As you’d expect from the inventor of the iPod, Apple makes some great audio products but they often come at a price. The latest set of AirPods from the Californian tech giant costs a whopping £549! But are they worth it?
The AirPods Max are Apple’s first set of over ear headphones (if you ignore their BEATS range) and follow on from their widely loved AirPods and AirPods Pro. They aim to be the best possible way to listen to music if you’re an iPhone/iPad/Mac user.
The AirPods Max feature “incredible” high-fidelity audio, Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, and spatial audio. Apple say that they combine a custom acoustic design, H1 chips, and advanced software to power computational audio for a “breakthrough listening experience”.
“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.”
It’s not just the technology that makes the AirPods Max unique. Apple have looked at the head band and ear cups with an aim to make a more comfortable and premium set of headphones. The head band, or canopy as Apple calls it, is made from a breathable mesh designed to spread on head weight and reduce pressure.
The AirPods Max come in five colours; Space Grey, Silver, Sky Blue, Green and Pink.
Each ear cup on the AirPods Max attaches to the headband through a new mechanism that balances and distributes ear cup pressure. It allows it to independently pivot and rotate to fit the unique contours of a wearer’s head. The cushion is designed from a memory foam to ensure a good seal over the ear. Something that is essential for improving sound quality.
Inside there’s a 40-mm Apple-designed dynamic driver that “provides rich, deep bass, accurate mid-ranges, and crisp, clean high-frequency extension so every note can be heard”. It should ensure that these will be some of the best wireless over ear headphones on the market, especially given how good their in-ear offerings are.
AirPods Max feature up to 20 hours of battery life. Apple says this is listening to high-fidelity audio, hands-free talk time, or movie playback with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled. You also get all the standard features you expect from AirPods like Automatic Switching, Audio Sharing and Siri functionality.
The AirPods Max come with a soft, slim Smart Case. when in the case, the AirPods Max go into an ultra-low power state that helps to preserve battery charge when not in use.
The question is; Are they worth £549? Probably but that’s still a lot of money for headphones.