Apple patent reveals it has fixed the worst thing about AirPods Max

Airpods Max Side
Airpods Max Side (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Airpods Max Case Patent

Airpods Max Case Patent (Image credit: USPTO)

What you need to know

  • A new Apple patent may have just solved AirPods Max's biggest issue.
  • That's because Apple has created a much better case for its headphones.
  • The case uses a flexible magnetic closure and clasps to keep it shut.

While Apple's AirPods Max might be some of the best headphones ever created, its controversial Smart Case has drawn ire from buyers and commenters. That could one day change, however, following the emergence of a new patent that reveals a much more conventional case for Apple's premium headgear.

A new patent published today granted to Apple is titled 'Enclosures with flexible magnetic closures and clasps', and reveals an extremely verbose filing for what is essentially a bag you can put your AirPods Max in that is sealed by a flexible magnetic closure. From the patent:

An enclosure such as a case for an electronic device such as a pair of headphones may be provided with a housing. The housing may have an opening into an interior region that receives the headphones. A magnetic closure may be formed along the opening. The magnetic closure may have a pair of mating flexible magnetic members such as flexible rings that can be separated to form the opening or joined along a seam to close the opening.

This sounds like the most Apple design and construction for a case imaginable, but images of the patent reveal the company is at least considering an alternative to its very odd and controversial smart case. From our review of AirPods Max:

Still, the Smart Case leaves the most vulnerable part of the AirPods Max completely exposed: the headband. Plus, with the Smart Case on, the headband acts like a handle so you can tote your $549 headphones around like some kind of designer handbag. The end result is something that looks ridiculous and definitely not practical — how am I supposed to prevent damage to the headband when tossing these into my computer bag? Especially considering how thin the mesh canopy is, I'd be afraid of something snagging on and tearing it while in transit. I am eager to see what case accessories third-party manufacturers will come up with — at this point, almost anything would be a better fit to protect the AirPods Max than the Smart Case.

As it stands the best AirPods Max cases you can buy are all third-party options, but maybe Apple has seen the light with this much-improved design that could debut in AirPods Max of the future. Here's hoping.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9