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Now you can add USB-C to your AirPods case with this unofficial mod

Now you can fix your AirPods case and add USB-C with this unofficial kit
(Image credit: Ken Pillonel)

Not content with making the world's first USB-C iPhone and AirPods, one engineer has now created an unofficial repair kit for the AirPods charging case. Follow this guide, and you can kit your AirPods with a new battery and USB-C charging. But be warned: it will invalidate your warranty.

You'll also need to be pretty handy with a screwdriver, not to mention a 3D printer. That's because the first- and second-gen AirPods' case is so unrepairable that you have to break it open in order to access the insides. No wonder repair specialists iFixit gave both models a repairability rating of 0 out of 10.

That didn't deter robotics engineering student Ken Pillonel. Here's his video on how to repair the case.

He's billed it as a way of breathing new life into a device that's otherwise destined for the scrap heap. Pillonel's technique involves cracking open the case, swapping out the battery for a new one, then 3D printing a new part to replace the bit that you damaged. He's published the necessary 3D printing and circuit board files on his GitHub (opens in new tab). Pillonel doesn't sell a ready-made repair kit, but he hasn't ruled it out in future. Though if he did so, he might get a letter from Apple's lawyers.

Apple recently started a scheme allowing customers to repair their own devices. But as The Verge found out (opens in new tab), it's a suspiciously cumbersome and laborious process that Apple hasn't sought to make appealing. It also only applies to its iPhone and Mac computer ranges, not the AirPods. So if the case for your first- or second-gen AirPods is struggling and you're quite technically minded – and you don't mind invalidating any warranty that might remain – why not give it a go?

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Joe Svetlik
Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.