Apple today officially announced its over-ear headphones, the AirPods Max in a press release. It has been rumoured for a long time but the Headphones are finally here and will be shipping December 15 in time for the holiday with pre-orders beginning today.
The AirPods Max feature a custom acoustic design, the latest H1 chip from Apple with adaptive EQ, active noise cancellation, transparency mode and spatial audio. The headphones also support Siri commands, audio sharing which makes it possible to share audio between two sets of AirPods, and automatic switching which moves audio between the iPhone, iPad and Mac. They are available in five colours – space grey, silver, sky blue, green and pink.
“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.”
The $549 selling price is definitely on the high-side for an over-ear headphone but Apple is justifying this with the design and the audio quality it produces. Apple says it has crafted every part of AirPods Max carefully to “provide exceptional acoustic performance for each ear.” “Each ear cushion uses acoustically engineered memory foam to create an effective seal — a critical factor in delivering immersive sound,” Apple says. “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.” On the audio quality, Apple claims the headphones has “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.”
The AirPods Max will automatically detect when they are worn on the head through the help of its optical and positional sensors. One detected, it will begin playing audio and will automatically pause one they are removed or when an ear cup is lifted. The headphones support up to 20 hours of battery life with high-fidelity audio, talk time, or movie playback with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled.
The AirPods Max come in a soft, slim Smart Case which puts it in an ultralow-power state to help maintain battery life. With the launch of its headphones, Apple will be going head-to-head with Sony, Bose, AKG and other brands with well-known headphones.