NOMAD Active Rugged Case for AirPods Pro REVIEW | MacSources

4 min readApr 8, 2020

A protective case for the rugged adventurer.

A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing a premium-style case for the AirPods Pro — the Rugged Case from Nomad. I found them to be a welcome accessory for my AirPods Pro, but I thought some design aspects could be improved upon. One of the biggest features that case has going for it is the premium Horween leather covering. As beautiful as that covering is, it does have some flaws. One of which is that it isn’t water-repellent. So, even though the Rugged Case is built for everyday use, it’s not adventure-ready. Fortunately, Nomad also released the Active Rugged Case for the AirPods Pro.


The Active Rugged Case provides AirPods Pro users a case that has a bold look and protective shell for their headphones. The case comes in two pieces and has an optical light pipe for the LED charging indicator. There is also a lanyard attachment for an option wrist strap (not included). The case is built with hydrophobic, water-resistant leather. Because it repels water, it’s perfect for protecting AirPods from unexpected splashes, sweaty workouts, and other outdoor adventures.


  • Mocha Heinen leather from Germany
  • Black polycarbonate shell
  • Designed for AirPods Pro
  • Accessibly Lightning Port and Bluetooth setup button
  • Protective microfiber lining
  • Two-piece construction
  • Integrated light pipe for LED charging indicator
  • Lanyard attachment point
  • Note: Lanyard not included
  • Dimensions: 49.5mm x 66.2mm x 25.9mm
  • Qi Wireless Compatible (case does not affect charging capabilities)


When the Active Rugged Case arrived my first observation was that it looked an awful lot like the standard Rugged Case for the AirPods Pro. The size is exactly the same; both cases have two-piece construction; they are both covered in leather…I really wasn’t sure what the distinction was between the two styles of AirPod cases. When I looked into the specs, I found the answer. The standard Rugged Case is made with Horween Leather while the Active Rugged Case is made using Heinen leather from Germany. It’s designed and treated to be water-repelling. In addition to the difference in leather, Nomad’s website states that the Active Rugged Case provides additional drop and scratch protection, too. The Heinen leather is not a brand new material for Nomad as they began using it for more ‘active’ products in 2019 with the release of the iPhone 11.

The two halves of the case slide onto the charging case of the AirPods Pro easily. There is a sizable opening on the back for the hinge of the charging case and the Lightning port has very easy, open access thanks to a generous cut out around the port. One of the complaints I had with the standard Rugged Case for the AirPods Pro was that the lid portion of the case seemed to slip off frequently. This version of the case seems to be a much tighter fit and I don’t have the same concern as I did with the other version. Users can easily see the LED light through the custom-fit light pipe on the front of the case. And you can feel a softer spot on the case where the reset button is.

One of the interesting things about this case is that it’s designed in such a way that you can see the inner hard plastic shell on the outside of the case. On the other version, it seemed as though the leather was just a thin covering, but this case seems a little different as the inner shell, leather covering, and microfiber lining are also pulled together harmoniously. I do think it’s odd that Nomad would go to the trouble of including a place for a lanyard without providing an actual lanyard loop in the package with the case.


The Active Rugged Case for the Apple AirPods Pro is a welcome addition from the Nomad family of products. It incorporates some different materials to make it more for the adventurer rather than a day player. I love how Nomad continues to innovate and create products we can all use no matter what our lifestyle is.

For more details, visit NOMAD, Facebook, and Twitter.

Originally published at on April 8, 2020.




Mac Sources is an Information and Technology Company. We review all things technology-related. Our team also reports on tech news happening in the world. 