In the announcement of the AirPods Max, Apple worked out “one more thing” for 2020 – the first over-the-ear headphones from Cupertino, which will arrive shortly before the calendar year changes. Equipped with active noise cancellation, transparency mode, adaptive EQ and spatial audio, the AirPods Max deliver the entire kit and Kaboodle and bring a rumor to life in a colorful selection of five colors.
While there is already much discussion about the $ 549 price tag, the over-ear design has definitely caught the attention of both the public and audiophiles. Given the merits and shortcomings of these headphones that are revealed this week (AirPods Max will be re-ordered through 2021), all we can say is that these flagship headphones contain a pair of H1 chips that are already in AirPods Pro (the highly optimized processor for speed) included are connectivity and battery life improvements) and will likely do a lot of magic under the covers of the software.
The AirPods Max are available in five colors – space gray, silver, sky blue, green and pink – and look like a harmonious amalgamation of Apple Watch, iPhone and HomePod / HomePod mini, with details being borrowed in each case.
Using 40mm dynamic drivers from Apple, paired with matte anodized aluminum cups, the design extends nicely into a stainless steel frame meshed in a breathable knitted mesh roof (I find it hard not to see two cartoon halves of a hamburger) .
Each ear cup is also padded with memory foam to improve the seal against the wearer’s head. It is individually attached to allow each ear cup to spin and rotate freely (and likely relieves fatigue after several hours of wearing headphones).
An interesting addition is the inclusion of the Apple Watch-inspired Digital Crown, which gives the wearer a tactile and precise dial for volume control, as well as the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end calls, and activate Siri .
The AirPods Max are designed for a battery life of up to 20 hours, with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio activated. A five-minute charge provides one and a half hours of listening time via Apple’s Lightning connector. A free option to add an engraving personalizes each device further.
As already mentioned, the AirPods Max are already re-ordered well into 2021 and deliver 12 to 14 weeks for those who place orders today. However, we’ll soon know if Apple’s first over-the-ear headphones sound as good as they look.