AirPods Max comes with a hefty price tag of $849.00. Like the Mac Pro wheels, which costs $600.00, the AirPods Max is not for everyone. It is meant to be exclusive and only for those willing to pay for the look and branding premium. It is also for Apple enthusiasts that desire new Apple drops. Or could there be more to it? Let us look at the features which command such a price tag.
THE GOOD STUFF
Audio: Apple claims that the headphone will deliver high-fidelity playback with ultralow distortion across the entire audible range.
The 40mm Apple-designed dynamic drivers will provide rich, deep bass, accurate mid ranges, and crisp, clean high-frequency extension so every note can be heard.
Each ear cup comes with Apple-designed H1 Chip, the same chip found in AirPods Pro, which powers Active Noise Cancellation and Adaptive EQ, supports "Hey Siri," and enables fast switching between different Apple devices.
Adaptive EQ: Adaptive EQ measures the sound signal delivered to the user in real-time and attempts to adjust the low and mid-frequencies according to the ear cushions' fit and seal. Thus, delivering rich audio that captures every detail.
Active Noise Cancellation: Active noise cancellation uses eight microphones to sense and block noise from all directions. Each cup is equipped with three outward-facing microphones to detect environmental noises and one microphone inside the ear cup to monitor the sound reaching the ear.
Transparency Mode: A single button press on the noise control button activates transparency mode, letting you hear your voice and the surroundings.
Spatial Audio: This was a function introduced earlier on to AirPods Pro. It utilizes accelerometers and gyroscopes to track movement between the head and the device (such as iPhone), compares the motion data, then remaps the sound field, so it stays anchored to the device, even as the user’s head moves. Thus, creating an immersive sound experience.
Comfort: Designed with comfort in mind, AirPods Max uses a knitted mesh canopy for the headrest to distribute the weight evenly to reduce the head's pressure and maximize breathability.
For the ear cups, a custom-designed mesh textile wraps around the memory foam to comfort the ears. The coherent mesh designs also give the AirPods Max a clean and premium look.
The headrest and ear cups are connected by a unique suspension system designed to fit a wide range of head sizes.
Battery life: Apple claims AirPods Max has a 20 hours battery life, similar to Bose 700 20 hours. However, as compared to Sony WH-1000XM4 30 hours, there is more room for improvement.
THE BAD STUFF
Price: It is hard to miss the pricing at $849.00. AppleCare+ is available to extend the warranty to 2 years for $89.00, bringing up the total price to $938.00. For comparison, Sony WH-1000XM4 costs almost half.
Weight: Airpods Max weighs at 384.8g. Compared to Sony WH-1000XM4 254g and Bose 700 255g, AirPods Max is considered pretty heavy. It could limit head movement and causes shoulder ache from prolonged usage on some users.
Smart Case: The smart case looks similar to a purse design. It offers protection by wrapping around the ear cups. Comparing to a hard case, it might not provide sufficient protection.
Buying a different case could be tricky as it might not have the feature of the Smart Case. The Smart Case puts AirPods Max in an ultralow-power state to preserve battery charge when not in use.
Lightning cable: Apple has chosen its proprietary lightning cable over a USB-C cable. Users who wish to connect their headset via a 3.5mm jack will have to fork out $49.00 to purchase a lightning to 3.5mm audio cable.
I'm still excited to get my ears on it. The headphones look cool, and if it performs like what Apple claims, why not pamper yourself this Xmas?
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