Let’s do some simple math, shall we? Price to replace your current AirPods case with Apple’s wireless-charging case: $79. Price of Pitaka’s Air Pal extended-battery case, which also offers wireless charging: $63.20. That’s with promo code CNETAIRPAL. Kind of a no-brainer, wouldn’t you say?
There’s a Premium version that costs $20 more, but the only real difference is the carbon-fiber case. Honestly, I don’t think it looks particularly attractive; the cheaper, matching-white Essential model is the better pick.
The Air Pal is essentially a full-time dock for your existing AirPods case. It’s still a small enough total package to carry in your pocket, but there’s a belt-clip if you prefer an outside carry.
The internal 1,200-mAh battery can fully recharge the AirPods case twice, according to Pitaka, which effectively triples overall AirPods playtime. What’s more, you recharge the Air Pal itself either by laying it on a Qi charging pad or plugging a USB-C cord (included) into the bottom. If you go the latter route, take note that an AC adapter is not included.
That same cord also turns the Air Pal into an emergency charger for your iPhone, as it has a removable Lightning adapter.
So, yeah, this is a “pal” indeed, and definitely an excellent accessory for any AirPods owner who doesn’t have a wireless-charging case. For less than the price of Apple’s case, you also get an extended battery, belt clip and backup phone charger. I’m in for one.
Read more: The best AirPods accessories for 2019
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