Just in time for Christmas, Apple has finally introduced its long-rumored over-ear headphones. It is the first over-ear headphones under the AirPods brand and joins the AirPods and AirPods Pro in the line-up; all the previous models were released under the Beats brand acquired by the Cupertino-based technology giant back in 2014. Called the AirPods Max, the wireless headphones pack similar features found on the company’s in-ear AirPods Pro, including simple setup and connections, active noise cancellation, and transparency mode. “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 AirPods Max is powered by Apple’s H1 chip with 10 audio cores and gets 40mm, dynamic drivers inside the cups. There are 8 microphones on the device, with two of them facing inwards and six facing outwards. The inward-facing microphones are used for the Adaptive EQ feature, which adjusts the sound based on the headphones’ fit and seal. The outward-facing microphones on each ear cup help in the active noise cancellation function. The device also uses the gyroscope and accelerometer to deliver sound in 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos. Apple claims the AirPods Max offers unmatched quality in its segment. Another interesting feature is the Apple Watch-like digital crown on the top that can be used to adjust the volume, skip tracks, etc.
In terms of design, the AirPods Max looks quite different from everything else on the market, which mixes futuristic-looking design elements with retro touches like the shape of the anodized aluminum cups. The headphones get a stainless steel frame, while the headband has a canopy structure has a flexible knit mesh, which, according to Apple, will make the headset more comfortable to wear. The AirPods Max features a fold-flat design and can be stored in a ‘Smart Case,’ which automatically puts the headset in an ultra-low power state. The AirPods Max comes in multiple colors — silver, space gray, sky blue, pink, and green. It carries a price-tag of $549 and will compete against the likes of Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose 700 – both are significantly cheaper. The Apple AirPods Max is available for pre-order now and will start shipping on December 15.