AirPods Max case: WaterField Shield hands-on

The controversial Smart Case for AirPods Max has arguably received more attention than the over-ear headphones themselves. The Smart Case has been criticized for not providing adequate protection for AirPods Max and for its awkward design. WaterField Designs is aiming to solve those 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 headphones case. It fully encloses the AirPods Max and is made from full-grain leather. On the front is a small zipper pouch where you can store cables and accessories, such as a Lightning cable or a 3.5mm audio cable. There’s also a back mesh pocket for more accessories, and another small pouch on the inside.

The Shield Case is available in four different colors: chocolate leather + waxed canvas, black leather + black ballistic, blue leather + black ballistic, and crimson leather + black ballistic. I chose the black leather case, and it’s quite gorgeous and the handmade touches are apparent.

The other colors do have quite a bit more “pop,” though:

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