Use an Apple TV remote case with an AirTag holder to track down your remote with ease.
Updated July 31, 2023 2:00 p.m. PT
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Eli BlumenthalSenior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise5G, mobile networks, wireless carriers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, streaming platforms, mobile and console gaming,
I hate remotes for one simple reason -- they get lost, in the sheets, on the sofa, anywhere and everywhere. But there is a way to make them more likable. Thankfully, there are Apple TV remote cases with a spot built in for an AirTag, so that you don't have to worry about losing the remote ever again. We'll go over some of the best Apple TV remote cases for AirTags in this article.
The newest Apple TV remote is as perfect as it can be, with dedicated buttons and touch controls integrated nicely together. It's also slightly bigger than previous generations, making it easier to hold and use without accidentally pressing things you didn't mean to. However, there still isn't a way to easily locate it if it goes missing in another room or in the couch.
Remotes get lost all the time -- no matter the size. Products like the Roku Remote Pro make it easy for you to find them again. Apple's AirTag technology opened up tons of new possibilities when it comes to tracking down lost items. And though the new remote doesn't include a built-in U1 chip to help you locate it, there's an easy way to get the same benefit: Combine it with an AirTag.
Rather than just relying on a piece of tape, you can turn to a number of companies that've filled the hole Apple left open. They've created new Siri Remote cases that let you place an AirTag inside.
We've tested four different options, for people who never want to lose their remote again.
What you'll need
An Apple TV Siri remote.
The Find My app on an iPhone, ideally an iPhone 11 or later so you can use Apple's "precision finding feature" that points you exactly where to go.
Note: None of these cases came with an AirTag, so you'll want to add $29 for that, on top of whichever case you buy for your $59 remote.
If you search for an Apple TV AirTags case on Amazon there are a number of very similar options, but few from any recognizable case brands. One exception we've found is Elago's solution called the R5 Locator Case. The $17 accessory is a bit thicker than some other options, with the AirTag fully concealed in rubber as opposed to poking through a cutout on the back.
The rubber case covers nearly the entire body of the remote with the exception of the IR blaster at the top and Lightning port on the bottom. A wrist strap came preattached too, which was a nice touch.
While bulkier than some other solutions, Elago's option felt more premium. The AirTag fits snugly inside the recessed circle cutout (but you may want to use two fingers to push it into that hole). Adding the Siri Remote on top was a breeze, and we were able to locate the combo quickly with the Find My app on an iPhone 12 Pro Max.
It was also easy to take out the remote and AirTag, which will be useful for replacing the latter's user-replaceable battery.
The only difference between this and Abby's is that this one is significantly cheaper, comes in more color options and that it came with a surprise Lightning cable (though I'd be wary of using it for charging iPhones as I doubt it is certified in Apple's MFI program).
If you're looking for a design like this, this cheaper option appears to be best.
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For DIY fans: 3D printed case (price varies)
Our fourth case comes from CNET's senior managing editor -- and 3D printing enthusiast -- Dan Ackerman. If you already have a 3D printer and spool, this could be the easiest and cheapest option with CAD files available online for you to assemble one yourself.
Ackerman says that the process didn't take him "too long, because I didn't change the design I found online, I just sliced and optimized it in a 3D program." He adds that all told it was "maybe an hour for all the research and setup, two and a half hours to print."
As with all 3D printing jobs, your mileage will vary on how many tries it will take to get this right. For our test, Ackerman says that the first print worked OK, though he didn't have a remote on hand when he did the print. In using it, I found the case definitely feels more rigid than the rubber options and was a bit harder to insert and remove both the AirTag and remote. You may need some trial and error to get a more suitable fit.
It may not be the most polished solution out the gate, but for those looking to DIY a fix, it can work.