Calling AirPods Max a controversial product is an understatement. Many have bashed the $549 price point, and others have complained about their weight. The biggest complaint about AirPods Max, however, is its case. People say it looks funny, and I guess it does, but why does that make it bad? As someone who’s owned a variety of headphones and in-ear monitors (both low-end and high-end), I just don’t understand the level of hostility towards the AirPods Max case. It’s one of the most functional and practical headphone cases I’ve ever used. It provides a decent level of protection for the ear cups, while still allowing you to put AirPods Max in a bag or backpack. It’s refreshing.
The same can’t be said for many of the headphones of comparable quality. The case that came with my AudioQuest NightHawk headphone is extremely bulky – it’s basically a giant faux-leather box that only fits in my suitcase. The same can be said for my Focal Utopia headphones. The case is gigantic, and doesn’t fit in my camera bag or backpack. So, Apple has done something different with AirPods Max. When it comes to the headphone form factor, there are really only two ways to execute a case – bulky and inconvenient, or slim and convenient. AirPods Max were designed to be a wireless headphone for use on the go. Thus, it only makes sense for its case to be slim and convenient – that way people can actually put it in their bags and backpacks.
I get the sense that many of the people complaining about the AirPods Max case have little to no experience with high-end headphones (make no mistake, AirPods Max are indeed high-end headphones). If you think the AirPods Max case sucks, what would you have done differently in terms of design while maintaining slimness and convenience?