AirPods Max reimagine over-ear headphones. An Apple-designed dynamic driver provides immersive high-fidelity audio. Every detail, from canopy to cushions, has been designed for an exceptional fit. Active Noise Cancellation blocks outside noise, while Transparency mode lets it in. And spatial audio with dynamic head tracking provides theater-like sound that surrounds you.¹
An Apple-designed dynamic driver provides high-fidelity audio
Active Noise Cancellation blocks outside noise, so you can immerse yourself in music
Transparency mode for hearing and interacting with the world around you
Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking provides theater-like sound that surrounds you¹
Computational audio combines a custom acoustic design with the Apple H1 chip and software for breakthrough listening experiences
Designed with a knit-mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions for an exceptional fit
Magical experience with effortless setup, on-head detection, and seamless switching between devices²
Easily share audio between two sets of AirPods on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV
20 hours of listening, movie watching, or talk time with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled³
Store in ultra-low-power mode with the slim Smart Case
¹ Spatial audio works with movies, TV, and video in supported apps. Requires iPhone or iPad.
² Requires an iCloud account and macOS 11.1, iOS 14.3, iPadOS 14.3, watchOS 7.2, or tvOS 14.3 or later.
³ Battery life varies by use. See apple.com/batteries for details.
THE BEST. Simply stated. I ordered these thinking they wouldn’t match up to Bose, B&O, M&D, and all the other Magnolia products and I was blown away. The hard thing to stomach is the price, but, they performed better than the rest. I’ve tested the Bose 700 series, Sony WH-1000XM4, Sennheiser Momentum, Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9, Bower $ Wilkins PX7, and the Master & Dynamic MW65. None of them compare in sound quality, overall look, weight, and design. The Sennheiser Momentum headphones had a great bass kick, but that was it. The interchangeability of the AirPods Max really sells me on them as well. Ear paddings are magnetic and easy to replace, clean sleek design where you can add silicone earphone covers for protection. All around great design from Apple that I was not expecting.
The sound quality, comfort and syncing with Apple devices is phenomenal. I’m very happy with these headphones when I’m using them.
Noise-cancelling is incredible. I’ve used them with noisy people at home and on a trans-Pacific flight. They’re better than my AirPods Pro and my Bose QC35 headphones. Amazing.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to use them when the battery phantom-drains overnight. There’s an unaddressed bug in the software that just slowly kills the battery at all times. Keeping my phone and my car batteries full are both significantly easier than baby-sitting the APM battery.
At this price point, having a dead battery every morning just doesn’t fly. I would not buy these until the battery issues are adjusted.
I have owned Bose QC3, 700, Sennheiser PXC550, Sony XM3 and I am glad I gave AirpodsMax a shot. It (to my ears) are the best of the lot when it comes to wireless headphones. Back in the days, when anybody tried on BOSE QC3, they used to go "wow". After that, things have been "similar" for the most part. Sony XM3s was the next "wows". But this - takes it to a different level. The whole experience - build quality, ease of use, comfort, noise cancellation, transparency mode - is simply awesome. yes 550$ is steep. I had BBuy credits accumulated and I just used it all for this and I have no regrets. I will plan to purchase different color ear cushions once they are available for purchase. The magnetic hold for the ear Cushions are really cool as those are what get spoilt first over time. Extremely easy to remove and put back. The ear cups (not just cushions), also detach with a SIM card ejection tool if someone really wants to do that. I have had these on for many hours and no issues. It seamlessly connects to my apple devices and switches from one to another seamlessly. The Audio quality is astounding. Every single detail is crystal clear and the sound feels "wider" when compared to other headphones. No doubt these are expensive, but I'd rather purchase one exceptional then two mediocres .
BestBuy also delivered this way before time. Thank you BestBuy.
Once you get over the price... 5 stars all the way
5 out of 5
4 out of 5
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
Price, Sound quality
The most noticeable thing (besides the price tag), is the build quality. After taking off my Sony XM4s and putting these on, the build quality is excellent. They feel premium and they are comfortable (once you find the right spot on your head). The lack of an included cable was only frustrating for me because I use a Windows desktop for work and wanted to plug them in. Easy to just buy the cable. For anyone looking for true wireless, the lack of a cable is irrelevant.
Sound quality is on par with Sony’s. I’m not an audiophile, but for me there’s a noticeable difference in the mids. Sounds less “muddy.”
The Digital Crown is perfect, wasn’t sure what to expect but it’s easy and convenient, don’t have to hope you’re touching invisible touch buttons.
I would highly recommend.
I’m always on the look out for good headphones as I travel quite a bit. Noise canceling is a must. Wasn’t sure if these would be an upgrade from my Bose ones and they were. I’ve been most impressed with the noise canceling now that I’ve gotten back on a plane. It really cut out all the background engine and ventilation noise even better than the wired headphones they give you upfront. The only bummer is you can’t plug them into the airplane’s system (unless you get the adapter). Also I noticed if you turn on transparency mode on the plane you can’t hear most of your movie.
One small downside is that I’ve noticed it’s hard to hear yourself when on video meetings (like Teams), but that odd easily remedied by turning on transparency mode (which is awesome too, it’s almost like getting amplified sound).
Overall I think they are a buy, if you’re in the Apple ecosystem.
Other headphones I own when trying out these AirPods Max.
1. Sony WH1000XM3
2. Bose QC35 (first gen)
3. Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro (wired, running on a THX AAA 789 amp)
Top tier in the wireless ANC (active noise cancelling) class of headphones, expected for the stiff $550 price tag and it delivers. Aluminum and stainless steel throughout while the mesh headband may have questionable long life it is surprisingly nice to the touch. Earpads are comfortable, Apple labels them an "acoustic fabric" which has a unique feel.
Not as comfortable as the lightweight Bose QC35s but very good considering their weight and build. I've worn them for about 3 hours straight with no discomfort. I've got a big noggin' so clamping pressure can be an issue, but the AirPods Max have a good balance. I believe the wide mesh at the top of the headband does a good job of distributing the weight of these cans.
Ease of Use:
If you've got iPhone, iPad or Mac then the feature set and ease of use/setup is great. I don't really recommend these for Android or PC users as they aren't worth it when considering the features you lose out on. Pairing is easy, switching between devices, etc - as long as you're in the Apple ecosystem.
ANC is top tier right up there with Sony - possibly slightly better. However due to the pandemic travel has been difficult so airplane testing hasn't been done. They do a very good job overall. Transparency mode though is a step above the competition which others can sound digitized or muffled. AirPods Max doesn't sound like this at all, it mimics real world hearing as if you aren't wearing them really really well. Spatial Audio, a sort of simulated surround sound, is the best in class when content is available. It won't replace your home theater setup but for on the go movie watching it is a more immersive and fun experience.
Top tier for their class of ANC/Wireless. They do not stand up to a more traditional wired setup like my Beyerdyamic DT1990 Pro but as far as sound goes in comparison to others like Bose and Sony - they are better in basically every way. Bass was surprisingly good and not too muddy or overblown like the Sony's can achieve - so if you're a bass-lover I'd go Sony but for a more balanced sound go AirPods Max. The Bose QC35 aren't really that great in the sound department in my opinion, they're a really boring headphone. AirPods Max are fun without being over the top and also don't take themselves too seriously by trying to be analytical or flat.
Eye of the beholder moment here. Are you in the Apple ecosystem? Do you value build quality? Are you looking for a unique feature set like Transparency mode and Spatial Audio? If you said yes to all of these then the value is there in my opinion.
I'm not going to rank sound quality directly to value as everyone hears a little different so some of you out there may dislike this headphone's sound. I recommend giving it a try if you are curious, worse case scenario is you can return it within the generous return policy at Best Buy if you don't like them.
I'll be keeping my pair - sort of - I want the blue color so I'll be returning the white pair to get a blue pair when they finally become available. I mean, what's up with that? Other colors shouldn't take so long.. but oh well.
I gave this headphone an excellent rating based on their category against other wireless ANC headphones and assuming the person buying these is probably a Apple user who is deep in the ecosystem.
For Apple's first attempt at over-ear headphones, these are a pretty good set of headphones. I want them to be great headphones, especially being in the Apple ecosystem. I do like them, but they need to figure out the battery issue. Noise-canceling is awesome. Transparency mode is awesome. I do wish there was some adjustable settings in-between those two but for now it is all or nothing. These things are heavy compared to most other headphones, but they are comfortable on the ears and the headband (goofy as it looks) is comfortable as well. The phone call quality is excellent. The audio quality is pretty good as well (not an audiophile, but sounded good to my ears). The build quality is nothing short of spectacular.
Unfortunately, the battery issue is real. I cannot understand not having an on/off button, but I could accept that if the headphones properly conserved power, which they do not. When I don't put them in the case, they will lose 10-12% per night (about 14 hours from the time I stop work until I start again in the morning). When I put them in the horribly designed, handbag case it is even worse. I lose 20-30% per night in something that is supposed to conserve power immediately. For now, I have just taught myself that these are a device that needs to be charged every night, just like my iPhone and Apple Watch. It should not be like this. Either Apple needs to fix the power conservation mode or allow for one of the buttons to turn them on and off. Here's hoping to a software fix soon.
Other than that one, major issue, these headphones are near the top-of-class in everything else. Unfortunately, for a lot of people the battery issue will be a non-starter. You will need to decide for yourself if that is the case based on your use and needs.
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about mids quality, treble quality, soundstage and size. Editors are less positive about portability and price and have mixed opinions about comfort. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 98/100 = Excellent quality.
TechRadarRating, 4 out of 54.0Olivia Tambini on January 18, 2021
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A:AnswerNot sure on impedance but rtings.com did a pretty good review of them going over sound signature with graphs/charts if you are into that sorta thing.
As far as the serious specifications goes... that is how Apple has decided to release/market these headphones. I don't think these are anywhere near targeted toward an audiophile who is looking for top-tier listening headphones. These are for Apple ecosystem users who have the money to spend on a premium product that is a step up from AirPods Pro. Now when I say premium I don't mean audio quality vs wired headphones but in their class (ANC, wireless, etc) they are really good. If you compare then against other wireless ANC headphones they will win most fights from sound quality, ANC, ease of use (if you're into the whole Apple ecosystem), swapping between devices seamlessly, etc. Their build quality (aside from the case, yikes) is leagues ahead of another competing ANC wireless headphones as aluminum and stainless steel aren't cheap materials and the machining is top notch.
It's one of those, you're buying it for the whole package and the name kinda gigs. If you're questioning yourself as to "why would I buy it when I can get better stuff" then you probably aren't the target audience for it. I know that sounds weird to say but it's the same reason someone will spend extra on a high-end item like nice shoes, a purse, a watch, etc. They're buying it for the whole package and are willing to spend the extra money. Casio and Rolex both tell the time but the Casio will set you back $20, the Rolex $5,400.
I'm not saying its right or wrong that's just how it is - Apple is a luxury brand and that's how they have placed themselves in the market.