Apple AirPods Max introduced – The first over-ears from the inventor of the iPhone

The bomb exploded. Apple has introduced a new product shortly before the hot phase of this year’s Christmas business. With the Apple AirPods Max, Apple fans should also be able to enjoy ear-enclosing headphones. The headphones are supposed to have a lot of exciting features on board, but come with a much higher RRP than the competition from Sony and Bose.

The rumors have come true

As with so many Apple products, industry experts have long speculated about a possible release of the AirPods Max. However, they were rather unsure about the name. So for a long time the AirPods Studio was mentioned here. Now the speculations have come true. And what Apple presents here sounds like a really good pair of headphones. Of course the AirPods Max have an active noise cancelling (ANC) on board. Surprisingly, Apple still uses the name AirPods. After all, the big over ear headphones have very little to do with the small AirPods (Pro).

Eight microphones for powerful ANC

When it comes to technology, Apple seems to make no compromises with its AirPods Max. According to the manufacturer there are a total of eight microphones in the over ears. These are supposed to provide a reliable ANC. Disturbing ambient noise is probably shielded much better than with the small AirPods Pro. The most important question is of course the competitiveness of the AirPods Max. After all, for years there have only been two light creatures in the Over Ear headphones with ANC that regularly outperform the competition.

Eight microphones are supposed to provide very good ANC and high quality when making phone calls.

Sony and Bose still offer the best combination of music quality and ANC with their devices. It will only become clear in a practical test to what extent Apple can keep up with this. However, there could be a decisive advantage that the AirPods Max bring from their siblings, the AirPods Pro. If the circumaural headphones, like their little sibling, could also transmit air to the ears without making wind noise, it would be a clear unique selling point. However, Apple has not yet expressed its opinion in this regard.

transparency mode on board

The AirPods Max should not only offer ANC. Instead, Apple also provides the headphones with a so-called transparency mode. This mode does the exact opposite of ANC. Instead of filtering out the ambient noise, it is better perceived when the headphones are worn. We already know this feature from the competition and also from the AirPods Pro. Here we can only hope that Apple will be able to achieve similarly natural results with its large headphones as with the small AirPods Pro. But here, too, we still lack detailed knowledge. Apple has not yet commented on how to activate this mode. We also don’t know if there are other comfort functions like the WH-1000XM4 from Sony. For example, this headphone can switch on its transparency mode by voice command.

Apple promises great sound

But the most important thing is of course the sound of headphones. And here Apple promises nothing less than great sound. The basis for the sound should be 40 mm drivers, which Apple has developed on its own. Inside the headphones is the H1-Chip, known from the AirPods. Apple does not only want to convince in terms of sound. Also the quality of telephone calls should be very good. Here again the eight microphones are used. These are supposed to ensure that phone calls are crystal clear and easy to understand.

We already know the practical rotary wheel from the Apple Watch.

Apple also wants to show off in terms of comfort. For example, the company uses a mesh fabric for the headphones, which should not only feel good. It should also ensure good air circulation. A base frame made of high-quality stainless steel is to provide stability. To ensure that the headphones can be worn for a long time, Apple emphasizes ergonomics. According to the company, it has attached the ear cups in such a way that there should always be a comfortable contact pressure. In terms of control, Apple relies on a rotary wheel, which we already know in a similar design from the Apple Watch. This can not only be used to regulate the volume. As a multifunctional tool, it also forms the central control unit. Besides play and pause, this naturally includes the activation of the in-house AI called Siri.

Only suitable for Apple devices

The manufacturer apparently decides to deliver the Apple AirPods Max without the possibility of a connection via 3.5 mm jack cable. This means that users must rely completely on a Bluetooth connection. Apple also remains true to itself in terms of compatibility. As with AirPods and AirPods Pro, AirPods Max should only work fully with in-house devices. This includes in particular the range of functions and the possibility of updates.

The maximum range of functions can only be enjoyed in combination with Apple devices.

But the manufacturer also remains true to itself in other respects. For example, the large headphones also offer wearer recognition. This means in detail that they automatically pause the current music playback as soon as you take them off. When you put the headphones back on, the playback continues. This should also be familiar to owners of AirPods.

Anyone who owns a pair of high-quality ANC headphones from Sony or Bose will be pleased to have a practical carrying case included. Apple is not so generous in this respect. Unlike the products of the competition, Apple does not include a reliable protective case. The counterpart, called a “Smart Case”, is not supposed to offer any protection against possible damage.

The so-called Smart Case should offer only little protection.

As a passionate ANC user you also have to put up with a damper when it comes to the battery. AirPods Max should only last a maximum of 20 hours with ANC on. Sony’s counterpart reaches battery lifetimes of up to 30 hours.

Price and availability

On 15 December the time should already have come. Then the AirPods Max should be on the market. Until then you can already pre-order them on Apple’s website pre-order. You can choose between the colors grey, silver, blue, green and pink. The EIA is significantly higher than that of the competition. Apple, for example, is charging a proud 600 euros for the release. This is almost 200 Euro more than Sony demands for its flagship, the WH-1000XM4. Whether the AirPods Max are really worth this price will be shown in a few days.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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