Today, Apple revealed its latest audio product everyone was already expecting: over-the-ear headphones called the AirPods Max.
It will come as no surprise that the AirPods Max carry a premium price of $549 and are available in five color options (Space Gray, Silver, Green, Sky Blue, and Pink). Engraving is also available for free, and AppleCare+ adds another $59 to the cost. In return for your cash, Apple is promising a high-fidelity sound experience and custom acoustic design.
“AirPods are the most popular headphones in the world, beloved for their effortless setup, incredible sound quality, and iconic design. With 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. “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.”
Using an Apple H1 chip and “advanced software,” the AirPods Max offer Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio. Inside you’ll find an Apple-designed 40mm dynamic driver, unique dual neodymium ring magnet motor for “total harmonic distortion of less than 1 percent across the entire audible range, even at maximum volume,” and the H1’s 10 audio cores to offer what Apple believes is a “breakthrough listening experience.”
Expect the AirPods Max to be very comfortable to wear, too. Weight is evenly distributed thanks to the breathable knit mesh canopy, and a stainless steel headband offers strength and flexibility while pressure on your head is minimized through a “revolutionary mechanism” for attaching each ear cup to the headband. The ear cushions are “acoustically engineered” from memory foam to ensure a good seal, and a Digital Crown, as Apple Watch owners are used to using, is present for controlling playback, skipping tracks, dealing with phone calls, and for activating Siri.
Airpods Max are available to order today with shipping beginning on Dec. 15. Apple is promising a one-tap setup experience and automatic pairing with a user’s iCloud account, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. As for battery life, expect 20 hours, regardless of whether you’re listening to music, chatting on a call, or watching movies using the Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio features.