Do you remember the fidget spinner fad that seemed to die just as quickly as it rose? Yeah, me too. Honestly, I never understood the appeal of fidget spinners, but I suppose they were useful if you often find yourself getting antsy or fidgety and need something to do with your fingers.
The ZenPod Pro from Air Vinyl Design is the followup sequel to the original ZenPod, which Lory Gil reviewed last year. Is this version for the AirPods Pro just as good? Let's find out.
Spinning round and round
ZenPod Pro Case for AirPods Pro
Bottom line: The ZenPod Pro is made from premium Napa leather with steel bearings. It turns your AirPods Pro charging case, with or without the earbuds inside, into a fidget spinner thanks to the aluminum spinning discs in the middle of the case. It has a slim profile but will keep your AirPods Pro protected from scratches and scuffs, and while it is form-fitting, it does have enough wiggle room to make removal easy.
- Made from premium Napa leather
- Slim profile easily fits in pocket
- Easy to get in and out of case
- Leather protects AirPods Pro case from wear and tear
- Adds a unique spin on AirPods Pro protection
- Hard to spin with one hand
- Balance feels slightly off
- Case covers up charging light
- Spinning disc gets hot when wireless charging
A typical leather case with a twist
ZenPod Pro Case for AirPods Pro: Features
Air Vinyl Design went with premium Napa leather for the ZenPod Pro, which feels soft to the touch while adding a nice bit of grip. It also has a relatively slim profile, so you'll barely notice it on (if it weren't for the fidget spinner part), and it's enough protection to keep your AirPods Pro case safe from scratches and scuffs from everyday use.
Getting your AirPods Pro in the ZenPod Pro is easy: just slip it in and close the top. The top half connects with the bottom half with a simple leather hinge, so the durability of this is questionable over time. But since the AirPods Pro case itself has a hinge, not much stress should be placed on this leather piece anyways. Unfortunately, there is no adhesive on the interior of the top half, so you're only relying on the ZenPod Pro's natural fit.
Even though the company claims that the ZenPod Pro is form-fitting, the fit feels a little loose. You can easily slide your AirPods Pro in and out of the bottom half, and opening the lid always seems to pull the bottom part up a bit. The company intentionally designed it this way, because the original ZenPod case was so snug that it was almost impossible to remove. So this is an improvement over the original.
In order for the ZenPod Pro to act as a fidget spinner toy, there are two spinning discs installed on the front and back of the case with high-precision steel bearings. These are pressed into a solid polycarbonate frame, so they don't touch the interior of the case. The spinners themselves are made with brushed and anodized aluminum, giving it a sleek and industrial aesthetic.
Due to the design of the AirPods Pro, it's a little hard to spin the ZenPod Pro case with one hand. You'll have to hold the case with your thumb and middle/ring finger and spin it with your index finger. But spinning it with one hand can feel a little clunky, and your spin won't be as fast if you just use two hands. While spinning, it feels like there is an off-center tilt, but this could be due to the width of the AirPods Pro.
The company has said that the ZenPod Pro is compatible with wireless charging, though it's impossible to tell if it is charging since the case covers up the charging LED. There is also a cutout on the bottom so you can charge it up via good old Lightning.
It's a fun novelty to keep you entertained for a while
ZenPod Pro Case for AirPods Pro: What I Like
While I was never a fan of the original fidget spinner trend, adding it to an AirPods Pro case is definitely something unique, and I applaud Air Vinyl Designs for that. I have a bad habit of biting my nails often (even without realizing sometimes), so having the ZenPod Pro handy has helped distract me. It's also great for those who just like to play around with their AirPods Pro case, such as opening and closing the lid, because adding a spinner means it's another way to fidget around with it.
Even though I did not have the original ZenPod case, I have been told that an early prototype of the original Air Vinyl Design case was so hard to remove that one would even need to use tools, like pliers, in order to pry off the case. With this in mind, the slightly loose and not-so-snug fit of the ZenPod Pro is nice, because you can easily get your AirPods Pro in and out of it if you want to clean it or change cases at some point.
And as a fan of leather, I like the Napa leather of the ZenPod Pro. It's soft to the touch and adds a nice layer of grip to the otherwise slippery AirPods Pro case. And unlike silicone cases, this does not attract dust and lint like no other.
Without the fidget spinner, it's just another leather case
ZenPod Pro Case for AirPods Pro: What I Don't Like
If this case didn't have the fidget spinner, it would just be another leather case — nothing special, honestly. I was not a fan of the fidget spinner trend, to begin with, but I wanted to give this one a try because it's something different, and it's fun to distract yourself with throughout the day. So unless you absolutely still love fidget spinners or just want something to fidget with, then this case could be something of interest to you.
While Air Vinyl Design says that the ZenPod Pro is compatible with wireless charging, it's almost impossible to tell if it's actually charging up or not. That's because the case covers up the charging LED indicator, which I find annoying. And if it is charging wirelessly, other users have reported that the spinning disc ends up feeling hotter than they'd like.
And if you ever need to reset your AirPods Pro, you won't be able to access the reset button on the back with the ZenPod Pro on. Of course, it's not hard to get the AirPods Pro out of the case, but it's another flaw, albeit a common one with a lot of other cases.
This sequel falls a bit short
ZenPod Pro Case for AirPods Pro: The Bottom Line
While I never got into the fidget spinner fad, I find fidget toys, in general, to be useful, and the ZenPod Pro case is a unique product. I like to fidget around with things to avoid some bad habits (like biting nails), so having the ZenPod Pro has been useful. The Napa leather is also soft and adds grip, and the loose fit means you can easily pop your AirPods Pro out of the case if need be, but it still offers good protection from everyday wear and tear. I just wish that it was easier to see if your AirPods Pro were charging wirelessly, and getting to the reset button was possible without taking the case off.
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