After months of leaks and rumors, Apple has finally announced its first over-ear headphones dubbed the AirPods Max.
The headset comes at a whopping $549 price tag and offers active noise cancellation (ANC), as well as hands-free access to Siri. According to Apple, these pricey earphones are unmatched in the market since they come with “incredible high-fidelity audio,” Adaptive EQ, and spatial audio on top of their noise-canceling abilities.
As always, take it with a grain of salt as Apple tends to market its products as “revolutionary” or “never seen before” when it’s not the case.
Apple’s senior vice president Greg Joswiak explained,
With AirPods Max, we are bringing that magical AirPods experience to a stunning over-ear design with high-fidelity audio. 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.
Design and Construction
In terms of design, the new AirPods Max features a breathable knit mesh for the headband. Cupertino claims that this material helps evenly distribute weight and reduce pressure. The frame is made of stainless steel that can adjust to fit a variety of head shapes and sizes.
According to Apple, a “revolutionary mechanism” attaches the ear cups to the headband. Hence, each ear cup pivots and rotates for a better fit. The ear cups are cushioned with memory foam.
The company says that it has opted for an Apple Watch-inspired digital crown for volume and audio controls. Each earcup comes with the Apple’s H1 chip, which powers “computational audio” with the help of the AirPods Max acoustic design and “advanced software.”
On top of this, the headset features a total of 20 audio cores that offer “a breakthrough listening experience” for Adaptive EQ, ANC, transparency mode, and spatial audio. Apart from this, to deliver deep bass, the AirPods Max is equipped with 40-mm drivers. Apple has used the dual neodymium ring magnet motor to keep total harmonic distortion at less than 1 percent, even at max volume.
Finally, Apple AirPods Max also has automatic head detection, thanks to optical and position sensors. Hence, it automatically pauses the audio when the user lifts either of the earcups.
Battery and Pricing
As usual, Apple has not revealed the battery capacity but is promising 20 hours of battery life on a charge. The headset is currently available for pre-order at $549 and will start shipping by 15th December.