How to Not Lose Your AirPods
Keep track of Apple’s cool wireless earbuds with a few creative tricks
By Joanna Stern Updated Dec. 22, 2016 7:12 a.m. ET
Video: Hanging Onto Your AirPods
WSJ’s Joanna Stern offers some creative tips on how to keep track of Apple’s cool but easily lost wireless earbuds.
You’re going to totally love Apple’s AirPods—that is, if you don’t lose them before you even get them.
After wearing the tiny wireless earbuds for the last three months, I can confirm that fears of misplacing them have not been exaggerated. Mine have gone through the washing machine (they still work great!), I’ve left one behind at my colleague’s desk, and, yes, had to dig one up in the couch cushions. Luckily, I recovered each of them because they would have cost $69 a piece to replace!
It’s more than just a tiny miracle that I’m still holding on to them. Thanks to a few creative—and totally wacky—tricks I know where the little buggers are at all times.
Tip 1: AirPod Straps
Wait, a what? Yes, an elastic cord that connects the two little earpieces, just like regular Bluetooth headphones. Sure, it defeats the completely “wireless” purpose of these, but it also can be helpful in situations, like running or traveling, where you take one out and don’t have a free hand or another place to put it.
I tested two of the straps—well, as much as one can test pieces of rubber. I preferred the $10 Spigen AirPod Strap to the $13 AirEars Strap for its longer cord and more secure holders.
Tip 2: Lost-Item Trackers
Why didn’t Apple include a “Find My AirPods” feature that would allow you to see where your AirPods are on a map? Or an alarm that can sound when you can’t find them? The good news? You can create your own version of these missing features.
Affix a Bluetooth tracker, like the $25 Tile Mate, to the dental-floss-looking case with Velcro. Don’t attach it to the actual AirPod, unless you plan to make AirPod earrings a thing. In fact, this tip only works if you remember to place your AirPods back in the case after use.
Download the Tile app and pair it with your iPhone. The Tile doesn’t have GPS, but it will map where your AirPods were last in proximity to your phone. And when you hit the “Find” button in the app, the Tile device will sound its alarm.
I didn’t experience any Bluetooth interference issues with the AirPods and the Tile, but the Velcro should ensure there’s a gap between the two pieces.
Tip 3: Common Sense
All those rules Mom told you about not losing your lunchbox? They apply here. Every time you take them out, put them back in the case. Always put them in the same place—the same dish or pocket in a bag. Always look around to make sure you don’t leave them behind.
And one of the best ways to find a single AirPod that may have fallen some place? Turn the AirPod volume all the way up from your iPhone, then blare this alarm sound. If it’s anywhere near you, you’ll hear it. Mom would be proud.
In her weekly “You Got This” video series, Joanna offers quick mobile tips meant to be watched right on your phone. Watch more of her “You Got This” videos here.
Write to Joanna Stern at email@example.com