Apple announced the AirPods Max this morning, a wireless headphone model that offers many of the same features seen in the AirPods and Airpods Pro, but with an over-ear design and high-fidelity sound. The company stated that the AirPods Max combines a custom acoustic design, H1 chips, and advanced software to power computational audio for a new listening experience with Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency Mode, and spatial audio.
The AirPods Max will ship in five different colors, including white, space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink. The new AirPods Max are available to order starting today, with availability beginning on December 15th.
“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,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “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.”
“From the canopy to the ear cushions, every part of AirPods Max is carefully crafted to provide exceptional acoustic performance for each user,” Apple stated in the announcement on Tuesday.” 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.”
The ear cup attaches to the headband with a mechanism that balances and distributes ear cup pressure. This allows the device to independently pivot and rotate each ear cup to fit a person’s head. The ear cushion uses “acoustically engineered memory foam” to create an effective seal, and the Digital Crown, inspired by Apple Watch, offers precise volume control and the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri.
The AirPods Max runs on a 40-mm Apple-designed dynamic driver. A dual neodymium ring magnet motor allows AirPods Max to maintain “total harmonic distortion of less than 1 percent across the entire audible range,” according to Apple, even at maximum volume.
Apple added, “Equipped with an Apple-designed H1 chip in each ear cup, a custom acoustic design, and advanced software, AirPods Max use computational audio to deliver the highest quality listening experience possible. Utilizing each of the chips’ 10 audio cores — capable of 9 billion operations per second — computational audio powers a breakthrough listening experience that includes Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio.”
The AirPods Max offers the same one-tap setup used in the AirPods and AirPods Pro, followed by automatic pairing with all the devices signed in to a user’s iCloud account, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple claims that the AirPods Max offer up to 20 hours of high-fidelity audio, talk time, or movie playback with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled.
AirPods Max are available to order starting today for $549 (US) from apple.com and in the Apple Store app in the US and more than 25 other countries and regions. AirPods Max will begin shipping on Tuesday, December 15.
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