How to Charge AirPods Without the Case

We separate the myths from the facts about how to charge AirPods without the case.

One of your worst fears has come to be, you’ve lost your AirPods case after attempting to “keep it safe” in myriad ways. Perhaps, you’re even getting ready to try out a few outlandish methods to track it down, like this New Yorker had to, to retrieve her fallen AirPod from the subway tracks!

Sadly, you still have AirPods to charge, going by the Apple rulebook, you can only charge them in the case. Desperate, you Google how to charge AirPods without the case and find a few “hacks” but aren’t sure if they’ll help or cause more damage.

Stop! Before you go and try out these “hacks”, stick around as we explore the biggest myths about charging AirPods without the case, the real solutions, and more! Let’s dive in!

How to Charge AirPods Without the Case: Common Myths Debunked

Unfortunately, at the moment, there is no safe, acceptable way to charge AirPods without a charging case. It’s understandable to think otherwise, though. After all, myths about charging AirPods without their case have been floating around on social media.

Take YouTube, for example. A quick search on the platform for “how to charge AirPods without case” reveals countless results, barring a few helpful ones (and it’s not easy to find the authentic videos from the clickbait ones).

In fact, at the time of writing this article, the second result is of a child with the very unhelpful tagline, “This video is a joke, don’t take seriously, please.”

With most of the online information on the subject being dubious, it should come as no surprise if you find yourself bombarded by rumors and myths about how to charge AirPods without a case.

What’s unfortunate is that many of these myths can be dangerous to your AirPods or even your health.

We understand the repercussions, which is why in the following sections, we’ll be going through each of the most fascinating (even absurd) myths we’ve encountered, carefully separating facts from myths.

Using a narrow pin charger to charge AirPods

Myth 1: A narrow pin charger to charge AirPods. (From: YouTube/Mgs Experiment)
Myth 1: A narrow pin charger to charge AirPods. (From: YouTube/Mgs Experiment)

The first myth we’re going to cover is a rather seductive one. Using a DIY charger alternative sounds smart, if you could pull it off, you’d certainly feel great. The reality is entirely different, though.

The myth

You can charge an AirPod using a DIY charger. One version of the story states that you can use a Nokia 1110’s narrow pin charger to charge each AirPod individually. A popular video on YouTube even shows a man rigging up a DIY USB charger for an apparently fake AirPod.

Myth explained

We live in a world where we feel safe using one micro-USB charger for a multitude of devices. So, it’s natural to assume that if you could fit a charger’s pin into the hole at the base of your AirPods’ tail, it will surely charge, right?

The answer is a resounding ‘No.’ Professionals tell us that you need to match the pin sizes of the charged object and the charger exactly, or you will permanently damage the device.

It’s not just about size, though. You’d also need to ensure that the makeshift charger you’re using has a power rating that aligns with your device.

Aside from the reasons mentioned above, using a DIY charger is not an appropriate alternative, primarily because battery chargers are quite complex:

”A battery charger consists of a rectifier circuit, power circuit, ripple monitoring, control circuit, regulator circuit, and fault detection circuit.” – Dr. Omar Salah Elsayed Atwa, Practical Power System and Protective Relays Commissioning.

Each of these parts is incredibly complex and specialized. Let’s consider the fault detection circuit – part of a battery’s Battery Management System (BMS), as an example.

These circuits use a variety of methods to work with established battery types. If the circuit fails to work, the BMS could fail, leading to overheating of the system or reduced battery health, among others.

Verdict

It is technically possible but NOT feasible.

Since Apple’s teams were able to make chargers for AirPods, we know it is possible to make a charger for an AirPod. The cost, level of knowledge required, and a pile of destroyed AirPods from test runs, however, make the DIY approach unfeasible.

In any case, chargers specifically made for entirely different products are not designed to cater to AirPods. There’s a reason the guy in this video is using a fake AirPod.

Using an app to charge AirPods

Myth 2: An app to charge AirPods. (From: YouTube/Birgit Mcclanahan)
Myth 2: An app to charge AirPods. (From: YouTube/Birgit Mcclanahan)

Millennials and older generations might fondly remember the download more RAM meme. The good news is that the meme is back, targeting AirPods’ battery charging this time. The bad news is that some people are taking it very seriously.

The myth

Using a specialized app, you can source charge from your smartphone to your AirPods.

If you’re curious, you can check out the myth “being applied” in this YouTube video or even the written instructions in this article but DO NOT follow these links provided as “advice.”

Myth explained

Wirelessly charging AirPods in some cases is possible. However, neither the earbuds nor the case can be charged through some dodgy app!

All the myth-spreaders here are trying to do is get malware on your devices by taking advantage of your gullibility.

That’s because, the only way to charge AirPods is via direct connection, specifically through the AirPods case.

Apple uses the Qi Standard to achieve wireless charging. This standard requires not only a specialized charging device but also a specialized charge receiver. You cannot charge just anything using this technology, and no app will “create” this technology on its own.

To properly wirelessly charge an AirPods 1st and 2nd generation case, you’ll need an AirPods Wireless Charging Case and a Qi-compatible charging mat. The standard AirPods Pro and AirPods 3rd gen cases, on the other hand, will wirelessly charge with a Qi-certified mat.

Verdict

False. The only ‘charge’ you are likely to get from this is a fraudulent one on your credit card.

In all likelihood, the apps are meant as a clever way to turn your phone into the developers’ personal cryptocurrency mining software. Any extra phone battery lost wouldn’t be going to your AirPods but possibly to a battery-intensive crypto mining hack.

Using the Macbook magnet to charge AirPods

Myth 3: Macbook magnet to charge AirPods. (From: Tiktok/@therussianoninstagram)
Myth 3: Macbook magnet to charge AirPods. (From: Tiktok/@therussianoninstagram)

Our last myth for you today is a bit of a new kid on the block that, admittedly, hasn’t spread very far yet. It’s pretty compelling, though, and we want to get the word out early.

The myth

A TikTok video shows us AirPods hanging on a Macbook, using the Macbook’s internal magnets to stay afloat. According to the TikToker, the magnets are charging the AirPods they hold afloat.

Myth explained

Magnets and electricity are intricately tied, so it feels like the magnets in Apple products might be able to charge other Apple products, in this case – AirPods. Plus, making such a claim is sure to generate views.

TikTokers using fake news to gain clout isn’t a new problem, with over 400,000 videos removed containing misleading info about the 2020 election and Covid-19 alone. TikTok is NOT a reliable source of information.

The truth is that magnets are not a source of energy, as they contain no energy of their own. Instead, they have a force in the form of magnetic fields. Only when wires are moved through magnetic fields in specific ways can electric currents be created. Just being hung in the air by a magnet won’t do it.

Verdict

False, but mostly harmless.

You won’t get any charge out of the magnets on your MacBook, but just hanging your AirPods on them should turn out fine. Since the MacBook magnets are weak, AirPods should not be damaged by them.

The magnets in this myth cannot be used for charging AirPods, but they do have an interesting usage.

Firstly, they help keep your MacBook closed when you aren’t using it.

Secondly, they tell your MacBook to go to sleep when it’s closed. Hilariously, this means that sometimes using these magnets can turn your MacBook off!

With all of our myths analyzed, let’s turn our heads to some frequently asked questions.

Can You Use a Different Case to Charge AirPods?

Yes, you can use a different case to charge your AirPods. As long as the AirPods are compatible with the case, they will still charge even without being paired to it.

That means you can temporarily use a friend’s case to charge your AirPods. Just make sure to only use charging cases made for the AirPods model you have.

For instance, you cannot use an AirPods Pro’s case if you’re using AirPods Gen 1-3 and vice versa. There’s also the issue of your iPhone not recognizing the AirPods if you try to connect them while they’re being charged in a different charging case.

It should go without saying that this is a temporary fix because you can’t possibly borrow your friend’s AirPods case constantly.

Conclusion

That’s it. Do the right thing and click “checkout” on a new, official AirPods case because that is the only thing that will effectively work.

We know it isn’t quite as satisfying as some of the other methods on this list about how to charge AirPods without the case. But, at least you no longer have to be stuck with a pair of AirPods waiting to die on you and a bunch of rumors masquerading as “quick fixes.”

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