Today, Apple officially unveiled their first over-the-ear headphones in the AirPods lineup called AirPods Max. These new headphones will be available on December 15 in five colors (space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink) and an eye-popping price tag of $549. Are the AirPods Max worth the money? That’s for your budget to decide, but here’s what you can expect to get if you plan on placing an order before the holiday season.
Apple Brings the High-Fidelity Audio
Apple seems to be targeting the audiophile crowd with the release of their new headphones. They tout a “custom acoustic design, H1 chips, and advanced software to power computational audio for a breakthrough listening experience with Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio.” It includes a 40mm dynamic driver and “unique dual neodymium ring magnet motor” to produce an immersive listening experience.
Innovative Apple Design
As is the case with most Apple products released in the last ten-plus years, the design of the AirPods Max is sleek and modern. The ear cushions and mesh canopy are designed to distribute weight evenly and reduce on-head pressure. It is built from a stainless-steel frame giving it plenty of strength and flexibility. The Digital Crown from the Apple Watch is a welcomed design feature that will offer great control for volume and other actions.
The Shortcomings of AirPods Max
The high-fidelity audio and innovative design are clear strengths. However, they do have some shortcomings. The headphones charge with Apple’s Lightning connector instead of USB-C. Apple clearly is targeting audiophiles, but is not including a Lightning to 3.5mm audio cable. Additionally, the headphones do come with a slim Smart Case, but lack a rugged case that many other over-the-ear headphones in the segment come with.
Should You Buy the AirPods Max?
Should you buy the new AirPods Max? That’s the $12 billion dollar question. Apple generated $12 billion in revenue from AirPods sales in 2019 and is betting the AirPods Max will boost that number even higher. That being said, most of the features you get in AirPods Max can be found in headphones from Bose, Sony, Sennheiser and even Apple’s own Beats lineup for nearly half the cost.