AirPods Max case: WaterField Shield hands-on

The controversial Smart Case for AirPods Max has undoubtedly received more attention than over-ear headphones. Smart Case has been criticized for not providing adequate protection for the AirPods Max and its awkward design. WaterField Designs aims to solve these problems with its new AirPods Max Shield. Read on for a closer look at the first third-party AirPods Max case.


On the surface, the WaterField Designs case for AirPods Max looks like a normal headphone case. Fully includes AirPods Max and is made of natural leather. On the front is a small zippered bag, where you can store cables and accessories, such as a Lightning cable or a 3.5 mm audio cable. There is also a back mesh pocket for more accessories and another small bag inside.

The Shield case is available in four different colors: chocolate leather + waxed cloth, black leather + black ballistics, blue leather + black ballistics and purple leather + black ballistics. I chose the black leather case and it is quite gorgeous, and the handmade touches are obvious.

But the other colors are a little more “pop”, however:

If I have one complaint about the AirPods Max Shield case from WaterField, it’s that it’s a little bigger than I’d like. This is not necessarily the fault of WaterField, but rather a problem of the AirPods Max design itself. Unlike other pairs of over-ear headphones, AirPods Max does not fold compactly.

This design choice from Apple inherently means that the cases must be large enough to fit the full size of the AirPods Max. Here are the dimensions of the case:

  • 9.50 ”(l) (widest point) x 2.25” (l) x 9 ”(h)
  • 24 cm (l) (widest point) x 6 cm (l) x 23 cm (h)

The Shield case has a “Magnetic Leather Butterfly” that will put AirPods Max in low power mode, such as the Apple Smart Case. Although, I’ve since learned that this isn’t as important for battery life as I initially thought it might be. WaterField also claims that if you position the zippers correctly, you can charge the AirPods Max while they are in the case.

Finally, the case is also designed so you can use it with your Apple Smart Case if you wish.

How will I use the AirPods Max Shield case?

For me, the WaterField shield case will be used to transport AirPods Max to and from different places. I don’t anticipate placing AirPods Max in the Shield Case every time I finish using the headphones, just as I don’t put them back in the Smart Case every time I finish.

Finally, the WaterField Designs Shield case provides ample protection when the AirPods Max is in my backpack, which is a crucial advantage over the Apple smart case. Stay tuned for a full review and a gift for AirPods Max Shied Case from 9to5Mac in January.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the AirPods Max Shield case on the WaterField website. The case costs $ 99, and orders placed today will be delivered in February, the company says. How do you like the AirPods Max Shield from WaterField Designs? Should Apple have included it? Tell us in the comments!

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