Apple's AirPods Max Smart Case is sufficient for the high-end headphones in day-to-day use. When traveling or out and about, however, the case can be problematic given the headphones' canopy remains exposed and prone to be easily damaged when put in a bag or handled with little care. Woolnut's Leather Case aims to provide customers an easy way to store their ‌AirPods Max‌ while traveling or as simply an alternative to Apple's Smart Case.

woolnut airpods max review

Build Quality and Materials

The case is made from high-quality Scandinavian leather and offered in three different colors: black, brown, and dark green. We'll be looking at the brown option for this review, though all remain the same in functionality, price, and design. Compared to other leather-branded cases and accessories, the exterior of Woolnut's case feels premium and on par with what you should expect from a case intended to store $549 headphones.

woolnut airpods max design
In the two weeks I've been testing and using the case as my primary ‌AirPods Max‌ storage compartment, I've noticed very little exterior damage besides normal smudges and dents that can be wiped away or are too minor to see at first glance. Overall, I'm impressed with the case's build, including the durability of the leather and the quality of the stitching.

The case comes with a "Premium YKK EXCELLA zipper" made in Japan. Woolnut describes the zipper as "the world's most exclusive metal zippers with fully polished individual elements." While all of that may be true, they aren't anything special and certainly should not be a key factor in any customer's decision to purchase the case. They're regular zippers that zip open and closed and have, so far, stood the test of time.

woolnut airpods max zipper
One downside of the design of the case is the lack of an external handle. With Apple's Smart Case, the ‌AirPods Max‌'s canopy serves as a handle for the headphones, making it easy to carry around. In Woolnut's accessory, no such handle exists, making it a slight inconvenience.

Usability and Functionality

‌AirPods Max‌ are a uniquely designed pair of headphones. The ear cuffs rotate to allow the headphones to be fully flat, but creating a case for them is a challenge, even for Apple. I must applaud Woolnut for their efforts in designing a case designed to store the headphones, but they don't entirely hit the mark.

I have little to practically no complaints regarding the placement of the headphones within the case but would point out that it's not an entirely snug fit. The ‌AirPods Max‌ do move around when they're inside the case, and that was my experience from only minimal testing and movement.

woolnut airpods max snug fit
In scenarios where this case may be used for travel where sudden movements and jerking around may be more prominent, the fit of the headphones may be problematic. With that being said, the non-snug fit and movement within the case are not drastic enough to cause damage to the high-end headphones, but it is, nonetheless, something to consider.

The material and padding on the inside of the case are soft and delicate enough to keep your ‌AirPods Max‌ free of any scuffs, dents, or scratches. On the base of the inside of the case, there is a storage compartment for a power adapter, and at the top of the case, a place to store a Lightning cable for charging the headphones. Both are welcome additions. For customers outside of the U.S. or Canada who may have larger power adapters, though, including myself, they may find the elastic holder to be a very tight fit.
woolnut airpods max power adapter

A nice addition that comes with the case is a cloth bag, which offers protection for the ‌AirPods Max‌ case itself when traveling or simply being stored.
woolnut airpods max case bag

Power Saving Mode and Charging

One feature of Apple's controversial Smart Case offered with Woolnut's Leather ‌AirPods Max‌ case is a power-saving mode. With Apple's Smart Case, ‌AirPods Max‌ enter a low power mode to preserve battery life when inserted. That same technology is brought to Woolnut's case, which uses magnets to detect when the headphones are in the case and begins to preserve battery life.

To charge the ‌AirPods Max‌, the case offers a cut-out hole to access the built-in lightning port on the headphones. With the case closed, it's a tough challenge to plug in ‌AirPods Max‌ to charge.

woolnut charging port
Due to the angle of the cut-out and the design of the case, charging ‌AirPods Max‌ is challenging since forcing the Lightning cable into ‌the port causes the headphones to move up inside of the case. If you need to charge your ‌AirPods Max‌ and keep it within the case, plug them in using the cut-out with the case open rather than close. It'll make your experience significantly better.

Conclusion

woolnut airpods max case
Woolnut's ‌AirPods Max‌ Leather Case is one of many alternatives to Apple's Smart Case on the market. The material and build quality are on-par with what customers should expect, but weird design quirks, such as those making charging more difficult and the non-snug fit of the headphones, make it hard to flat-out recommend.

For customers simply looking for an alternative to Apple's Smart Case, Woolnut's offering is a reasonable choice. For customers looking for a case to travel with their ‌AirPods Max‌ in, I would advise scouting other options first before landing on this case.

How To Buy

Woolnut's AirPods Max Leather case is currently, at the time of writing, out of stock and hence is available for pre-order for $130, with shipments resuming in early January 2022.

Note: Woolnut provided MacRumors with the leather case for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Top Rated Comments

polterbyte Avatar
9 months ago
I still puzzle at what were the 1,000 nos that yielded this one yes:



Attachment Image
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JCCL Avatar
9 months ago
This is the hardshell case that comes with the WH-1000XM4. All that’s needed. Literally how hard can it be to include something usable like this with you 550 offering Apple?

Attachment Image

Attachment Image
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Fly (film) Avatar
9 months ago

I still puzzle at what were the 1,000 nos that yielded this one yes:


A brassiere, a handbag and a headphones case. These are not three separate devices...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ignatius345 Avatar
9 months ago
Unpopular opinion I guess, but the more I see how massive a traditional case is needed to enclose a pair of AirPods Max, the more I understand why Apple went the way they did.

Sure, this one protects the headphones more, but protects them from what exactly? The magazine and sweater in my bag? The ample cushion of packed clothing all around in my suitcase? It's not like I'm packing my headphones alongside a bunch of rocks and steel wool. This Woolnut case (or any of the other full-sized options) would take up most of the briefcase I would carry onto a plane as a personal item.

All I really need is something to cover the earcups and controls, and make sure the pads don't get popped off when I'm rummaging around my bag for a snack. The Apple case accomplishes exactly that and leaves my bag with a ton more room.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Phil108 Avatar
9 months ago
Actually I very much like my APM's original case for its slimness. I put it into my backpack and don't attach it to the top of a Jeep, so it has all the protection it needs.

Also I'm quite happy to not have a box lying around my flat and that I do not have to deal with zippers.

I know I'm very much alone with this opinion, so I guess Apple will come up with something clunky with the next iteration.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dn325ci Avatar
9 months ago
This minimum hardshell case is working great for me. A very reasonable $23 on Amazon.


Attachment Image
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

2022 civic

Review: 2022 Honda Civic Adds Available Wireless CarPlay

Tuesday December 28, 2021 11:49 am PST by
Wireless CarPlay is seeing increasing adoption across car manufacturers, and one of the most recent to adopt the technology is Honda, which debuted it in the 2021 Accord and has now expanded it to the Civic for 2022. I recently had a chance to spend some time in the new Civic, which delivers a familiar infotainment experience with several handy additions. My test vehicle was a top-end...
chipolo card spot 1

Review: Chipolo's Find My-Enabled 'CARD Spot' is Ideal for Keeping Tabs on a Wallet

Thursday February 24, 2022 9:48 am PST by
Chipolo is an item tracking company that has embraced Apple's Find My network, and last May, it came out with one of the first Find My-enabled third party accessories, the Chipolo ONE Spot. Identical to the AirTag in almost every way, the Chipolo ONE Spot didn't have an edge over Apple's own item tracking solution, but Chipolo's $35 CARD Spot accessory beats out the AirTag when it comes to wallet ...
momentmagsafe

Review: Moment Offers Useful MagSafe Accessories for Photographers

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:55 am PST by
Moment is best known for its line of lenses designed for iPhones, but the company also makes all kinds of other accessories that are designed to improve the iPhone experience. With the launch of MagSafe, Moment designed MagSafe friendly cases and accessories that are useful for those who want to use Moment lenses or photography equipment like tripods with their iPhones. Moment's...
finis smart goggle

Review: FINIS Smart Goggle Tracks Your Swim Workouts and Integrates With Apple Health

Thursday December 30, 2021 10:16 am PST by
I've been a swimmer for as long as I can remember, so I jumped at a recent opportunity to try out the FINIS Smart Goggle, a pair of swim goggles with a small display inside and sensors to help track your swims and keep on top of your metrics even while your head is underwater. The FINIS Smart Goggle kit, developed in partnership with Ciye, is priced at $235 (on sale for $188 as of this...
green iphone 13 iphone 13 pro engadget

iPhone 13 in Green and iPhone 13 Pro in Alpine Green Reviews: A 'Saturated' but 'Subtle Statement'

Friday March 11, 2022 6:23 am PST by
The first reviews of Apple's newly-introduced Green and Alpine Green color options for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro have now been shared by various media outlets and YouTubers, and the general consensus is that the new shades are very saturated compared to similar colors from other smartphone makers, but still make for a subtle color option overall. Image via Engadget The new green color...
capra leather airpods max case tweak

Review: Capra Leather's AirPods Max Case is a Premium Alternative to the Apple Smart Case

Monday April 5, 2021 8:57 am PDT by
Capra Leather is a Colombia-based company that makes a range of handmade leather accessories, including cases for the iPad and MacBook, as well as magnetic wallets for the iPhone 12, for over 100 countries around the world. One of Capra's latest products is an alternative to the AirPods Max Smart Case, which seeks to address some of the criticisms that have been leveled at Apple's own case that...
nomad base one

Review: Nomad Launches 'Base One' Official MagSafe Charger for $130

Tuesday March 1, 2022 9:02 am PST by
Nomad today announced the launch of the Base One, its first official MagSafe wireless charger. For a long time, Belkin has had the only official MagSafe charging options, but that's starting to change now that third-party accessory companies are able to get Apple's Made for iPhone-certified hardware. The Base One is using MagSafe components sourced directly from Apple, so it is able to...
belkin 3 in 1 charger

Review: Belkin's Latest 3-in-1 Charger is Ideal for Apple Watch Series 7 Owners

Friday December 3, 2021 11:09 am PST by
With the launch of the Apple Watch Series 7, Apple introduced a new fast charging feature that allows the latest Apple Watch models to charge up to 33 percent faster than prior-generation models, but it requires new hardware. To take advantage of fast charging, Apple Watch Series 7 owners need an updated charging puck that supports the fast charge feature, which means all existing chargers...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...
iCloud General Feature

Apple Remains Silent About Plans to Detect Known CSAM Stored in iCloud Photos

Saturday August 13, 2022 1:52 pm PDT by
It has now been over a year since Apple announced plans for three new child safety features, including a system to detect known Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) images stored in iCloud Photos, an option to blur sexually explicit photos in the Messages app, and child exploitation resources for Siri. The latter two features are now available, but Apple remains silent about its plans for the CSAM...
apple watch se

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 8: New Features to Expect If You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday August 15, 2022 2:44 am PDT by
The Apple Watch SE was announced in September 2020 and has been a popular Apple Watch model for customers looking for their first smartwatch or an affordable Apple Watch. Apple Watch SE customers may be wondering, however, what's in store for them with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 and what new features they can expect. Continue reading to find out. Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series ...