Enjoy protection from the unexpected with the Event-proof Catalyst AirPods Pro Case.
Shields up! As a fan of Star Trek The Next Generation, I was always shocked that Captain Picard had to announce for someone to put up the shields. As a nerd, I know about the deflector shields, the low shields designed to prevent catastrophic hull breaches, and that shielding may limit scanning. However, without an always-on system, it is difficult to prepare for accidents/emergencies. This thought came back to me when I opened my AirPods Pro and my daughter accidentally knocked them off of my table onto my hardwood floor. I was aghast at the crash but pleased to find that there was no damage to either the earbuds or case. Pensively, I evaluated several protective cases for the AirPods Pro and landed on the Catalyst Waterproof and Drop-Proof case.
The Catalyst Waterproof and Drop Proof Case arrived in a quaint 2 13/16 inches wide by 3 1/4 inches tall by 1 3/16 inches thick hanging retail box. My eye was immediately drawn to the ribbed 1 11/16 inches wide by 1 5/16 inches tall image of the orange case on the cover. Providing both a tactile and visual appeal, the orange catalyst case starkly contrasted against the clean white background of the packaging. The catalyst name and logo were clearly visible along the top of the cover and “Waterproof & Drop Proof Premium AirPods Pro Case” was labeled along the bottom of the panel. You can find the catalyst ( www.catalystcase.com) email along the top panel, a carabiner how-to along the left panel, and some legalese/warranty information with UPC codes along the bottom panel. The right side panel, in pure catalyst flair, captured an oblique view of the case at the moment of impacting the ground. For anyone that has dropped their iPhone or another electronic device, this image may induce a touch of anxiety.
The reverse panel proved to be the most informative. Along the top left of the panel, catalyst provided an icon detailing the IP-67 Waterproof nature of the case (silicone sealing ribs), and a MIL-STD 810G drop rating icon (Military Grade Impact Protection). Along the middle, you will find a slightly raised, glossy, labeled-image of the waterproof case. I loved that the image showed the waterproof feature, the drop-proof feature, the charging port, and the carabiner clip. Trending with their style, Catalyst included additional information in several languages along the bottom of the panel. Unfortunately, you may need a magnifying glass to read the verbiage.
Returning to the top panel, I located and subsequently lifted the cardboard pull tab to access the product. I then removed the 1.16-ounce, 2 5/8-inches wide by 2 1/8-inches tall by 1-inch thick orange silicone case. Within the confines of the case, you will find a black carabiner, Catalyst sticker, and a multilingual instruction manual. Hilariously, my five-year-old daughter snatched the sticker and asked me to help her put on her tattoo. Even though she was a little saddened that it was a sticker, we decided to have a little fun with her 16-month-old sister, who stole the carabiner case and ran away with it. I traded her the cardboard box for the silicone case and inserted my AirPods Pro Case according to the 12-step instruction manual. The manual did a great job of walking me through the steps. I appreciated the use of the small water droplet icon with the negative slash through it, as it successfully detailed the lack of water resistance at those steps. By step eight, the icon changed from the negative slash icon to a positive checkmark, indicating the IP67 nature of the case. I did not like that the instruction manual had “Catalyst” etched onto the image because the actual case did not have this localizing feature. Based on the imaging, orient the carabiner toward the left and slide the AirPod Pro case into it that way.
The AirPods Pro case, when combined with the Catalyst Waterproof case, weighed a total of 3.13-ounces. The outer surface of the case, similar to the outer packaging, had a grippy, rubberized interconnected-hexagonal, textured feel. The back of the case had a slightly raised 1/4-inches diameter button, which matched perfectly with the pairing button on the back of the AirPods Pro Case. It is important to note that this case was designed specifically for the AirPods Pro and will not work with the original AirPods. If desired, you can purchase the Catalyst Case designed specifically for that device. To charge the AirPod Pro Case, you can place it directly onto a wireless charging pad or you can remove the lower black silicone plug. It is important to note that the case no longer maintains its waterproof nature with the USB-C charging port in the open position. To access the AirPods Pro, roll and subsequently fold the top silicone layer downward. With the silicone ribs rolled down, you can easily lift the lid of the AirPods Pro Case and then remove the AirPods Pro. As noted above, with the Catalyst case in the opened position, the case loses the waterproof status.
While completing this review, my Catalyst AirPods Pro case was stollen several times by my 16-month-old daughter. They fell from my kitchen table several times and she picked them up and walked around with them. I loved the ribbed, textured feel of the outer case and the quick easy access granted by the carabiner. The soft rubberized material protected the internal contents and I had no damage after 3–4 drop cycles. If I was going to design an AirPods Pro Case 2.0, I would add a locking carabiner, either with a twist lock or slide lock. While walking with my AirPods Pro clipped to my backpack, I found it far too easy to pinch the carabiner, slide it off, and to walk away with the device. If you are looking for an inexpensive, visually appealing method to protect against water damage and falls, the Catalyst case is right up your alley. Available in Fire Red, Navy Blue, and Stealth black, this sub $40 dollar device becomes a necessity.
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