Do AirPods Need The Case To Work?

Apple Airpods is the default best earbuds for the iPhone. Unlike many other accessories (Apple Watch) Airpods are compatible with iOS and non-iOS devices. But the sound quality isn’t the same when paired with the latter. Plus, you would miss out on important Airpods features.

As we can expect from the Cupertino-based tech giant, Airpods can only be charged with a proprietary charger. The case has a battery performance of its own and can do more than just charging the Airpods. But you don’t have to take the case all the time when you go out and listen to music. As long as your Airpods are fully charged, and pre-paired to your smartphone, they would serve you well for 3-4 hours. 

However, if you have lost or misplaced the case there is a reason to worry. To find the answers to frequently asked questions like ‘How far can Airpods be from the charging case?’, ‘Why is the Airpods Charging case important?’, you would have to read this entire post. 

Why Do I need the AirPods Case?

Do AirPods Need the Case to Work?

No, you don’t need the case for the Airpods to Work. But that doesn’t mean that the case is not important. It can perform different functions apart from charging. More on that later. 

As long as your Airpods are fully charged, you can leave the case at home. However, you still need the case to pair the Airpods for the first time. 

All you have to do is to open the case and enable the Bluetooth connectivity on your iPhone. With a single tap, the case is smart enough to seamlessly pair with not only your iPhone but all the Apple devices having the same AppleID. 

If you have lost or misplaced the case, there is no other way to charge the Airpods. You would have to buy a new case, or if there are other users in your home, you can charge the Airpods with their case. 

Why Is Airpods Case Important:

Airpods can do more than just charging the earbuds or the first-time Bluetooth Pairing. It gives you important information about the Airpods via the status light you can find inside the case or on the front (depending on the Airpods Generation you are using.)

The case’s status light flashes different colors to inform you about the charging and connectivity issues of the Airpods. Green and amber colors are associated with battery-related information. For instance, solid amber and green indicate low and full charging respectively. 

The white color is associated with the pairing issues. Whereas, the flashing amber color indicates that the Airpods can’t connect to external devices and there is a need for human intervention. 

Other than that, Apple engraved Airpods serial number on the case. This number helps you extract important information regarding your device. For instance, by cross-checking this number on the website, you can identify whether your Airpods are fake or not. 

What AirPods Case Has To Offer:

Other than charging, the Airpods pro case can perform the following functions:


The little button on the back can reset Airpods, but users can also use it to force connect the Airpods to non-Apple devices. You can connect them to literally any Bluetooth-enabled device. You would have to press the button for a while until the little LED light starts pulsing white.

The pro users already know this trick. You can extend the battery performance of Airpods by using one of the earbuds at a time. Just keep one Airpod inside the case, and once you have used the single one for 4-5  hours, you can use the alternate pair for the next 3-4 hours. The transfer of audio is seamless. 

Also, if you want to quickly check the status of the Airpods battery life, just keep them inside the case and leave the lid open. As soon as you unlock your iPhone, a pop-up appears. You can check the battery life of both the Airpods and the case itself this way. 

The Airpods’s case can run Firmware updates in the background as long as it is connected to the iPhone, which in turn, should be connected to an internet connection. Keep in mind, you would have to make the device automatic updates capable for the case to perform this specific function. 

However, if you have turned off the automatic firmware updates, there is a way around it. You can use the Airpods case to force update the device. An update option would appear (in case there are any updates available) when you check the battery status of the Airpods on the  iPhone. 

How Far Can AirPods be Away from Case?

There is a widespread misconception that Airpods Case needs to be in the loop for the earbuds to stay connected. 

The sole purpose of the charging case is self-explanatory: to charge the Airpods. Additionally, the lights on the Case help you figure out the pairing and charging status.

Plus, there is a button on the back to reset the Airpods back to factory settings when it refuses to pair. Other than these, the case has no purpose to serve. 

As long as the Airpods are pre-paired to the iPhone or Android Device and have enough juice, they would work properly, no matter if they are heavens apart from the case. 

However, connected devices should be well within the Bluetooth range of the Airpods. In numbers, the max distance is 32 Feet

So you can safely move around at your place of work or inside your home even when the connected device is not with you all the time. 

You can occasionally leave your charging case at home when you are out for a Jog or hitting the GYM. 

However, if you are planning a long trip, make sure the case makes the top of your checklist as, without it, the Airpods would offer you only 3-5 hours of airtime.

Do AirPods Work if the Case is Dead?

The charging case is only to recharge the Airpods and serves as a backup. If your AirPods are fully charged, there is no need for the case to be around, dead or not.

 To put it simply, you can of course use the Airpods if the charging case is dead as long as they have some juice left. However, it won’t work for long. As soon as the battery is depleted you would need the case to charge the Airpods, there is no way around it. 

We hope this post has helped you find the fix for your problem. We have written other guides on the AirPods if you are interested.