual cases. I pulled out an actual can of Spam to compare with this handmade silicone case. The resemblance is not 100 percent accurate (the picture on the front of the real can is a Spam sandwich, not a Spam slice!), but it’s more than enough to get the gist across. There’s even nutritional information on the back!

    However, the shape bows out slightly at the sides, it doesn’t work with wireless charging, and there’s no cutout in the front to see the charging light. But for $17, who cares? This will make a great stocking stuffer for your Spam-loving significant other.

    Compatible with AirPods (1st and 2nd gen) and AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd gen)

  • Photograph: Zhaowenjian 

    The Nostalgic Case

    Zhaowenjian Cell Phone AirPods 2 Case

    I’m a sucker for anything that reminds me of my childhood, and this cute little purple cell phone does it. It makes me feel like I could have been Paris Hilton in another life, but don’t ask me why it says “Baby call” on it.

    It’s not much larger than the AirPods 2 case, so there’s not much bulk. A cutout on the bottom lets you charge the headphones without removing the case. (I have the Lightning charging case, not the wireless charging model, so I couldn’t test for that.) This case comes in two pieces—one for the top and one for the bottom—and the top stayed on no matter how hard I flicked the case open. The keychain with the matching purple fluff ball is an added bonus reminiscent of the dangly phone accessories that used to be so commonplace. However, the iridescent loop broke off almost immediately.

    Compatible with AirPods (1st and 2nd gen)

  • Photograph: FaFaAccessory

    Honorable Mentions

    Other Good AirPods Cases

    Not all cases we tested are winners, but we still like ’em enough to recommend them if you enjoy the style. We’ll continue testing more AirPods cases as we get them.

    FaFaAccessory Crochet Cat Airpods Case for $24: This crocheted cat case is the cutest I’ve seen so far, with a little fish bag looped around the shoulder and a bell on the collar. I like that the top and bottom pieces are connected, instead of being two separate pieces, however, the AirPods don’t fit snugly—there’s a bit of space at the bottom. The exact case and seller we got this from appear to no longer be active on Etsy, but we’ve linked to another one that looks identical. Compatible with AirPods (1st, 2nd, and 3rd gen) and AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd gen)

    Bluebonnet Leather AirPods Case for $40: If you’re after a leather case, we strongly recommend you go with the Mujjo or Nomad picks above. Bluebonnet’s case is a single piece, and while it’s made of top-grain leather, it doesn’t really feel all that exquisite. There’s a cutout for the LED light, and wireless charging works perfectly. The pictures on Bluebonnet’s site feel a little deceptive, though—when the case is open, a part of it lifts up out of the bottom section of the case, which doesn’t look right, and Bluebonnet doesn’t show this on its product page. Compatible with AirPods (1st and 2nd gen) and AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd gen)

  • Photograph: Jiunai

    Do Not Recommend

    Avoid These Cases

    Jiunai Pop-It AirPods 2 Case for $8: My hands are in constant need of activity, so naturally, I love a fidget toy to keep me occupied. I was really excited to try this case, hoping it would give my hands something to do other than open and close my AirPods 300 times in a row. Despite the positive Amazon reviews, it wasn’t fun or satisfying to push the bubbles. The top part doesn’t even stay on.

Brenda Stolyar writes about consumer technology for WIRED. She specializes in mobile devices, laptops, and desktop PCs.

Product Writer & Reviewer

Adrienne So is a senior associate reviews editor for WIRED, where she reviews consumer technology. She graduated from the University of Virginia with bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish, and she previously worked as a freelance writer for Cool Hunting, Paste, Slate, and other publications. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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