When the AirPods 2 were released, many people who already had the first generation AirPods were curious if they could still use their old charging case. After all, AirPods are incredibly easy to lose, so maybe you can mix-and-match parts from one generation to the next?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Read on to find out why.
The Differences Between AirPods 1st Gen and 2nd Gen
There are several key differences between the first and second generations of AirPods. The most obvious one is that the new AirPods have a longer battery life; Apple claims that they will last for up to 5 hours of listening time, compared to the 3 hours offered by the original version.
Another key difference is that the new versions are powered by the H1 chip, while the older ones used the W1 chip. The H1 chip offers several advantages over the W1 chip, including a faster connection time, better battery management, and support for hands-free “Hey Siri” voice commands.
Finally, the 2nd gen AirPods also come with a new wireless charging case. This case can be bought separately and used with the 1st gen AirPods, but the reverse is not true — the 1st gen case cannot be used to wirelessly charge the 2nd gen earbuds.
So What Does This Mean for Charging?
The bottom line is that it is safe to charge your 2nd generation AirPods in your old 1st generation case. You’d think that the H1 chip uses more power than the W1 chip, then charging your earbuds in an incompatible case could damage them or shorten their lifespan, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
You can also charge 1st generation AirPods in the 2nd generation case. The parts are largely interchangeable.
If you want to sync these specific Airpods with the new case, regardless of generation, you’ll need to place them inside and then reset the case. Simply placing the AirPod in the case will not pair it with the new case.
Can You Charge AirPods With Someone Else’s Case?
Yes, it is safe to charge AirPods with another case, even another person’s case. The AirPod headphone units will charge but they won’t de-sync from your phone or your original case. This is a totally acceptable behavior even if it isn’t super common and isn’t one Apple discusses. This is no different than using someone else’s Lighting cable to charger your phone!
Safe Or Not?
If you have recently upgraded to the new 2nd generation AirPods and are wondering whether you can still use your old 1st generation charging case, the answer is yes — it is compatible with the newer earbuds. This is a safe and useful hack in case you misplace your AirPods or their case.
Keep in mind and none of this will work with the Pro AirPods. They have a difference case and a different design.