After years of speculation, Apple has finally dipped its toes into the world of over-ear headphones, unveiling the new AirPods Max. Set to take on the high-end audio players such as Sony and Bose, Apple’s latest release marks an interesting move. Branching out into the wireless headphone market is exciting, but don’t expect these ones to come cheap.
Apple AirPods Max
Where Apple hit the mark with the AirPods initially was in the innovative design. Hyper-portable and easy to configure, the earbuds were an instant success, however, over-ear headphones aren’t anything new. Stepping into an already established market with a new product isn’t a move we see very often from the tech giant.
“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,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing said. “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.”
Design with acoustic performance in mind, the Apple AirPods Max feature a solid design that calls back to the iconic alpine white design of the past. According to Apple, “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.”
One interesting addition is the Digital Crown, inspired by Apple Watch, which offers precise volume control and the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri.
On the inside, the new Apple AirPods Max over-ear headphones feature a 40-mm Apple-designed dynamic driver. The brand claims the unique dual neodymium ring magnet motor allows AirPods Max to maintain total harmonic distortion of less than 1 per cent across the entire audible range, even at maximum volume. Additionally, each ear-cup is equipped with an Apple-designed H1 chip, a custom acoustic design, and advanced software.
There’s a lot to unpack here, but the major features include an adaptive EQ which measures the sound signal delivered to a user and adjust the low and mid-frequencies in real-time and active noise cancellation. Further, Apple has added ‘Transparency Mode’, which lets you simultaneously listen to music while hearing the environment around you and Spatial Audio, a feature that 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.
Apple AirPods Max Price Australia
Here in Australia, the new Apple over-ear headphones are set to go up for sale today. You can order the AirPods Max for AUD$899 inc. GST and will begin shipping on Tuesday 15 December. AirPods Max come in five colours, including space grey, silver, sky blue, green, and pink.
While it’s yet to be seen if Apple’s first foray into the over-ear market will pay off, you can’t help but think it’s a hefty price to pay to find out. Nevertheless, the interest is swelling around the new release, and considering the time and effort spent on these new headphones, you can expect they could very live up to expectations.