Customize your AirPods to make them unique and easier to find!
Your glossy white AirPods are pretty sweet, but there's one potential problem: They look just like everyone else's glossy white AirPods. Between the entirely un-hip situation wherein you're wearing the same color AirPods as someone else (gasp!) and the far more legitimate concern that you might mix up your AirPods with another pair, it's not a bad idea to personalize your 'Pods.
Apple's wireless earbuds are tiny, expensive, glossy little things, so there's not a whole lot you can do to them, but here are some of the best personalization options both temporary and permanent!
Electrical tape is an easy, non-permanent solution for customizing your AirPods.
To pull off this customization, you're going to need a precision knife, a cutting surface, a ruler, and some electrical tape. I found that a 3/4" width roll of electrical tape is near-perfect for AirPods customization, because the width is very nearly equal to the circumference of the AirPod stem. In other words, you only have to make one cut per electrical tape stripe. Simply line up your ruler, slice off a strip of electrical tape, and carefully stick the strip to your AirPods' stems.
I had some black electrical tape lying around, so I decided to cut a few stripes for a black-on-white look for my AirPods. You can go for a repeating pattern or mix things up with a thick and thin look like mine. My colleague Rene Ritchie calls them PandaPods. If you're curious, yes, they still fit in the case.
Another (potentially cooler) idea is to get a pack of electrical tape in assorted colors and go retro with your AirPods.
Using the same method I detailed before, you'd just slice up some strips of electrical tape in Apple's six-color logo and position them evenly along the stems of your AirPods. I've been thinking about doing this one myself, but I need to think of some other uses for multicolor electrical tape first.
Keep in mind you don't have to go for the striped look. If you've got a steady hand or a vinyl cutter, you can custom-cut stars, zigzags, spots, etc.
If ever you decide to return to the plain glossy white look, you can remove the vinyl tape and wipe down your AirPods with a damp microfiber cloth. You can also read my guide to pick up some more tips on cleaning your AirPods and keeping them that way.
Slickwraps makes vinyl wraps for electronic devices and they recently started making wraps for AirPods.
As you can see in the video, the wraps don't fully cover your AirPods, but instead add a nice accent to the otherwise glossy white plainness.
With more than 40 options, you might face some paralysis of choice before settling into a pick. Then again, given they cost an incredibly affordable $15, you might find yourself picking out a couple designs to try out. Slickwraps is known for its "goo-free" removal feature, so swapping out wraps should be a fairly simple process.
ColorWare is a fairly well known company that specializes in customizing electronics with color.
The company recently announced it would start offering custom-color Apple AirPods starting at $300. With more than 50 color options and two finishes (gloss and matte), the possibilities are endless. If I were going this route, I'd definitely opt for the glossy jet black look.
ColorWare will also paint the AirPods case for $40. The $300 starting price is for a brand new pair of AirPods; you can also send in your current AirPods for a $160 custom paint job.
Having never really paid attention to ColorWare in the past, I wanted to learn more about the process of custom painting electronics. Here's how ColorWare says it goes about painting your gadgets:
Each ColorWare product is disassembled by hand from the original manufacturer. Once the product is disassembled, all parts are compartmentalized. Then the product is hand sprayed with a base coat. Once painted, It is baked at a low temperature to ensure the item dries thoroughly and evenly. Finally, the product is given an X2 coating that is also hand sprayed. This coating is a proprietary, scratch resistant, liquid plastic. The product is again baked, then polished and detailed and sent back to the production area for reassembly.
BlackPods says it will give your AirPods and your AirPods case that glossy jet black look. Unlike ColorWare's multiple color options, BlackPods starts and ends at jet black.
A new pair of AirPods sent from BlackPods will cost you $250. You can send in your own 'Pods for a custom paint job for $100.
It's worth noting this company doesn't have the proven track record that ColorWare has, so
How about you?
Do you foresee yourself customizing your AirPods? Have you already customized your AirPods? I want to hear all about it! Gimme a shout in the comments below or over on Twitter. I'll be sure to update the list if other awesome customization ideas come up!