Apple Announces $549 Over-The-Ear Wireless Headphones AirPods Max

Apple has debuted AirPods Max, the long-rumored wireless headphones that incorporate most of the AirPods features to an over-ear design with high-fidelity sound. AirPods Max is available to order starting today, with availability beginning Tuesday, December 15.

“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 wireless earphones, according to Apple, 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.

Per Apple, very part of the AirPods Max has been carefully designed. 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 revolutionary 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.

AirPods Max utilizes a 40mm dynamic driver designed by Apple, which can provide rich and deep bass, accurate midrange, and crisp and clean high-frequency extension. The unique dual-ring neodymium magnet motor enables AirPods Max to maintain the total harmonic distortion of the audible range at less than 1% even at the maximum volume. Each ear cup is featured with an Apple-designed H1 chip. With the support of custom acoustic design and advanced software, AirPods Max provides a high-quality listening experience by calculating audio. The H1 chip has 10 audio cores and can perform 9 billion operations per second, enabling computational audio to achieve breakthrough listening experiences such as adaptive equalization, active noise reduction, transparent mode, and spatial audio.

Apple has listed the following features that are available on AirPods Max: 
  • Adaptive EQ: AirPods Max uses 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 delivers 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 the 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 uses spatial audio with dynamic head tracking to place sounds virtually anywhere in space — delivering an immersive, theater-like 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.
AirPods Max joins the existing AirPods family in delivering unparalleled wireless audio. With just one click, it can automatically pair with all devices logged in to the user's iCloud, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and Apple Watch.

The premium headphones can automatically recognize whether the user is wearing headphones through optical sensors and position sensors. When you put on the headphones, AirPods Max will automatically play the audio, and when you take off the headphones or raise an earmuff, it will automatically pause playback. With AirPods Max, voice calls and Siri commands are crisp and clear due to beam-forming microphones that block out ambient noise and focus on the user’s voice.

AirPods Max features great battery life with up to 20 hours of high-fidelity audio, talk time, or movie playback with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled. It supports fast charging, and it can be used for 1.5 hours after charging with the Lightning cable for 5 minutes. It comes with a soft and slim smart case to maintain an ultra-low power state and save power when not in use.

Users can now order AirPods Max starting today for $549 from and in the Apple Store app in the US and more than 25 other countries and regions. It will begin shipping on Tuesday, December 15.

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