Satechi USB-C Wireless Charging Dock For AirPods Pro REVIEW | MacSources
Outstanding must-have for all AirPod owners
I am a big AirPods Pro fan, but I am not a big fan of digging out a lighting cable to charge them up. In fact, I think I have used a cable once to charge them. I have been loving the wireless charging option to keep them powered up. I have a charging dock on my desk that works great when I’m stationary in my office, but what about those times that I’m on the go? This is where the Satechi USB-C Wireless Charging Dock for AirPods comes into play. It’s a super-portable wireless charging pad designed specifically for the Apple AirPods Pro.
The USB-C Wireless Charging Dock for AirPods provides power to your AirPods (with compatible charging case) with ease. It’s compatible with the Apple AirPods Pro and AirPods with a wireless charging case. The dock features a direct USB-C connection so that you can recharge your AirPods when connected to a powered Type-C device like an Apple MacBook series computer. With the wireless charger, you can cut the cables and keep your workspace clutter-free. The dock will indicate it’s connected to a suitable power source when its LED indicator is illuminated. The dock was designed to complement the Apple computer design with a sleek aluminum finish. It’s ideal for remote work with its compact size and modern design.
The USB-C Wireless Charging Dock for AirPods comes in a pretty standard retail package from Satechi. It features Satechi’s brand colors — white, grey, and orange — and includes an image of the product on the front and the back of the box. The back of the box also includes a few details of the product including compatibility and a description of the USB connector type. Inside the box, you will find the dock housed inside a plastic mold along with a user manual. It surprised me to find so much packaging for such a small product. Even though the user manual is formatted in such a way that it needs a longer package, I would have rather seen a package that has a far smaller environmental impact. The user manual could have been changed to be a smaller size so that the packaging wasn’t so large.
Upon taking the charger out of its package, I took a close look at it. Made from Space Gray aluminum and gloss white plastic, it looks like something Apple would have made and sold in the Apple Store. Satechi does a first-rate job with its product designs and I’ve always appreciated how well the match Apple products. I did notice that the top of the charging pad gets scratched up fairly easily. This isn’t a deal-breaker for me, but it was noticeable. It’s designed perfectly for the AirPods Pro. The charging pad has a raised lip around the border so that the case of the AirPods doesn’t slip off while charging. The AirPods sit on the charging pad evenly and so that they maintain a wireless connection and complete their charging session.
To test the charging rate of the USB-C Wireless Charging Dock, I connected it to my iPad Pro (2020). I made sure to discharge the existing battery from the AirPods before connecting them to the charger. At the beginning of the charging session the Case has 72% charge while the AirPods had 1% (R) and 40% (L) charges. After 10 minutes, I checked the charging progress and discovered that the charging case was at 67% and the AirPods had gained 12–13% battery life. At first, I thought this was a bit strange, but realized that the charging pad will charge the AirPods inside the case first and then charge the case. I also noticed that after a few moments the orange LED on the charging case turned off. This is normal. The AirPods Pro charging case will turn on its charging indicator LED when it first starts charging, but it will turn off after about 30 seconds. If you want to see if the case is still charging, simply double-tap on top of the LED and it will light back up.
In order to get a fair assessment of how well this charging pad was charging the case, I took the AirPods out of the case and set them aside. Then I placed the case back on the charging pad. After 10 minutes, it only gained 1% battery. The main reason for this slower charge is that you are only receiving a 5W charge. By comparison, I looked back at a review we did a few months back about a Wireless Charger from X-Doria. This charger had a wireless charging pad for the phone and also for the AirPods. It is powered externally by a power adapter and not pulling power from a connected device — as is the case with the USB-C Wireless Charging Dock. After an additional 25 minutes, the case only gained 4% battery for a charging rate of 0.16% per minute, which is almost exactly half of the charging rate I experienced with the X-Doria charger, which featured 10W of charging.
After an extended period of charging time, I thought I might detect some sort of heat collection, but I was surprised to find out that it wasn’t even warm to the touch. I did pull out my infrared thermometer just to check what the surface temperature was and it was less than 90 degrees.
When it comes to cable clutter I am always finding ways to make an out of sight out of mind office. Same for when I am on the go. When I visit a conference and have to pile up on cables and hubs to power all my devices overnight I always leave feeling like I left something behind. Knowing my AirPods will be charged and safely hooked to my MacBook Pro overnight, I have much better peace of mind knowing that they will not only be ready when I get up, but I also know that there aren’t piles of cables to clean up.
Satechi has been on a roll with designing wonderful products made for Apple products. Not long ago I reviewed their Magnetic Charging Dock for Apple Watch. It’s similar to what they did for the AirPods and it does it well. Products like these stand out to me and I hope others will appreciate the design detail and the great functionality these styles of products give you.
Originally published at https://macsources.com on June 29, 2020.