From what we’ve heard, there are many things to like about Apple’s new Airpods Max. The bundled “Smart Case” isn’t one of them. Yeah, you won’t be going anywhere with your new headphones in that utter disappointment of a container. Since it’s an Apple product, better alternatives for the case will likely come up soon enough. The Waterfield AirPods Max Shield Case is absolutely one of them.
An elegant-looking soft case, it gives you a stylish option for stashing Apple’s new ANC headphones – one that actually looks like it will deliver the proper protection. Whether you prioritize good looks or protective quality for the case you will keep your AirPods Max in, this thing should give any third-party case coming out a good run for its money.
The Waterfield AirPods Max Shield Case has an odd shape. It’s like a teardrop, but slightly rounded on top and flat at the bottom, which allows it to be set down on a flat surface and stood upright, while a reasonably-sized loop on top makes it easy to bring along all on its own (just hook it on a couple of fingers or something). A zipper that spans nearly the full edge of the case allows it to open a clamshell-style, so you get full access to arrange your headphones exactly the way you like. According to the outfit, the interior can accommodate both the Airpods Max on its own or while its housed inside the bundled Apple case, if ever you want to do that for any reason.
Inside, it accommodates the full headphones (with or without case), so every inch of the device is properly covered. Providing the necessary protection is closed-cell foam on both top and bottom layers, which should absorb the brunt of any impact it encounters while resisting compression for those times it sits underneath other gear in your suitcase or backpack. There’s also an absurdly soft plush lining that should eliminate the chances of giving your headphones any nicks or scratches during transport.
The Waterfield AirPods Max Shield Case has a magnetic leather element inside that separates the two earpieces, ensuring they have proper distance between them, as well as ensuring the headphones go into low power mode. In the empty space between the headband and the cans inside, they also threw in an interior pocket that’s designed to accommodate a charger, in case you want to plug in your headphones later.
Construction is full-grain leather for the shell, so this is quite the durable bag for holding your headphones, with the carry handle on top cut in nylon. No word on whether the leather shell is waterproof, although the zippers are all waterproof, so, we imagine, there’s some water-shedding protection for the main case as well. It also aims for a bit of versatility, with a zippered pocket out front for storing a few extra items and a mesh pocket in the back for stashing smaller, lighter stuff. Dimensions are 9.5 x 9 x 2.3 inches (width x height x depth).
The Waterfield AirPods Max Shield Case is available now in four colors, priced at $99.