Apple launches AirPods Max over-ear headphones with integrated noise cancellation

A pair of premium over-ear headphones from Apple have been on the cards for some time now. Despite rumors of a delay into 2021 they’re now official – meet the Air Pods Max.

Apple’s new AirPods Max are over-year headphones with active noise cancellation

Cutting straight to the chase here, $549/€600-620/£549 of your hard-earned money get you Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Adaptive EQ and high-fidelity special audio. All of this is often backed-up by Apple’s own H1 chip for a premium wireless Bluetooth 5.0 audio experience. there’s still a physical port on the headphones – a lightning one meant for charging the battery, said to be good for up to twenty hours on one charge with either spatial audio or ANC enabled.

Continuing the physical tour of the AirPods Max, Apple offers a pretty-nice mixture of physical controls and advanced sensors. A Digital Crown, inspired by the Apple Watch design, offers precise volume controls, also because the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri. These are activated by single, double and triple taps or press and hold, which makes for one overloaded key.

There is also a fanatical Noise control button which cab switch between ANC and Transparency mode. The latter is supposed to amplify the environment sound. curiously enough, there seems to be no mention of a “basic” audio mode beyond these two. Another notable omitted piece of information relates to powering on and off the headset as there doesn’t seem to be a fanatical button for that.

Instead, Apple has equipped the AirPods Max with optical and position sensors which will be used for wear detection among other things. Simply lifting one ear cup from your ears pauses audio. Plus, the AirPods Max even have many data on the user’s head position, which is what Apple leverages for its Spatial Audio and Adaptive EQ features.

Adaptive EQ adjusts the sound in real time to the seal on the earcup, the audio source and therefore the ambient condition.

Spatial Audio might already be familiar to iPhone and iPad users. It promises an immersive theater-like experience by virtually and dynamically placing sound sources in space. this is often meant to figure with content recorded in 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos formats and uses the gyroscope and accelerometer inside the Air Pods Max, also as a compatible iPhone or iPad as an audio source.

Naturally, so as to urge the complete seamless experience from the Air Pods Max, you would like to use them with an existing, preferably current Apple device ecosystem. Officially, they require iOS 14.3, iPad OS 14.3, MacOS Big Sur 11.1, watch OS 7.2, tvOS 14.3 or later. That way you’ll get things like seamless quick-pairing, automatic switching between devices, audio sharing between two Air Pods and always-on Siri capabilities. In fact, the official specs don’t mention any compatibility with non-Apple products. Given the H1 carve the core of the Air Pods Max, we wouldn’t rule out some limited third-party support, though.

Physically, the Air Pods Max have what Apple calls “iconic design” and that we tend to agree that the design clearly stands out. Another description Cupertino use is “custom acoustic design”. The funky-looking breathable knit mesh headband is supposed to distribute the considerable 385g weight (for reference the Sony XM4 weigh 254g) over a bigger area and reduce the pressure you are feeling. Inside may be a chrome steel frame that’s telescopic and allows the ear cups to independently pivot and rotate.

A folding mechanism is, however, a notable omission. you’ll only lay the cups flat. Still Apple does provide a slim Smart Case within the box for carrying the Air Pods Max. Putting the headphones inside the case even automatically triggers an ultralow power state.

Color options include space gray, silver, sky blue, green and pink. Orders are often placed starting today and therefore the first orders will ship out on December 15. MSRP is $549 within the US, €600-629 in continental Europe, £549 within the UK.

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