The AirPods cases from BandWerk are mostly handmade and hold up very well in the test. The processing is unfortunately a bit uneven due to the filigree individual parts and the complex production. But the durability is excellent. So we found pros and cons in our test. The price of almost 70 euros should be cheaper overall.
Not just bracelets anymore
Only recently did the team from BandWerk opens her first retail store in Munich’s Maxvorstadt, Apfelpage reported. This is where the young label presents its range of accessories, which now go beyond the popular Apple Watch straps. Since leather is a very flexible material, BandWerk has also dealt with stylish accessories for other Apple products. The results include individually adjustable iPhone cases, MagSafe wallets and AirPods cases.
Handmade in Germany – from leather
As you know from BandWerk, the main material used is leather – smooth on the outside and rough on the inside. The individual parts hold seams in matching colors together. A kind of plastic glue, which we already know from the bracelets, covers the sharp end pieces. A narrow transition on the back holds the top and bottom of the case together. A generous gap runs to the left and right of it, which means that the AirBods box can be opened and closed effortlessly. The only drawback: When the lid is opened, the cover of the leather case lifts slightly from the charging box. A simple push button with the BandWerk emblem closes the cover. This holds up very well – even with higher loads.
The lid lifts slightly when it is opened. (Photo: Valentin Heisler)
It is noticeable in some places that the leather bags are mostly handmade. The opening for the Lightning port of the AirPods is cut out at an angle on the underside. The cover section also does not have the same ‘gap dimensions’ to the lower part throughout. After consulting BandWerk, this can hardly be avoided with such a small case – and machine production would not have been an option to date. Nevertheless, the leather body fits perfectly and fully protects the AirPods box.
Nice: on the product website (link) you can watch a short video under the tab “Manufacturing” that shows the manufacturing process of the cases.
The bottom and the recess are a bit misshapen. (Photo: Valentin Heisler)
You can easily see the different distances. (Photo: Valentin Heisler)
What also protects is a small leather lip that covers the inside of the counterpart of the push button. This protection did not exist in the first generation of the leather case, which meant that the metal could scratch the plastic surface of the AirPods.
The small scrap of leather covers aggressive metal parts of the button. (Photo: Valentin Heisler)
Thanks to the carabiner hook, the AirPods can be protected from any loss. It is the ideal size to be attached to a belt loop, jacket or anywhere else. If you don’t want to use the carabiner, you can easily take it off. What is left is a small metal ring that can be used to hang the case on a keychain, for example. If you don’t want a metal ring at all, you can also choose a variant without one on the BandWerk website.
The leather case cuts a great figure on the waistband. (Photo: Valentin Heisler)
After two months of continuous use
I attached the leather cover on November 17th, 2020 and have never taken it off since then. What is the condition of the case and AirPods box?
What is immediately noticeable, of course, is that the leather has had a few small flaws. On the one hand, this is perfectly normal; on the other hand, I love it when the material is alive and given a used look. The leather has also worked a bit on the most stressed areas: for example, the transition between the upper and lower parts, which are slightly kinked when opened. But these are all just optical trifles. Neither is anything broken or badly damaged. Even the carabiner has not worn out after several weeks of testing.
While the plastic of the AirPods has slightly smoothed the rough leather inside, there are no signs of wear on the charging case itself. The push button did not leave any ugly abrasion. Compared to using it without a protective cover, the box collects much less dirt and dust – especially on the hinges. Overall, I am quite satisfied with the protective effect.
At this point you can tell that the leather case is ‘alive’. (Photo: Valentin Heisler)
High-priced craft at BandWerk
The BandWerk AirPods case costs 69 euros (As of January 2021) and is available for all AirPods generations.
BandWerk is already operating in the upper price segments. On Amazon and Co. you can find silicone cases for under 10 euros, with leather for under 20 euros. However, these are certainly not made by hand in Germany. In addition, at such prices it is questionable where the leather comes from and who you are supporting with the purchase.
If you keep the elaborate production in mind and know the background of the creation process, you could certainly justify the price. Still, it would be more attractive if the cases cost a little less than 50 euros. Here the buyer has to weigh priorities.