WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case Review: It Makes Me Feel Less Anxious About My $549 Investment

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The Lowdown

I look at the WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case as an investment that will protect your investment, and I would advise anyone who has already spent $549 on the AirPods Max to consider this WaterField case.

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • I love my Vegan-friendly Black Ballistic — it’s $10 cheaper than the leather versions, but carries the same functionality
  • Withstands the rain and protects the AirPods Max from drops
  • Attention to detail from stitching to the inner material sets a high bar
  • Magnetic Leather Butterfly clasp for “Low power mode”

Cons

  • Even though you get what you pay for, there are cheaper, less feature-friendly options on Amazon
  • Currently hard to get a hold of — the next shipping date is March 12th

Okay, now before you all immediately start discussing price, let me say this: the AirPods Max are absolutely expensive and the only reason you should get them if you truly want them. This review is not here to praise or condemn them, but instead to tell you about one of the few products that actually made them worth my $549 — the WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case.

WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case

WaterField has made the one accessory that should’ve come with a pair of headphones that cost over $500. They designed a product that, even at its price, you’d expect the Cupertino brand to say, “you know, how about we give people something to protect their investment instead of essentially a hand purse. Apple didn’t do that, but WaterField’s solution has exceeded my expectations.

WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case

Initially, I wanted the WaterField AirPods Max case in Rustic Brown because I’m a fan of how it will patina similar to how WaterField’s products made of the same leather do. But something about the vegan Black colorway drew me in. My everyday carry is a Tom Bihn Synik 30, but one day I’ll get a WaterField bag that matches this case.

Compared to the Smart case that comes with the AirPods Max, the WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case is actually useful.

WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case

My first impression of the WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case was that it looked a bit bulky, but honestly, that’s due to the fact it serves one job: to actually protect your investment. And it comes complete with three pockets that allow you to carry added accessories with it.

On the front of the WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case is a deep, zippered pocket that I use to stow my Anker PowerExpand Direct 6-in-1. Typically my everyday carry consists of my AirPods Max and my 11-inch iPad Pro, so having a pocket for the doodle is not only helpful but adds functionality to the case.

The mesh pocket on the rear of the case is great for smaller items like a field notes pad. I personally haven’t found my use case for this yet, but it’s great there’s an option. Lastly, there’s a small pocket on the inside that has a velcro closure that is perfect for the $35 3.5mm to lightning cable that you’ll inevitably find yourself purchasing when you decide that you want to hardwire your headphones into a device like a MacBook, iPhone, or a Pre USB Type-C iPad.

WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case

Apple’s attempt to corner the market with their Smart Case was made by not placing a physical “Off” button on the AirPods Max; instead, they opted for a “low-power” mode that more slowly drains the AirPods Max’s battery.

WaterField created a similar function with their case, deemed the “Magnetic Leather Butterfly” (great album name if someone were ever to use it). It’s essentially a leather clasp complete with magnets that allows for that “low-power” mode, but they also keep the headphones from knocking into each other at the ends. This thoughtful design is something that you’d only get from a brand like WaterField, which continuously creates unique ways to “carry.”

WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case

Every time I grab my AirPods Max inside the WaterField case, I feel good about my headphone investment because of the WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case quality. The YKK zipper is sturdy, complete with WaterField branding on the zipper, which is a nice touch. Inside the case, there is a soft lining that will protect your headphones should you ever drop them.

While I appreciate that Apple gives brands like WaterField inspiration to design amazing, well-thought-out products like the AirPods Max Shield Case case — Apple should’ve included a real case. And at $89 to $99 to buy the WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case to fix a problem that shouldn’t even exist, one might feel it’s all a bit ridiculous.

I look at the WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case as an investment that will protect your investment, and I would advise anyone who has already spent $549 on the AirPods Max to consider this WaterField case.

The WaterField AirPods Max Shield Case is available in a combination of chocolate leather and waxed canvas, leather and ballistic nylon (black, blue, or crimson), or the vegan-friendly Black Ballistic, Green Forza, Blue Forza, or Red Forza (to match your AirPods Max).

The Waterfield AirPods Max Shield Case sells for $89 – $99 (depending on materials chosen); it is available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: I love my Vegan-friendly Black Ballistic — it’s $10 cheaper than the leather versions, but carries the same functionality; Withstands the rain and protects the AirPods Max from drops; Attention to detail from stitching to the inner material sets a high bar; Magnetic Leather Butterfly clasp for “Low power mode”

What Needs Improvement: Even though you get what you pay for, there are cheaper, less feature-friendly options on Amazon; Currently hard to get a hold of — the next shipping date is March 12th

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About the Author

Greg Alston
Diehard Apple fanboy, and lover of all things tech. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Greg enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, family and friends, live sporting events, good bourbon, Tetris, and pizza. In that order.