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A few months back, Satechi introduced its USB-C wireless charging dock for AirPods. After a few weeks of use, it’s time to offer up some thoughts on this unique add-on for Apple’s latest truly wireless earbuds. This $30 charger offers the benefit of USB-C connectivity, which can be leveraged alongside a wide range of devices, including MacBooks and iPad Pro. In theory, it’s a great idea. In practice? Head below to find out in the latest episode of Tested with 9to5Toys.
Satechi’s Charging Dock for AirPods offers on-the-go charging
In its simplest form, Satechi’s Charging Dock for AirPods offers wireless powerups for your earbuds wherever there is a USB-C port available. Satechi particularly markets that for users that depend on MacBooks and iPad Pros packing that type of connectivity.
The smallish rectangle plugs directly into an available USB-C port and offers a Qi charger underneath some white plastic. It’s roughly the size of an AirPods Pro case… surprise, surprise. If you’re familiar with Satechi’s other offerings, then you won’t be surprised to aluminum accents and all the usual visual cues that complement Apple devices.
Here’s a further spec overview from Satechi:
- Features a built-in wireless charger to power your AirPods at full speed – with an indicator light and grooved edges to help keep your AirPods in place
- Direct USB-C connection to eliminate messy cables and keep your desk setup clean and clutter-free
- Recharging your AirPods has never been easier. Simply connect to a powered Type-C port, place your AirPods on the dock, and its LED light will illuminate to indicate charging
Tested with 9to5Toys
In theory, I really love the idea of this product. There aren’t a lot of made for AirPods charging solutions out there, which is understandable, given that Apple’s earbuds charge on most Qi power solutions. However, marketing something as being so geared towards one product limits its viability in some regards.
There’s a lot to like about what Satechi is doing here. The build quality is stellar, and its simplistic design cuts right to the chase. No cables. No fuss. Simple to use.
In my testing, there was no noticeable difference between charging an AirPods Pro case between a regular Qi pad and this $30 alternative from Satechi. Everything functioned as one might assume, and it took about three hours to go from zero to fully powered up.
However, when putting Satechi’s AirPods charger to use, there are some obvious downfalls that crop up quickly. Being that the charger is directly connected to the port, with no cabling involved, you’re pretty limited in how and where it can be used. Not to mention, it must stay flat to function without your AirPods case sliding off. It works beautifully with a MacBook, but you’ll need to keep your iPad Pro flat if charging in that manner.
So who might find this product helpful? Frequent travelers for sure. But if you find yourself at home each night, it’s likely you have a suitable routine for charging up your AirPods case. The idea of the product is cool. It’s executed wonderfully. However, in practice, the use case window seems to be very small.
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