It didn’t take long after the Apple AirPods (delayed) release for consumers to already find gripes. The most petty of those complained, “Why are they only in white!? Why not jet black or rose gold or space grey! We want options!” Apple has done what they do best: ignored them. On one hand, they’re totally right in doing so. On the other, what’s wrong with wanting your tech to match your own personal aesthetic? The little white buds in your ears are intended to be just as iconic as the old earbuds were in iPod advertising, so it’s doubtful that Apple will provide a rainbow anytime soon. But if we learned anything from high school economics class, where there is demand, there is supply. So who’s got the plasti-dip?
Apple products are notoriously difficult to paint. Whatever proprietary glossy plastic the company uses is totally vandal-proof, which is normally a good thing…unless you actually want to mark your products somehow. The toughest, most durable paints are no match for the shiny white plastic that comprises most Apple tech. Even this writer attempted to put a dot on one Apple earbud to know, at a glance, right from left. The industrial-strength paint marker rubbed off inside of 48 hours. This unreal level of stain-resistance is especially problematic for those with an individual flair who like to color-mod their devices. That’s where the professionals come in.
Shortly after the AirPods release, a Brooklyn-based “team of skilled artisans” snatched up a snappy URL and began offering BlackPods. These are presumably black-painted AirPods, although it’s hard to glean details when their website only offers low-res renders of the product. They appear to be a matte finish, and that’s your only option; if the company can do other colors, they’re not offering them at this time. The price? $249 (about a $90 premium over the original) or $99 if you send them your own pair.
Black not your color? The good folks at ColorWare will send you AirPods in one of 58 colors, and you can choose between matte or gloss finish. They’ll even do each earbud and the case all in different colors, if you so choose. At $339 ($140 and $40 extra for a painted charger/case, on top of the $159 cost) so at that point, you should just forgo black-on-black and go with someone that expresses your individuality a bit more. We’re currently trying to convince our CEO to buy these slick AirPods in iFixYouri colors for everyone in the office…
…and maybe a matte-green iMac for each desk. Got to represent the team colors, you know?
Yes, ColorWare does expert paint jobs for all kinds of consumer tech devices. They have a long history (it’s a family-owned business dating back to 2000) and, more importantly, a beautiful website. It’s easy to burn up your lunch break playing with the visualizer and drooling over color combinations for your future disposable-income purchases. What’s your favorite look? Take a screenshot and leave it in the comments below!
Because ColorWare and similar companies must disassemble the device to paint it, the warranty is obviously voided in full. ColorWare does provide their own separate warranty for painted devices, but in case something goes wrong with your AirPods or other painted Apple product, you can’t rely on AppleCare like you normally would. That’s where iFixYouri comes in. If you have a color-modded smartphone, computer, or camera and the screen breaks or battery dies or one of a million little things goes wrong with it, bring it to one of our 15 locations or use our mail-in service and the iFixYouri technicians will diagnose the problem (for free!) then repair it using high-quality parts and precision tools. And we’ll be sure to not scratch the finish.