Third-Party AirPods Max Solutions Seek to Address Smart Case Criticisms

The first third-party cases and hangers for AirPods Max containing magnets, that allow users to avoid using Apple's Smart Case, are now available for purchase.

waterfield design airpods max

Apple's Smart Case contains magnets that put ‌AirPods Max‌ into a low power mode to preserve battery life. After 18 hours in the Smart Case, the ‌AirPods Max‌ go into an ultra-low power mode that turns off Bluetooth and Find My.

‌AirPods Max‌ have no power button, with Apple instead relying on different power modes and the Smart Case to preserve battery life. Yet the Smart Case has come under fire for its design, which some customers have criticized for offering very little protection and being impractical, and without using it, ‌AirPods Max‌ take longer to enter its low-power state.

waterfield design airpods max case 2

Amid these criticisms, third-party companies have begun presenting solutions to address the criticisms of the Smart Case. WaterField Designs' protective "Shield Case" for ‌AirPods Max‌, unlike Apple's Smart Case which only partially covers each ‌AirPods Max‌ ear cup, cradles the entire headset in an ultra-plush interior and offers three layers of protection. There is also an interior pocket to carry a charging brick, waterproof zippers, and a loop to attach the case to a carabiner.

The WaterField Shield Case contains a "Magnetic Leather Butterfly" that puts ‌AirPods Max‌ into their low power mode without Apple's Smart Case, but it is also possible to fold down these magnets to put ‌AirPods Max‌ together with their Smart Case into the Shield Case too.

air hanger for airpods max

On Etsy, a 3D-printed ‌AirPods Max‌ "Air Hanger" similarly uses magnets to put the headphones into low power mode without the Smart Case. The wall-mounted hanger allows ‌AirPods Max‌ to be hung at any band length, with a curved lip to prevent the headphones from sliding off.

The WaterField Designs Shield Case for ‌AirPods Max‌ is available now in a range of colors for $99. The Air Hanger is available on Etsy for $34.95.

Related Roundup: AirPods Max
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Max (Caution)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

carlhancock Avatar
43 months ago
"Nobody would buy a $99 case for $550 headphones..."

* Me checking the Waterfield site and seeing the the first 6 batches are already sold out in every color *

When will the "Nobody would buy..." or "Who's gonna buy..." crowd understand that just because they wouldn't buy these things doesn't mean there isn't a market?

The AirPods Max are selling. The 3rd party cases and stands will sell too.

There is clearly a market for it.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Costino1 Avatar
43 months ago
I can't think of any other time where Apple's customers had to rush out and create their own solution to solve a problem created by Apple. I hope Apple views this (the case) as a failure and stops with simply using aesthetics instead of function.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneteam Avatar
43 months ago
I like Waterfield, but that case is horrendous.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
43 months ago

I like Waterfield, but that case is horrendous.
looks better than Apple's smart case still
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
43 months ago
What few people around here understood (because after all, it’s more fun to be outraged) is that this is exactly what Apple planned from the beginning. Third party accessories are a rich part of the gizmo world and they deliberately left room for great cases made by other companies. It’s a good thing to support one’s accessory community. This is as true for AirPods Max as it is for nearly every other portable product Apple makes.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WhoDaKat Avatar
43 months ago

I can't think of any other time where Apple's customers had to rush out and create their own solution to solve a problem created by Apple. I hope Apple views this (the case) as a failure and stops with simply using aesthetics instead of function.
No one has to rush out and do anything LOL! Mine are working just fine without anything but the smart case.

“I hope Apple views this (the case) as a failure and stops simply using aesthetics instead of function.”

According to the case designers function was the driving factor as they wanted it to take up as little room as possible and it does take up less room than any other over the ear headphones case I’ve ever seen.

Don’t hate.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate

All iPhone 16 Models to Feature Action Button, But Usefulness Debated

Tuesday April 16, 2024 6:54 am PDT by
Last September, Apple's iPhone 15 Pro models debuted with a new customizable Action button, offering faster access to a handful of functions, as well as the ability to assign Shortcuts. Apple is poised to include the feature on all upcoming iPhone 16 models, so we asked iPhone 15 Pro users what their experience has been with the additional button so far. The Action button replaces the switch ...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation, GameCube, Wii, and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, GameCube, Wii,...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New App Store Delta Game Emulator

Wednesday April 17, 2024 12:19 pm PDT by
A decade ago, developer Riley Testut released the GBA4iOS emulator for iOS, and since it was against the rules at the time, Apple put a stop to downloads. Emulators have been a violation of the App Store rules for years, but that changed on April 5 when Apple suddenly reversed course and said that it was allowing retro game emulators on the App Store. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...