Most AirPod owners can agree on a few things: They look dorky, sound great and the W1 chip helps them pair seamlessly with iPhones and iPads.
The $159 price could be lower, too, but the one thing most people seem to want is a black option. Enter BlackPods, a third-party company that will darken your glossy white AirPods for a fee.
BlackPods says it uses a three-phase “proprietary coating system” to produce a scratch-resistant pair of black-colored AirPods.
The company also says each pair is “hand-finished” and “subjected to a rigorous visual and quality inspection” by its Brooklyn-based team; the entire coating process takes three days.
The company offers two options to blacken your wireless earbuds. You can buy a new pair of coated AirPods from BlackPods for $249 or send your existing pair in for treatment for $99. Since AirPods cost $159 from Apple, that means you can save 9 bucks if you buy directly from BlackPods (shipping not included).
As with all aftermarket modifications, getting your AirPods decked out in black will void their warranty, which means Apple won’t service them if any issues arise later.
Another thing to be wary of is the actual coating. The company’s website doesn’t have any photos of the BlackPods — just a 3D render — which shows the some kind of matte-like finish and not glossy black as imagined by this concept artist.
Finally, there’s no way to know whether or not a black coating might affect the performance of the AirPods’ sensors. When Apple delayed the release of the white iPhone 4 in 2011, it said at the time it was because the switch from black to white initially resulted in unforeseen issues with the device’s sensors. AirPods are equipped with sensors to detect whether the device is placed in an ear, and there are tap controls, too. It’s unlikely sensors would suffer just because of a color change, but it’s something to keep in mind.