Since the launch of the AirPods Max last week, we’ve made a few videos that share a brief hands-on with Apple’s new earphones and a comparison of them with other popular noise-canceling headphones from Bose, Sony and Sennheiser.
There has been a lot of debate about whether AirPods Max is their price of $ 550 and the value will always be something of a personal decision, so in our latest video we decided to look at five reasons why you might be thinking of buying new PAirPods Max.
Build / comfort
For people who need to spend a lot of time using headphones, comfort and build quality are obviously key factors in deciding if they want a good experience with a particular set. Comfort will vary from person to person based on head shape, head size and other factors, but we have found the PAirPods Max to be incredibly comfortable.
The mask’s ear cups provide a good seal while still allowing for a breathability that helps reduce the sweating sometimes experience with other materials such as leather. And if your ear cups are worn out, the magnetic attachment system on the AirPods Max makes them incredibly easy to replace.
AirPods Max is largely made of metal with aluminum ear cups and stainless steel telescopic arms, giving them a quality feel that is pleasantly cool to the touch. However, these metal parts mean that AirPods Max gets significantly heavier than many competing headphones, which can be a problem for some users. But we have found that the mask headband does an excellent job of distributing that weight over the head for maximum comfort.
One of the main reasons why people buy over-ear headphones is for active noise reduction (ANC), and we have found that AirPods Max offers excellent options in this regard. In our experience, it’s hard to hear anything from our surroundings when you have AirPods Max on with ANC on.
You can of course turn off the ANC if you want to be able to hear more about you, but there is also Transparency mode which keeps the ANC on but touches the sound and we have found that it lets us hear just enough without being too much of a distraction.
While AirPods Max does not match the cable high quality headphones, we have been impressed with the sound that AirPods Max can deliver via Bluetooth. The sound profile of AirPods Max is well-balanced and not too aggressive towards either high or low.
With H1 chips in each earcup, AirPods Max uses computational sound to adjust what you hear in real time and adjust it to the fit of your head and other factors. And although we do not recommend turning up the volume too high, we found that the sound quality remains solid, even at higher volume levels, providing a clear, distortion-free sound.
When we talk about these H1 chips, they deliver more than just good sound quality. They are also the key component that integrates AirPods Max into the Apple ecosystem. As with AirPods and recent Beats headphones, the H1 chip supports easy pairing and hassle-free audio switching between devices linked to your iCloud account. If you listen to music from your iPhone and then download your iPad to start watching a video, AirPods Max can automatically switch over to start playing the sound from your iPad.
All of this can of course be customized so that you can choose which devices you want to be able to take over as audio sources automatically, and even if you turn off automatic switching to a device, it only takes a few taps to switch manually.
Finally, there’s Spatial Audio, a new feature Apple recently rolled out for AirPods Pro, which is also included in ‘AirPods Max’. Spatial Audio offers an immersive 3D audio experience with compatible content, and although we initially thought it would be pretty gimmicky, we were quickly proven wrong. It really has to be experienced to be believed, but it does make it feel like the sound is coming from all around, yet anchored by the device you are viewing the content on.
So if you e.g. Watching a show on Apple TV + on your iPad gives you a surround sound experience that is very nice on its own, but if you turn your head or move your iPad, the sound is adjusted on the go to match the relative direction of your head and iPad. It’s a remarkably good experience that makes you think that your headphones have stopped working and that your iPad blows sound out of its own speakers.
These are our top five reasons why you might want to invest in AirPods Max. Yes, their price of $ 550 can be a little hard to swallow when competitors come in at $ 350 or less, but if you’ve heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, the combination of comfort, build quality and features may be enough to tip the balance in favor of AirPods Max.
Were you able to grab AirPods Max before shipping date slipped well into next year? Have you recently chosen a competing set of headphones after seeing what AirPods Max had to offer? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.