Whoever makes the first AirPods strap is going to get rich

Whoever makes the first AirPods strap is going to get rich. Or, in Apple’s case, even richer.

The concept is simple. All it needs to be is a neoprene Croakie (think ’80s sunglasses) with a small hole in the tube into which you slide your AirPods, so the AirPods’ beamforming microphones can be exposed. The strap goes around your neck as it would with tethered Bluetooth earphones and, voila, there goes any concern over lost AirPods.

Perhaps Apple’s thinking they’re leaving this avenue open to third-parties, but, hey, that’s never stopped them before.

That Apple doesn’t have this ready to ship right alongside their AirPods feels like a missed opportunity to us. US$19 for 20-cent pieces of sewed colored neoprene (or simple colored straps with rubber loops at each end) seems like a no-brainer business opportunity to us. Think Apple Watch Bands, but for potentially millions more devices (we expect AirPods would outsell Apple Watches).

Imagine the straps below holding AirPods instead of sunglasses:

Here’s a Croakie:

Here’s a Chums:

Or something like this (Chums Slip Fit 3mm Rope Eyewear Retainer):

Or, maybe the best yet (ONME Universal Fit Rope Eyewear Retainer):

Once you’ve got your AirPods strapped together, they’ll be just like our current JayBirds – just let ’em hang around your neck when you’re not using them or if one falls out it won’t get dropped, stepped on, lost, etc.


Jaybird – Freedom F5 In-Ear Wireless Headphones

 

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31 Comments

  1. When I envision truly wireless earphones, I don’t imagine it connected to a strap like the Jaybirds or the ones that hang around your neck.

    Apple’s vision of their new AirPods are what I think of. Anyone who has ever watched a spy movie, 24, and even the show, ‘Fringe’ (when they had the alternate universe, will remember where they can listen into someone speaking to them and no one else the wiser. Now imagine that with earphones.

    While the new AirPods are not that yet, they are going in the right direction and someone has to try otherwise we’ll be stuck with what we have now.

    I’m sure Apple within a few years will learn how to make them even smaller and be able to fit into everyone’s ears.

    1. Minaturization is impressive, but I think the tradeoffs of wireless technology remain unattractive for most people.

      First, it is an impossible goal to make one or even a handful of earbuds that fit in everyone’s ears. It is undeniable that there are more choices of great-sounding and great-fitting phones with a cord than without. The fact that Apple releases $159 earrings with no silicone sizing sleeves shows that they aren’t in the ergonomics business, they are more than ever led by fashionistas pushing what Ive thinks is cool. Second, price is a huge hurdle. Perhaps the snobs who rush out to buy the latest Apple gizmos won’t miss the $159 from their pockets, but the average family isn’t there. Can you imagine the average household (<$54k income per year) justifying the expense of wireless earbuds when equivalent quality analog ones with wires are $20? Finally, logistics is just not on Apple's side. Airpod loss and charging is a complication nobody likes. Good on Apple for offering a glamorous new product, but I don't think it'll sell much better than the gold Apple Watch.

  2. So it can’t cover the end tips unless you don’t care about losing the microphone, also you won’t be able to store it in the case, you’ll have with you so you’ll have to put in on/off every single time.

  3. I just use a tiny drop of Crazy Glue in each ear and it lasts the entire day or more. I am still trying to figure out how to charge them when they run low on power if they are glued in my ears.

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