The AirPods Pro and AirPods Max have some new case options, courtesy of leather goods experts Pad & Quill. This might be particularly good news to AirPods Max owners: Apple’s cans are among the best over-ear headphones money can buy, but the bundled Smart Case doesn’t exactly match its design chops.
Specifically Pad & Quill has made the AirPods Max Pro Case, a full-grain leather pouch lined with ballistic nylon. And, for the smaller earbuds, there’s the Little Brief AirPods Pro Case, a charmingly undersized leather briefcase that holds both the buds and the plastic charging case.
- Our picks of the best noise-cancelling headphones
- More of the best wireless earbuds
- Plus: Apple Spring 2021 event preview — AirPods Pro 2 and more
As cute as the Little Brief is — it even has a tiny carry handle to hook on a keychain or carabiner — the Pro Case should undoubtedly be of bigger benefit to its respective headphones’ owners. For one thing, unlike the Smart Case it actually covers the AirPods Pro entirely: the Smart Case protects the earcups but leaves the mesh headband exposed to the elements.
The Pro Case also includes the small, strategically-placed magnets that the AirPods Max needs to enter low power mode while inside. This pair of headphones famously lacks a power button, so unless you leave the AirPods Pro completely untouched for a while, the primary means of saving battery has always been to slide it into the Smart Case so that it senses the case’s magnets and enters low power mode. Thankfully, you can do that with the Pro Case as well.
There’s even an internal pocket for carrying a charger, which can then plug into the AirPods Max to through a separe access port to recharge it the headphones.
While the Little Brief is also made of genuine leather — there’s no vegan alternative — it’s understandably less advanced. Still, if you own the wireless charging model of the AirPods Pro case, you can still fill it up through the leather.
The catch is that neither of these AirPods cases are cheap: the Little Brief is $50 while the AirPods Max Pro Case is $130. That’s quite the investment when the AirPods Max costs $549 by itself, though you may find it worthwhile to better protect the headphones, and in considerably more style.