Whenever Apple enters a space, it isn’t necessarily the first, but when it does enter it changes it for the better. Think iPod, iPhone, iPad, AirPods – all items that we didn’t know we couldn’t live without until they were presented to us.
Now, Apple has joined the over ear headphone space. Much like it had done with the Airpods and the AirPods Pro, it looked at the current market and wanted to see how it could be done better. The AirPods Max “brings the magic of AirPods to an over-ear design with high-fidelity sound.” It does have some hard hitters to compete with though, the Sony WH-1000XM4s and the Bose 700 series, both of which are cheaper by some margin.
As with all Apple products, these over ear headphones are brilliantly executed – with fantastic textures like the telescopic metal headband arms that effortlessly glide to size. The tem has used the digital crown from the Apple Watch to be used as a volume knob with the functionality to play, pause or skip songs as well as answer calls and activate Siri. There is just one button on the entire device which is used for the noise cancelling allowing a wearer to pick between active noise cancelling and Transparency mode. The latter allows you to listen to the environment around you whilst simultaneously listening to music.
Each earcup has a 40mm Apple-designed dynamic driver providing strong base, treble and mids whilst the dual neodymium ring magnet motor allows the AirPods Max to maintain total harmonic distortion of less than 1 percent across the entire audible range. Fitted with Apple’s proprietary H1 chip using computational audio to deliver the highest quality listening experience.
Now, the features on the AirPods Max aren’t anything groundbreaking, other brands have had most if not all the features for a few years but what Apple does have is spatial audio – with dynamic head tracking to place sounds virtually anywhere in a space — delivering an immersive, theatre-like experience for content recorded in 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos.
The AirPods Max have a battery life of 20 hours with noise cancellation enabled and will go into an extreme low-power saving mode when placed in its smart case. The question remains, that if the case is lost, do the headphones just sap battery?
The AirPods Max are available in five colours – Space Grey, Silver, Sky Blue, Green and Pink at the cost of £549.