This past December Apple released AirPods Max, wireless headphones boasting the same “high-fidelity sound” of AirPods in an over-ear design. The headphones start at 549 dollars, and feature noise cancellation with a transparency mode, spatial audio, 20 hours of battery life, a soft smart case, and free added personal engraving. The headphones come in five color options including gray, silver, blue, green, and pink.
“AirPods Max, we are bringing that magical AirPods experience to a stunning over-ear design with high-fidelity audio,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing said in a press release. “The custom acoustic design, combined with powerful H1 chips, and advanced software enable AirPods Max to use computational audio to wirelessly deliver the ultimate personal listening experience.”
Initial reviews report AirPods Max as less bass-heavy than Beats headphones, also owned by Apple. But the unique AirPods Max design allowing for a more versatile listening experience. The spatial audio leaves the right/left mix behind and takes up a more surround sound style for a full listening experience.
The headphones do not come with a 3.5 mm cable for non-Bluetooth listening nor a power adaptor. There is no folding option for the headphones hence the inclusion of a soft smart case to cover the ear cups and place the headphones in a super low power battery mode. The headphones must be turned off from whatever device it is connected with.
Taking the headphones off will automatically stop the music or audio playing, much like the AirPods themselves. On the right side is a volume dial, a borrowed design from the Apple watch. The other is a toggle button to skip, play and pause, summon Siri or answer and end phone calls. The headphones are slightly heavier than average at 13.6 ounces but balance and distribute the weight with a mesh canopy headband frame. The ear cups pivot independently, and the mesh ear cushions are magnetically attached allowing for easy removal, and are swappable, with replacement pairs costing 69 dollars.