In a move that has shocked no one paying attention, Apple has released one last sneak-attack product for 2020, and it’s a big one. After months of rumours and speculation, Apple has finally released its first pair of over-ear headphones. These are the AirPods Max.
Surprise, here’s the Apple AirPods Max
We’ve been waiting for these things to appear since before WWDC, though it was believed they would be called the AirPods Studio.
This move isn’t overly surprising. Apple acquired the Beats back in 2014 and since then it has continued to support some pretty awesome headsets from the brand.
Not only that, Apple has done a solid job with the wireless earbuds, particularly the AirPods Pro.
It was really only a matter of time before it dropped its own Apple-branded wireless over-ear offering.
When you first clock it, you immediately notice that the design is utterly Apple. It comes in five colours (silver, space grey, sky blue, pink, and green) and a stainless-steel-meets-mesh flexible headband.
According to Apple, it has applied a “revolutionary” design that attaches the band to the earcups, which “distributes ear cup pressure, and allows it to independently pivot and rotate to fit the unique contours of a user’s head.”
It also contains “acoustically engineered” memory foam to help with the seal.
Each ear cushion uses acoustically engineered memory foam to create an effective seal — a critical factor in delivering immersive sound. The Digital Crown, inspired by Apple Watch, offers precise volume control and the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri.
Another interesting change is the on-headphone controls. Rather than the cup-tap that is present across so many brands, the AirPods Max have a digital crown, similar to the Apple Watch.
You can use this to play, pause, skip, activate Siri or take a call.
And just like other AirPods in the family, the H1 chip allows for immediate pairing with Apple devices.
Sound and noise-cancellation
The active noise-cancellation in the AirPods max are powered by 3 outward facing speakers on each side for environmental detection. An inner microphone on each side also monitors the noise reaching your ear.
It then uses Adaptive EQ to adjust the sound.
Some other features include Audio Sharing, allowing you to share audio between two sets of AirPods simultaneously, and Automatic Device switching.
This allows the headphones to automatically switch over to your phone when you get a call.
According to Apple the AirPods Max have a 20-hour battery life with noise-cancellation activated.
The case sure is interesting
Apple is referring to this as a ‘Smart Case’ because it puts the headphones into sleep mode. That’s cool but all I can see is how much this thing looks like a bra.
How much the AirPods Max cost in Australia
You might want to be sitting down for this one. Here in Australia the AirPods Max costs $899. I know Apple’s gonna Apple, but wow.
I already consider my favourite noise cancelling headphones of 2020, Sony’s XM4s to be on the pricey side at around $550.
By pushing towards the $1000 mark Apple is really pushing into extremely high-end audio territory for a consumer product.
Hopefully the AirPods Max can deliver but my expectations are now set to ‘max due to that price tag.
When can I get the AirPods Max in Australia?
If you thought Apple couldn’t possibly be getting these in before Christmas… you’d be wrong. The AirPods Max are available to order from today.
Disclosure: the author owns 12 shares in Apple.