AirPods wireless charging case vs wired – which charge fast?


What is the key difference – AirPods wireless charging case vs wired? The AirPods with Wired Charging Case have to be charged via a Lightning cable, the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case can be juiced up using wireless charging pads, such as Apple’s own MagSafe wireless charger and Mophie’s fabric charging mat. Which degrade battery life? Find details in AirPods wireless charging case vs wired comparison.

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What is the key difference – AirPods wireless charging case vs wired?


We’ve broken down every version of the AirPods you can currently pick up, from the standard $159 AirPods all the way to the ultra-premium $549 AirPods Max. Here’s a quick look at how they all stack up on price:

  • AirPods With wired Charging Case ($128 on offer, originally $159)
  • AirPods With Wireless Charging Case ($159, originally $199)
  • AirPods Pro ($219 on offer, originally $249)
  • AirPods Max ($549)

Charging option

The newest model (wireless charging) allows one to use (most) Qi chargers, meaning you don’t have to plug them in. Just set them on the Qi charging pad. Similar to how the iPhone 8 model and above has wireless charging capability.

The non wireless AirPods have a regular a charging case that need to be plugged in with a lighting connector to charge.

Charging time

Wireless charging will be noticeably slower than charging via Lightning — I regularly received a 3-4 percent increase in battery after 5 minutes of resting on my Mophie Wireless Charging Base, while a Lightning connection provided roughly double that. If you need a quick charge, you’d be better off using a standard Lightning Cable. I see wireless charging as more of a convenience for overnight or leisurely charging.

Battery life

The new Wireless Charging Case, like the original wired version, provides multiple charges for up to 24-hours of listening time. You may experience better battery life when compared to your existing case due to battery degradation of the original, but the two cases feature the same battery life rating when new.

Position of LED indicator

The LED light that displays different colors to show you the charge status or connection to your Bluetooth device status being on the front whereas in the previous models the LED light was inside the lid of the case. 


If you prefer the convenience of being able to charge your AirPods case by simply plopping them down on a mat, you might want to spring for the wireless charging model (especially since they’re frequently on sale for the same retail price as the wired version). 

Future charging option – AirPower

AirPower was an Apple-designed wireless charging mat capable of wirelessly charging an iPhone, Apple Watch, and a pair of AirPods simultaneously. Early renders of the mat indicated that the accessory would be tightly integrated with iOS, though it was unclear exactly how deep that integration would have been.

What is included in bundle price – AirPods wireless charging case vs wired

Apple AirPods (2nd-gen) with Wired Charging Case

This bundle includes a pair of Apple AirPods (2nd-gen) and a wired charging case. The case is charged with the Lightning connector, which is included. Like the earbuds in the other bundle, the AirPods offer up to 24 hours of listening time total or 18 hours of talk time. You get five hours per pod with a single charge and up to 19 additional hours with the charging case. They sync automatically with Apple devices, and they’re always ready to use. Normally $159, Staples is offering the AirPods with Wired Charging Case (MV7N2AM/A) for $129 with free shipping and delivery.

Apple AirPods (2nd-gen) with Wireless Charging Case

This bundle includes a pair of Apple AirPods (2nd-gen) and a wireless charging case. The case can be charged with a Qi-compatible charging mat or pad or with the Lightning connector (included). The AirPods offer up to 24 hours of listening time total or 18 hours of talk time. Each pod lasts for five hours with a single charge and stretches to the full 24 hours with the charging case. They seamlessly sync with Apple devices, including iPhone, Mac, and iPad. Normally $199, Staples is offering the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case (MRXJ2AM/A) for $159 with free shipping and delivery.

What are the similarities – AirPods wireless charging case vs wired?


The AirPods Max’s stainless steel design and plush ear cushions make for one of the most comfortable sets of headphones. The AirPods and AirPods Pro come with convenient charging cases, the AirPods Max include a strange (and often memed) carrying case that only covers up the ear cups while leaving the headband exposed.

Other feature

The standard AirPods are excellent, but there’s a reason that the AirPods Pro continue to sit at the top of our best true wireless earbuds list. These are some of the best-sounding buds you can buy and, more importantly, offer impressive active noise cancellation that makes it easy to block out the outside world when you need to.

As a nice bonus, the AirPods Pro also feature Spatial Audio support, which allows for immersive 360-degree sound in supported movies and shows.

The AirPods Pro differ from the standard AirPods in several key ways. They feature a more customizable (and arguably more attractive) design, with shorter stems and three swappable silicone ear tips. This gives them a more secure fit that’s also better for working out, especially since the AirPods Pro also carry an IPX4 rating for water resistance.

But the real reason to spring for the AirPods Pro is the active noise cancellation (ANC). Apple’s premium buds are just about the best when it comes to blocking unwanted background sounds, such as chatty bystanders and noisy vents. The AirPods Pro’s Transparency mode does a great job letting in outside sounds (such as nearby cars and trains) via the onboard microphones.

Apple’s high-end earbuds deliver slightly better sound, thanks to Adaptive EQ, which can automatically tune music to your ear shape in order to make your favorite tracks sound as clear and full as possible.

Alternate of AirPods wireless charging case vs wired

If you want a high-quality pair of ANC headphones without paying the AirPods Max’s exorbitant price, the $349 Sony WH-1000XM4 are an obvious choice. Our pick for the best over-ear headphones, these premium cans pump out high-resolution audio, deliver 30 hours of battery life and offer superb ANC — all for $200 less than the AirPods Max.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the AirPods Pro, the $199 Galaxy Buds Pro are well worth considering. These earbuds sound great and deliver solid ANC, plus an especially handy Ambient Noise mode that gives you more options than Apple’s Transparency mode does. The Buds Pro are a no-brainer if you’re on Android, though many of their software features can’t be accessed on iPhone.

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