So you received the gift of AirPods — or decided to splurge on a pair for yourself. It can be pretty frustrating to discover that those pricey earbuds don’t fit particularly well in your ears. And to realize that when you take them out, there’s no place to put them while you chat up the CrossFit coach. And what’s with that crazy slippery case? Sounds like Apple’s ‘buds could use an assist.
AirPods accessories to the rescue! As I noted in my roundup of, the Apple Store is not the place to buy them — not if you want greater selection and lower prices.
This story was originally going to focus on a smattering of individual products — cases, ear hooks and the like — but then I discovered a single kit that has pretty much everything an AirPods owner might need — all for $8.
Here’s what you get:
- A silicone case-cover in your choice of colors
- A carabiner for hooking that case to your belt, backpack or whatever
- Two sets of straps so your AirPods can dangle from your neck
- Two sets of ear hooks to improve fit
- Two sets of watch-band holders
- A zippered carrying case to hold everything
All this for seven measly bucks. I’m not sure why the bundle includes two of certain things, but I won’t complain about having extras.
I was mostly in it for the silicone cover, because I was tired of losing my grip on Apple’s slippery AirPods case. That cover adds some bulk, though, so the carabiner clip is a nice perk: I no longer have to keep the case in my pocket.
I immediately fell in love with the straps, which let the AirPods dangle from around my neck when I want to take them out. (There’s some added safety there as well; once, while running, I swatted at a bug near my ear and sent an AirPod flying. It almost landed in a puddle.)
The watch-band holder was something I didn’t even know existed. But for those times when it’s not convenient to keep the case with you or use the neck strap, it’s actually quite handy to be able to “dock” the AirPods on your wrist. These holders tend to slide around a bit, at least on my Apple Watch silicone band, but they should work with any kind of watch and band.
The ear hooks might be helpful for folks who have a hard time getting AirPods to stay put. (Luckily, for me they fit perfectly au-naturel.) However, they’re kind of a pain to install, and you can’t charge the AirPods without taking them off again. Plus, they really don’t do much to improve noise isolation; for that I’d look to something like themy colleague Jason Hiner tried recently. They’re virtually identical to what you’re getting here (and therefore way overpriced at $15), but with the addition of in-ear tips that definitely do improve noise isolation and bass.
Finally, the zippered carrying case is a nice little extra for keeping all this stuff together.
You can easily find all these items for sale separately, and certainly there are even more colors and styles available if you just want an AirPods-case case. But I think this is $7 very well spent, even if you use only a couple of the items in the kit.
Note: Originally published earlier this year. Updated to reflect new sale prices and/or availability.
CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our Twitter!. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and