Whether it was Japanese company, Onkyo, that made the first earbud, or it was Apple who made the technology popular with its Airpod, the fact is that these wireless, almost invisible earphones have become mainstream, mostly because they eliminate the challenges that come with wired earphones which include tangled wires and the general issues with having thin wires come in contact with your body or even your jewellery constantly.
But earbuds are not without their own challenges. Chief among them is the ease with which they can be lost. Their cases, which double as chargers is a good storage option, but what happens when they are in your ear and they fall off while you’re active, an issue that has been known to happen?
This particular problem is in part responsible for the rise of Airpod jewellery that effectively merges function with style. If you’re constantly worried that your Airpods will fall off while you’re running or moving about, then you should absolutely check out these very chic pieces that are aesthetically pleasing as they are useful.
“I was losing my AirPods constantly, especially during the early days of quarantine,” says Delfina Delettrez whose own practical gems were an instant hit. The fourth-generation Fendi has been at the helm of her namesake jewellery brand for over a decade and was recently enlisted by Fendi’s new creative director, Kim Jones, to oversee jewellery at the house.
Her Airpod jewellery comes in two forms: the Pearl Sonic gold chain Airpod earrings, and the Pearl Sonic gold chain necklace.
For architect Ayça Özbank Taşkan, functionality is at the heart of the Pod Cuff Ear Cuff design. With a chain and a rubber grip inside the holding ring ensuring the AirPod stays firmly in place, you won’t be worrying about it slipping out with this sterling silver accessory. Worn with or without AirPods, with the chain dangling or loose, it will make for an elegant ear adornment and is perfect for people without piercings who would not mind a bit of jewellery on their ears.
Kenya-based fashion tech accessory brand Sawa Life works with female artisans in Kibera to create charging bracelets, Airpod neckstraps and charging cords from upcycled beads and repurposed magazines. The resulting pieces are colourful and fun – this necklace in bold hues will appeal to those who prefer their earphones with wires.
Last year, Louis Vuitton released its Nanogram Earphone earrings. Another Airpod jewellery perfect for those without piercings, the dangling, gold-encrusted, monogrammed accessories act as a cuff for your Airpods, keeping them in place while they adorn your ears like normal earrings.
Jules Kim, the designer behind Bijules, has created a collection of AirPod jewellery meant to be stacked or worn simply to secure the AirPod in place. Classic hoops, dangling pearls or sculpted swirls of gold created from recycled jewellery are an easy way to embellish ubiquitous tech.
Danish designer Vibe Harsløf creates AirPod jewellery in sterling silver – with or without 18 karat gold-plating – which are designed to neatly cover up your AirPods. Extra embellishments such as freshwater pearls, dangling golden links or handy chains will add a cheerful edge to a day plugged in to Zoom.
“Personally, I believe the most successful pieces of design are those that combine form, function and aesthetics,” says Suhani Parekh, creative director of jewellery brand, Misho. A background of working with sculpture is evident in her jewellery designs which build on simple foundations – an interrupted hoop here, a thickly knitted chain there. And now: AirPod jewellery.