Apple today their first over-ear headphones called the AirPods Max. The device is said to combine a custom acoustic design, H1 chips, and advanced software to power computational audio for a breakthrough listening experience with Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio. AirPods Max is available to order starting today, with availability beginning Tuesday, December 15.
Custom Acoustic Design
Apple being Apple has gone into the design detail of every part of the AirPods Max. The breathable knit mesh canopy, spanning the headband, is made to distribute weight and reduce on-head pressure. The stainless steel headband frame provides strength, flexibility, and comfort for a wide variety of head shapes and sizes. Telescoping headband arms smoothly extend and stay in place to maintain the desired fit.
Each ear cup attaches to the headband through a mechanism that balances and distributes ear cup pressure, and allows it to independently pivot and rotate to fit the unique contours of a user’s head. 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.
A commanding listening experience?
AirPods Max feature a 40-mmApple-designed dynamic driver and a unique dual neodymium ring magnet motor which allows the AirPods Max to maintain total harmonic distortion of less than 1 percent across the entire audible range, even at maximum volume. Equipped with an Apple-designed H1 chip in each ear cup, a custom acoustic design, and advanced software, AirPods Max use computational audio to deliver the highest quality listening experience possible. Utilizing each of the chips’ 10 audio cores — capable of 9 billion operations per second — computational audio powers a breakthrough listening experience that includes Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio.
- Adaptive EQ: AirPods Max use Adaptive EQ to adjust the sound to the fit and seal of the ear cushions by measuring the sound signal delivered to a user and adjusting the low and mid-frequencies in real time — bringing rich audio that captures every detail.
- Active Noise Cancellation: AirPods Max deliver immersive sound through Active Noise Cancellation so users can focus on what they are listening to. Each ear cup features three outward-facing microphones to detect environmental noise, while one microphone inside the ear cup monitors the sound reaching the listener’s ear. Using computational audio, noise cancellation continuously adapts to the headphone fit and movement in real time.
- Transparency Mode: With AirPods Max, users can switch to Transparency mode to simultaneously listen to music while hearing the environment around them — ensuring everything, including a user’s own voice, sounds natural while audio plays perfectly. Switching between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode can be done with a single press using the noise control button.
- Spatial Audio: AirPods Max use spatial audio with dynamic head tracking to place sounds virtually anywhere in a space — delivering an immersive, theaterlike experience for content recorded in 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos. Using the gyroscope and accelerometer in AirPods Max and iPhone® or iPad®, spatial audio tracks the motion of a user’s head as well as the device, compares the motion data, then remaps the sound field so it stays anchored to the device, even as the user’s head moves.
Features such as auto-pairing with with all the devices signed in to a user’s iCloud account, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV and Automatic switching which allows users to seamlessly move sound between iPhone, iPad, and Mac all come with the AirPods Max. Audio sharing and Siri capabilities too are the same as they were with regular AirPods.
The AirPods Max come with up to 20 hours of high-fidelity audio, talk time, or movie playback with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled. Now this is a pretty big claim, but we’ll know more when we get it for review.
Price and Availability
AirPods Max are available to order starting today for Dh2,399 from apple.com and in the Apple Store app and will begin shipping on Tuesday, December 15. AirPods Max require Apple devices running iOS 14.3 or later, iPadOS 14.3 or later, macOS Big Sur 11.1 or later, watchOS 7.2 or later, or tvOS 14.3 or later. So you definitely need to update all your devices before you get the AirPods Max.
The headphones will be available in five colors, including Space Gray, Silver, Sky Blue, Green and Pink.
With extremely capable products such as Bose QC35II and Sony WH1000-XM4s available in the market at much more affordable prices, the Apple AirPods Max definitely have a lot to prove. What do you want to know about the new headphones? Let us know in the comments below.