Apple has released the AirPods Max – a wireless pair of over-ear luxury headphones that includes the company’s impressive audio technology and a head-turning design – but be prepared to pay $899 if you want to listen to them.
AirPods Max has a stunning design with a breathable knit mesh canopy to spread the weight of the earphones and reduce the on-head pressure.
This connects to a stainless steel headband frame to elegantly and comfortably fit a variety of head shapes and sizes.
Each of the ear cups is attached to the headband using as unique mechanism to rotate and fit the contours of each user’s head with specially-engineered acoustic memory foam to create a passive seal.
Also onboard is a digital crown, usually seen on the Apple Watch, to provide precise volume and control playback.
“AirPods are the most popular headphones in the world, beloved for their effortless setup, incredible sound quality, and iconic design,” says Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
“With AirPods Max, we are bringing that magical AirPods experience to a stunning over-ear design with high-fidelity audio.
“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.”
AirPods Max will be available in five colours – space grey, silver, green, sky blue and pink.
If you aren’t already impressed by the AirPods Max stunning design then you will be impressed by the technology under the hood.
The headphones include a 40mm Apple-designed dynamic driver to provide rich and accurate sound from deep bass to clean high frequency while a dual neodymium ring magnet motor allows the AirPods Max to virtually eliminate distortion across the entire audible range.
There’s also the Apple-designed H1 chip in each ear cup to enable the headphones to use computational audio that’s capable of 9 billion operations per second so it can optimise the listening experience.
AirPods Max also use adaptive EQ which adjusts the sound to the fit and seal of the ear cushions after measuring the sound signal delivered to the user and adjusting low and mid frequencies in real-time.
Naturally the AirPods Max headphones have Active Noise Cancellation which is achieved through the three outward facing microphones that detect ambient noise while one microphone inside the ear cup monitors the sound reaching the listener’s ear.
All this adds up to the noise cancellation continuously adapting to the headphone fit and movement of the user in real time.
But for the times you want to hear what’s going on around you there is also Transparency mode so you can still hear your music as well as your environment.
Switching between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode can be done with a single press of the noise control button.
AirPods Max also use spatial audio with dynamic headtracking so sounds can be placed virtually in a space Which means the headphones can deliver a Theatre like experience for content recorded in 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby atmos.
While listening the iPhone or iPad, the user’s head movement while wearing the headphones is tracked using the gyroscope an accelerometer so it stays anchored to the device even if the user moves their head.
Air pods Max can automatically detect when they are placed on a user’s head using the optical and position sensors and can also pause once removed or when the user simply lifts one ear cup.
Of course, users can access their voice calls and Siri quickly and clearly through the beamforming microphones that block out ambient noise and focus on the user’s voice.
On the battery side, AirPods Max will run for up to 20 hours of active noise cancellation and spatial audio-enabled playback.
Also included with the headphones is a soft slim smart case they can put the AirPods Max into an ultra-low power mode to help preserve the battery even longer when not in use.
But the Apple AirPods Max Active Noise Cancelling headphones are not exactly cheap.
They are priced at $899 and will be available from December 15.