I don’t normally cover announcements. I’m more of a review guy but being honest, I’m not sure I’ll even need to review these headphones to arrive at a conclusion. Apple has teased a pair of headphones for years to join their popular AirPod family. Today, they’ve launched the AirPods Max. Don’t let the name fool you. These are headphones.
Features Of The AirPods Max
The first thing I want to emphasise here is that these are not “pods” or “buds”. The AirPods Max are over-ear headphones. This is the same odd decision Huawei took last month when they launched the FreeBuds Studio. Again, not “buds” but an excellent pair of over-ear headphones.
Apple’s AirPods Max headphones are entering the market at an interesting time as people working from home are looking to zone into their work. Also, some, not all, people have a little bit more disposable income and are looking around for the best over-ear headphones to buy. Here’s what the Apple AirPods Max Offer
AirPods Max Don’t Work With Android
At least, this is what Apple suggests. In their release notes, Apple states you’ll need an Apple device running iOS 14.3 or later, iPadOS 14.3 or later, macOS Big Sur 11.1 or later, watchOS 7.2 or later, or tvOS 14.3 or later. All Apple-only devices. Now, I have a feeling they’ll still work with any other Bluetooth device with some functionality loss, but given the price, you’d be wanting everything to work.
Custom Acoustic Design
Apple leads with design here and that’s no surprise. Apple design is usually what gets people for hand over some extra moola. The AirPods Max promise a breathable knit mesh canopy, spanning the headband to deliver great weight distribution and reduce on-head pressure. A stainless steel headband frame should be strong but flexibly suiting all head sizes.
The Digital Crown takes inspiration from Apple Watch and allows on-headphone volume control and the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri.
AirPods Max uses Adaptive EQ to adjust the sound to the fit and seal of the ear cushions by measuring the sound signal delivered to a user and adjusting the low and mid-frequencies in realtime
As you might expect, AirPods Max offer Active Noise Cancellation so users can focus on what they are listening to. Each ear cup features three outward-facing microphones to detect environmental noise, while one microphone inside the ear cup monitors the sound reaching the listener’s ear.
With AirPods Max, users can switch to Transparency mode to simultaneously listen to music while hearing the environment around them — ensuring everything, including a user’s own voice, sounds natural while audio plays perfectly. Switching between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode can be done with a single press using the noise control button.
AirPods Max use spatial audio with dynamic head tracking to place sounds virtually anywhere in a space delivering an immersive, theatre-like experience for content recorded in 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos.
AirPods Max: The Price
And we arrive at the bonkers bit. The AirPods Max will set you back €618.75 direct from the Apple Ireland online store.
A while back I reviewed the Sennheiser Momentum 3 headphones. A nice pair of headphones but simply too expensive considering how many great pairs of headphones are on the market for cheaper.
Apple’s headphones will have a niche audience and maybe they’ll deliver a premium experience never seen before. I can’t personally see any way to justify a pair of headphones from Apple at that price, but maybe that’s just me? That’s the bulk of an outlay on a phone itself! You could be asking yourself “which iPhone should I buy” instead of “should I fork out over €600 on headphones”.