Apple has yet to release its wireless charging AirPods case or AirPower itself, but that isn’t stopping third-party accessory makers from releasing their own take on the idea. The latest attempt to bring wireless charging to AirPods comes from East Brooklyn Labs, a small accessory maker based in New York.
Dubbed SliQ, this AirPods wireless charging case is available in white, black, pink, and blue. The case costs $25 and is available now. Read on for our full review.
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The SliQ AirPods case is made completely out of silicone and comes in two parts: a bottom sleeve and an upper sleeve for the lid of the AirPods case. Within the bottom part of the sleeve is a Lightning connector that enables Qi charging to actually give more power to the AirPods case itself.
On the front of the silicone case is a lightning bolt icon that indicates it’s the charging side of the case. This is the side you’ll place face-down on your Qi charger of choice. On the back is access to the pairing button on the AirPods case. There’s also a blue LED indicator that lights up when the SliQ is charging on the opposite side. The lightning bolt is a bit too pronounced in my opinion, but it does help you remember which side of the case houses the actual Qi charging coil.
Installation is pretty straightforward. Simply slide both parts of the silicone case on and ensure your AirPods case is connected properly to the Lightning port. From there, you can charge with any Qi-enabled wireless charger.
As far as the design goes, the SliQ is rather plain, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. I do, however, have a few qualms with the physical structure. While the bottom sleeve is snug and stays tight on the AirPods case itself, the top cover for the opening flap is rather loose and comes off pretty easily – especially the more you open and close the case.
One thing to note, though, is that the top cover doesn’t provide any of the charging functionality, just some added protection. This means you can use the SliQ with just the bottom part of the case, which is what I’ve found myself doing more often than not. Ideally, the SliQ would be a single piece of silicone that accounts for the hinge of the AirPods case, but sadly that’s not what it is.
As with most silicone products, the SliQ is also a dust and grime magnet, which is a notable downfall for an AirPods case that’s constantly being taken in and out of your pockets and backpack. As a parent to two black dogs, I don’t think the white SliQ was necessarily the best choice for me.
In terms of the actual charging functionality of the SliQ, everything works as you would expect. Charging time is comparable to Lightning performance and the LED indicator makes it clear when the AirPods case is charging. I tested SliQ with the Mophie Qi charging pad as well as the iOttie iON charging mat without issue.
SliQ isn’t the only solution for wirelessly charging your AirPods. Back in October, our own Jeff Benjamin reviewed Hyper’s take on an AirPods wireless charging solution, which is part of its HyperJuice line. Interestingly, however, the HyperJuice AirPods charger appears to no longer be for sale through Hyper’s website.
Ultimately, SliQ is a functional solution for adding wireless charging functionality to your AirPods case. It gets the job done for charging, but the silicone case design could definitely use some refinement.
For me, AirPods are the only Apple product for which I still have to use a Lightning cable (except for that pesky Apple TV remote every so often). With wireless charging on the iPhone and USB-C on the iPad Pro, Lightning has essentially become an antiquated technology in my life. While I’m eagerly awaiting Apple’s first-party wireless charging case, SliQ is an option to consider and one I will continue to use until then.