Apple AirPods Max Review: Pros And Cons

By Amit Chowdhry ● December 11, 2020

 

 

Apple AirPods Max

  • These are some of the Apple AirPods Max pros and cons you should know about.

Apple recently announced the AirPods Max, which arrived just in time for the holiday season. And Apple sold out of the AirPods Max pretty quickly after launching. These are some of the Apple AirPods Max pros and cons you should know about.

Pro: Comfortable Design

The foam cups of the over-ear headphones appear to be very comfortable. The headband is made of stainless steel and it is covered in a rubber material across the top so it looks like a premium device while remaining comfortable on your head. And the stainless steel extensions make the headphones adjustable for all kinds of head sizes.

The right earcup features a button to switch between noise cancellation and Transparency mode. And there is a Digital Crown for volume control, play/pause, and hold for Siri. So the Digital Crown on the AirPods Max works similar to the Digital Crown built into the Apple Watch devices.

The case for the AirPods Max comes off as a little strange at first glance as it looks similar to a purse. And the headphones are exposed even while in the case so you still have to handle it with a lot of care.

Inside of the AirPods Max is Apple’s proprietary H1 chip. This chip enables computational audio, but it also powers the “Hey Siri” feature. The “Hey Siri” feature allows you to activate the digital assistant just by using your voice. And the H1 chip also powers automatic switching so that users can easily switch between the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Customers can also add personal engravings to AirPods Max, AirPods Pro, and AirPods for free on apple.com and through the Apple Store app.

Pro: Superb Audio Quality

The AirPods Max has an Adaptive EQ to adjust the sound to the fit and seal of the ear cushions by measuring the sound signal that is delivered to a user and adjusting the low and mid-frequencies in real-time. And the AirPods Max delivers immersive sound through Active Noise Cancellation so users are able to focus easier.

Each of the ear cups features three outward-facing microphones to detect environmental noise. And there is one microphone inside the ear cup that monitors the sound reaching the listener’s ear. With computational audio, noise cancellation is able to continuously adapt to the headphone fit and movement in real-time.

Users are able to switch to Transparency mode to simultaneously listen to music while hearing the environment around them. This ensures that everything — including a user’s own voice — sounds natural while the audio plays perfectly. And switching between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode can be done with a single press using the noise control button.

The AirPods Max utilizes spatial audio with dynamic head tracking to place sounds virtually anywhere in a space — which delivers an immersive theater-like experience for content that is recorded in 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos. And using the gyroscope and accelerometer in AirPods Max and iPhone or iPad, spatial audio tracks the motion of a user’s head as well as the device, compares the motion data, and then remaps the sound field so it stays anchored to the device.

The Audio Sharing feature is supported so you can easily share audio streams between two sets of AirPods on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV 4K through a single tap.

Pro: Favorable Battery Life

The AirPods Max features a solid 20-hour battery life. And it can be charged with a Lightning cable, which makes it easier for those of you who already use that type of cable for iPhones. And the AirPods Max can be fully charged in 2 hours with a 5W brick. With just 5 minutes on the charger, it will work for about 90 minutes.

Pro: Ear Detection

There is an ear detection feature that causes music to automatically stop after you take the headphones off. Or you can lift one ear cup to talk to someone. Since the memory foam earcups attach magnetically, it is secure when it needs to be.

Pro: Multiple Color Options

Unlike the AirPods earbuds, the AirPods Max features a number of color options including space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink.

Con: Price

One of the biggest cons is the price. At $549, it is out of range for consumers who may be on a budget. But regular buyers of Apple products are already used to paying a premium price so the price does not seem that shocking.

Con: No 2.5mm Or 3.5mm Analog Audio Input

Another major con is that the AirPods Max does not have a 3.5mm or 2.5mm analog audio input. So you will have to spring for a 3.5mm-to-Lightning cable, which Apple sells for $35. This adds even more to the cost if this is something that you think you will need.

Con: No Power Button

Just like the AirPods, the AirPods Max do not have a power button. So to turn off the AirPods Max, you have to put it back in the case. But if you don’t have the case on you, then you would likely have to just turn off your audio source so that the headphones go into standby mode.

Pulse 2.0 Score

The Apple AirPods Max received a Pulse 2.0 score of 4.5 out of 5. While the AirPods Max have premium audio quality, the device has several quirks. On the other hand, the original AirPods were ridiculed for the price and appearance only to become ubiquitous and a large revenue source for Apple.

Even though you may find other similar headphones for below $500 that are offered by Bose and Apple’s own Beats subsidiary, these headphones are competitive against headphone products sold by Sennheiser and Bang & Olufsen.

Read More On Pulse 2.0:

Apple AirPods Max Specs

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