You use an iPhone, wear an Apple Watch, and listen to music on the go on your AirPods. Whenever you get home, you put down the AirPods for a little charging and put on a pair of Beats headphones instead while you stream shows from an Apple TV and play games on a Macbook. Yes, the lack of actual Apple-branded headphones you can wear at home just feels wrong on so many levels. Fortunately, that’s about to change with the introduction of the Apple AirPods Max.
Apple’s very first over-ear wireless headphones, it gives you an Apple-branded pair of cans that are more suited for listening at home, so you don’t have to spend your days in the living room and bedroom without the spirit of Steve Jobs piping music to your ears. That’s right, you can now consume digital content at home in full Apple regalia, making it just that much easier to pledge your allegiance to your corporate overlord of choice. Or something.
The Apple AirPods Max is fitted with 40mm dynamic drivers that, the outfit claims, provide a rich deep bass, an accurate mid-range, and crisp high-frequency extension, ensuring every note is clearly heard. The drivers use dual-neodymium ring magnet motors that allow it to maintain a total harmonic distortion of under one percent across the entire audible range, allowing you to hear clean audio even at maximum volume. It pairs those drivers with a custom acoustic design that creates an effective seal to fully immerse you in whatever sounds are playing.
Equipped with adaptive EQ, the headphones can automatically adjust the low- and mid-frequencies based on the fit and seal of the ear cushions, so users are able to enjoy the full range of detail, regardless of how the headphones fit over their ears. It also boasts spatial audio, with support for 5.1 channels, 7.1 channels, and Dolby Atmos, complete with dynamic head tracking that adjusts the way the audio is delivered based on how your head is positioned.
Like many modern headphones, the Apple AirPods Max come with adaptive noise cancellation. This is implemented using four microphones on each ear cup (three outside, one inside) that detects environmental noise and eliminates it, so you can listen intently to whatever is playing, regardless of whether you’re flying on a plane, commuting on a train, or walking in a crowded market in the middle of the day. It also comes with a transparency mode that lets you allow ambient sounds through, making it easy to hold a conversation without having to take off your headphones.
The integrated battery is rated at up to 20 hours of playback between charges, with both noise cancellation and spatial audio enabled, so you can use this all day and only recharge once you get back home. Other features include a stainless steel headband with a mesh knit canopy, telescoping headband arms, memory foam ear cushions, and physical controls (a button and a multi-purpose knob).
The Apple AirPods Max is available now, priced at $549.