Let’s say you own a great sounding, but expensive set of headphones, look at at the image accompanying this review and tell me which case you would prefer to carry them in. The one on the left?
Me, too! That’s the AirPods Max Shield Case, WaterField Designs’ case for Apple’s new AirPods Max over-the-ear headphones.
Generally, the US$550 over-the-ear headphones have gotten great reviews, but the Smart Case with which it ships has been met with — shall we say — less than stellar reviews. It’s been called the Apple Bra, the Apple Purse, the Apple Sleep Mask — and worse!
Apple says the Smart Case is designed to put “AirPods Max in an ultralow power state that helps to preserve battery charge when not in use.” Fair enough, but most folks seem to prefer a little less battery charge preserving if they can have a case that they want to hide from public view.
Enter the AirPods Max Shield Case, a classy solution from the folks at WaterField Designs. You may balk at having to fork out another $99 after paying $550 for the AirPods Max, but you’ll get a case that’s compact and custom-fitted to hold and protect AirPods Max with or without a Smart Case. Which means that, yep, you can still use the Smart Case, but stash it in the WaterField case to preserve your dignity.
Actually, you don’t really need Apple’s butt ugly case. A Magnetic Leather Butterfly in the AirPods Max Shield acts as a buffer between the ear cups and triggers the AirPods Max into low-power mode. However, when used in conjunction with the Apple Smart Case, the magnets lie flat.
Rugged materials, shock-absorbing foam, waterproof zippers, and a soft interior help protect the AirPods Max. A zip-around closure with dual zipper sliders allows for in-case charging.
The AirPods Max Shield sports a stretch mesh pocket with a leather closure utilizes negative interior space to fit a 5W to 20W Apple Power Adapter and charging and headphone cords. The open-topped, stretch mesh, rear pocket can hold an iPhone, and/or additional accessories, while an exterior zippered pocket keeps extra cords and other small accessories easily accessible.
The AirPods Max Shield has a top nylon loop that makes it easy to snatch it up and go. The loop can also hook onto a carabiner for attaching to a strap or stashing the case inside another bag.
The AirPods Max Shield is available in black ballistic nylon with full-grain leather in black, blue, or crimson; or tan waxed canvas with distressed, full-grain, chocolate leather. Or in “vegan friendly” Blue Forza (my choice), Green Forza, and Red ForzaIt measures 9.5 x 9 (at widest points) x 2.25 inches and weighs 14.5 ounces.