I was sitting at a restaurant with Android Central Managing Editor, Daniel Bader, and he was fidgeting with a thing ... not a fidget spinner, just a thing. We joked that there should be more tech accessories designed for fidgeters, and out of thin air (not literally) popped ZenPod by Air Vinyl. It's a simple leather covered case for your AirPods with nothing particularly special about it, except that it has a small silver disc on either side specially designed for fidgeting. You're supposed to fiddle with it. That's it's intended purpose.
- Protective case
- Nice leather design
- Doubles as a fidget spinner
- No dedicated hole for the pairing button
ZenPod: The features
A case, is a case, is a case, right? It's a standard hardshell case that fits the AirPods charging case snuggly. It's wrapped in a pleasant looking stretched leather material, which comes in black or brown. Basic stuff.
But! There's this one clever little addition that really makes me smile. It's the two discs, one on the front and one on the back, that allow you to flip the case around and around and around for as long as you darn-well please. You don't have to worry about breaking the lid of your charging case because of flipping it open and closed all day. The spinning discs are set directly opposite each other so that you can place it between your fingers and spin it to your heart's content.
You spin me right round
ZenPod: What I like
If not for the spinning discs, this would be just another ordinary case to me. It's the machined aluminum spinners that make this a big win in my book. According to Air Vinyl, there are two small ball bearings hidden behind the discs, so there's no added bulk or weight. The discs stick out from the case about a centimeter.
You can spin the case one-handed or two-handed, though I prefer two hands. The way the case is designed, it's easier to spin it with one hand by using your thumb and ring finger to hold the case while using your index finger to spin, but I would prefer to be able to use my thumb and middle finger to hold the case. That's no fault of ZenPod, though. It's the size of the AirPods.
Just a case
ZenPod: What I don't like
I'm a bit picky when it comes to AirPod cases. I think every case should have a port for the Lightning charger (of course) and a hole, or at least a soft spot, for the pairing button on the back of the AirPods. Without that second feature, to me, it's just another case in a sea of cases that you can get for cheap in bulk.
ZenPod doesn't have a hole or soft spot on the back to allow you to pair the AirPods without having to remove the case.
There is, I should mention, an Air Vinyl logo right where the pairing button is, and if you push really hard, you can trigger the pairing feature, but it wasn't designed with this intent.
It's actually the spinner feature that makes ZenPod more than just another case in a sea of cases.
The quality of the ZenPod case is solid. It's a nice hard shell case with a leather material outer lining. It fits the AirPod charging case perfectly (and the company has perfected the fit, so it's much easier to remove than earlier versions).
The spinner feature turns what would have otherwise just been a run-of-the-mill case into one of my favorite AirPods accessories.
You may not be looking for a case for your AirPods. You may not think fidget spinners are particularly neat. But, when you combine the two, you'll be like a kid in a candy store. You'll just want one because, why not.
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