Can You Use 1st Gen AirPods With 2nd Gen Case?

02 Mar 2022
Can You Use 1st Gen AirPods With 2nd Gen Case

Can you use 1st Gen AirPods with a 2nd Gen case? If you’re without your AirPods case, you might be looking for an alternative.

The case is much more than a safe place to store AirPods. You need the case to recharge the AirPods. 

But what happens if you don’t have the case with you? How safe is it to use a different case for your AirPods? 

This article discusses whether you can use a different case for your AirPods.

Will Gen 1 AirPods Work in a Gen 2 Case?

Are AirPod cases interchangeable? No, they aren’t. But you can use 1st Gen AirPods in a 2nd Gen case. 

The Gen 1 and Gen 2 AirPods have the same dimensions. This is why the Gen 2 case should work with your Gen 1 AirPods.

Plus, the Gen 2 wireless case is essentially an upgrade for the Gen 1 and 2 wired cases. Since both Gen 1 and 2 come with wired cases, the wireless case is bought separately. 

But what if the Gen 1 AirPods won’t charge in a Gen 2 case? Since they should be compatible, you can try doing a factory reset.

can gen 1 airpods charge in gen 2 case

Here’s how to do a reset:

  • Place the AirPods in the case and close the lid.
  • Wait about 30-seconds and open the lid again.
  • Leave the AirPods inside the case.
  • On your phone, unpair the AirPods. 
  • Go to your Bluetooth settings and tap the info icon beside the AirPods’ name.
  • Tap “Forget Device”.
  • With the AirPods still inside the open case, press and hold the button on the case.
  • When the light blinks amber, release the button.
  • When the link flashes white, you can repair it to your device. 

Please be aware that the reset will unpair the AirPods from all devices. 

Gen 1 and 2 Case Comparisons

Gen1 vs Gen 2 Case

How to tell the difference between AirPods 1 and 2 cases? This depends on the type of Gen 2 case that we’re comparing. 

Gen 2 AirPods either have a wired or a wireless charging case. 

If it’s a wired charging case, then Gen 2 case is identical to the Gen 1 case. It’s not as easy as comparing the AirPod pro case vs the AirPod case

The only way to tell the Gen 1 and 2 cases apart would be the serial number under the lid.

If the Gen 2 case is wireless, there is one way to tell the difference. Wired cases have the status light inside, while wireless cases have it on the outside. 

The status light is the only visible indicator. This is because both wired Gen 1 and wireless Gen 2 cases have lightning charging ports.

Wired or Wireless Case: Which is Better?

can you charge 2nd gen airpods in 1st gen case

Charging and Usage Time

So, which case is better? When comparing the wired case to the wireless, that depends on your preferences.

The charging and usage time are the same for both cases. They take an hour to charge and have 24-hours of extra usage time.

That means they have about 4 recharges for your AirPods.


When it comes to convenience, the option is easy. Wireless cases are more convenient than wired cases.

Being wireless means you don’t have to plug in and then unplug the charger. And yet, they have a lightning charging port too. 

This would give you both charging options. 


The only downside of the wireless case is the price. The 2nd Gen wireless case is more than the wired case. 

The price difference is a given because of the wireless capability. It’s up to you to decide if you’ll opt for the more expensive case. 

Upgrading to a 2nd Gen Wireless Case

Do AirPods work without the case? If you mean, “can they connect to your device?”, then yes. AirPods can connect to your device without the case – as long they’re already paired to the device.

You can connect by going to the Bluetooth Setting on your device. 

But, if the AirPods’ battery is dead, you’ll need the case to recharge them. The case is a power bank for the AirPods. It’s also the only way to charge them.

Can you charge your AirPods in someone else's case? Yes, you can charge them in someone else’s case. But the case needs to be the same model as your AirPods. 

The only exception is Gen 1 and Gen 2 cases, as explained above.  

As long as the AirPods are compatible with the case, you can charge them. Be sure that the case you use isn’t a fake. This could damage your AirPods.

What does a real AirPod case look like? The main factor is color.  Original AirPod cases are always white. If the case isn’t white, it’s fake. 

can you put gen 1 airpods in gen 2 case

Yes, the white can get a bit boring. But don’t get a fake case only because it’s a color change. If you’re tired of the white, get an AirPod case cover. 

Case covers have many designs and colors. You can match them with a Custom phone case, and they don’t interfere with charging. 

Fake cases tend to be bigger too. Some fake cases will even have a blue status light. That’s a sure indicator that it’s not a real AirPods case.

The Verdict

Do AirPods need a case?  They do, and if you need a case, you can use someone else’s.

You can use 1st Gen AirPods with a 2nd Gen case (both wired and wireless will work).

For other AirPods, you need to use a case that is the same model. This ensures compatibility.

Be careful when using someone else’s case to charge AirPods. Compatibility isn’t the only problem you could face. 

Make sure you trust the person whose case you’re using. You don’t want to accidentally use a fake case as it can damage your AirPods.

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