As soon as AirPods Pro (2nd generation) launched, I ordered them. I got them into the shipping queue so fast, in fact, I skipped any option that looked like it might take extra time or add expense. That included “Personalize them for free,” which would have done neither.
Apple has been letting users monogram AirPods cases with letters and numbers since 2019. It added emojis the following year. Now you can even choose your own Memoji via the Apple Store app.
What I didn’t realize at the time is that whatever you have etched on the case shows up on your devices wherever your earbuds are indicated, like when you pair them. Now I wish I’d monogrammed mine because it’s so much easier to identify your own personal AirPods.