How to replace a lost AirPod or earbud

How to replace a lost AirPod or earbud



CNN
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They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and that’s unfortunately true of my Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds case that magically disappeared at the end of a leisurely stroll up and down the strip. After briefly lamenting the fact that I’d soon be dealing with dead earbuds, I quickly discovered that I could just purchase a replacement case on Amazon for $40, and I hit the buy button right away.

If you’ve encountered a similar situation with your AirPods, Jabra Elite buds or a handful of other top wireless earbuds, you may be able to do the same without spending $100 or more on an entirely new pair. Here’s how to purchase replacement and protective parts for some of the most popular earbuds out there, as well as some tips for tracking down your buds when they go missing.

Jacob Krol/CNN

Go directly through Apple

Find yourself dealing with an errant AirPod or a missing case? You have a few replacement options, including going through Apple’s support page directly. Unfortunately, you’ll need to pay a pretty decent price for replacement earbuds and cases, which aren’t covered by Apple’s AppleCare+ for Headphones plan.

AirPods Pro earbuds replacements cost $89 per bud, $99 for the wireless charging case and $4 for a single set of ear tips. For the standard AirPods, you’ll have to pay $69 per earbud, $59 for the basic charging case and $79 for a wireless charging case. This replacement service also applies to the Beats Studio Buds ($79 per earbud and for the charging case) and the PowerBeats Pro ($99 per earbud and for the charging case).

Buy first- and third-party replacements at retailers

You’ll pretty much have to go through Apple to replace an individual AirPod, save for a handful of eBay listings. However, many of these listings are for refurbished models that may have been worn by someone else, so keep that in mind if you decide to go that route. Fortunately, there are a few more options out there for replacing your case and eartips, both from Apple and third parties.

You can get Apple’s wireless charging case for the standard AirPods for $67 on Amazon right now. The AirPods Pro case isn’t sold on its own at most retailers, but there are a few decently well-reviewed third-party AirPods Pro cases out there (including this $37 model). Just note that we haven’t tested these and can’t vouch for their reliability.

  • AirPods Wireless Charging Case ($66.99, originally $79; amazon.com)
  • TBGHz AirPods Pro compatible case ($36.99; amazon.com)

Finding AirPods Pro ear tip replacements around the web is much easier, with lots of popular options out there, like this $12 set that gets you six total pairs, or this $25 black foam option that gives you a different look and feel from Apple’s tips.

  • Link Dream 12-piece AirPods Pro ear tips set ($11.99; amazon.com)
  • Comply Foam AirPods Pro Black ear tips ($24.99; amazon.com)

Mike Andronico/CNN

Not an AirPods user? We’ve found replacement parts for some of the most popular earbuds out there, including some of our picks for the best true wireless earbuds, though they’re unfortunately pretty few and far between. We’ve also included a few case cover options for your existing charging cases, which add features like extra ruggedness and keychain clips that can help keep them from going missing. Since we haven’t tried these options out, we’ve largely picked out some of the more popular and well-reviewed models on the web.

Replacement cases

  • Jabra Elite Active 75t charging case ($39.99; amazon.com)
  • Jabra Elite Active 65t charging case ($69.99; amazon.com)

Protective cases

  • Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy Buds 2/Pro/Live ($15.99, originally $24.99; amazon.com)
  • SaharaCase Silicone Case for Galaxy Buds 2/Pro/Live ($19.99; bestbuy.com)
  • Spigen Rugged Armor Designed for Jabra Elite 85t ($18.99; amazon.com)
  • SaharaCase for Beats Studio Buds ($24.99; bestbuy.com)
  • SaharaCase Silicone Grip Case for Bose QuietComfort Earbuds ($24.99; bestbuy.com)
  • Surbuid Cover Case for Sony WF-1000XM4 ($7.98; amazon.com)

Before you splurge on a new case or set of replacement buds, it’s worth trying to track down the ones you’ve lost. Fortunately, most top earbuds offer some sort of tracking functionality that allows you to pull up their general location on your phone. Here are a few of the options out there — note that all of them will require you to enable at least some degree of location tracking on your phone.

  • Apple: To track down your AirPods or Beats headphones, open the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. From there, select Devices from the bottom of the screen, and you’ll see a list of your paired devices complete with their most recently tracked location on a map, complete with the time that they were last pinged. This also works for select third-party earbuds that are Find My compatible, such as the Belkin Soundform Freedom.
  • Samsung: In order to track your Galaxy Buds, open the Galaxy Wearable app on your Android phone and select Find My Earbuds. You’ll then be prompted to install Samsung’s SmartThings app, which will show your buds’ last known location on a map. Note that the Galaxy Buds app for iOS also features Find My Earbuds functionality, but it’s limited to the Galaxy Buds+ and Galaxy Buds Live.
  • Jabra: Open the Jabra Sound+ app on your iOS or Android phone, and select Find My Jabra. You’ll then see a map of your earbuds’ last known location, as well as the time that they were last connected to your phone.
  • Bose: You can track your missing Bose earbuds (such as the QuietComfort or Bose Sport) using the Bose Connect app for iOS and Android.

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