Apple AirPods Max are the newest premium over-ear headphones with ANC and a $549 price tag

Apple AirPods Max are the newest premium over-ear headphones with ANC and a $549 price tag

The Apple AirPods may not be the best earphones on the market, but they sure are the most popular and recognizable TWS earbuds around the world. Apple struck gold when it removed the headphone jack, as the solution to the newly created problem went on to contribute to some of Apple’s amazing numbers in the coming years. The company wants to repeat some of that magic once again, as Apple has now launched the new AirPods Max, a set of premium over-ear headphones with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), and a cool $549 price tag.

Apple AirPods Max full design

To start with, let’s address the elephant in the room. The Apple AirPods Max is an official Apple product and the first over-ear headphones with Apple’s logo on them. This alone makes the product confidently command a premium price. Whether this premium price is worth parting, is something that you decide as a consumer based on your personal measures towards luxury. These headphones are competing against the likes of Bose, Sony, Sennheiser, AKG, and others in the premium headphone segment.

Apple AirPods Max full design front view

As Apple puts it, the AirPods Max brings the magic of AirPods to an over-ear design with high fidelity sound. These headphones come with a “custom acoustic design”, comprising of a stainless steel headband with a breathable knit mesh canopy, telescopic headband arms, and memory foam on the earcups. This combination claims to provide you with a comfortable yet strong and durable pair of headphones that form a seal around your ears with distributed pressure. There is also an Apple Watch-inspired Digital Crown for controlling volume, controlling playback, answer and end phone calls, and activate Siri. There is also a dedicated button for toggling between Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Transparency modes.

Apple AirPods Max earcup top view

The AirPods Max features a 40mm Apple-designed dynamic driver, and the Apple-designed H1 chip in each cup. This allows Apple to claim a total harmonic distortion of less than 1% across the audible range even at maximum volume. Other features include Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency Mode, and spatial audio. These headphones also claim to offer 20-hour battery life with high-fidelity audio, ANC and spatial audio enabled. Keep in mind that these charge over Apple’s Lightning connector (and not USB-C), and come with Bluetooth 5.0. There’s no information that could be spotted for water resistance, either — so we’d advise not wearing these near the pool.

Apple AirPods Max earcup blow out view with internal components

Another one of the bigger draws, where the Apple logo on the product comes in, is the deeper integration within the Apple ecosystem. Everything that users have experienced with the AirPods and AirPods Pro within iOS and with Apple hardware, will also be extended to the AirPods Max. This means you get hassle-free one-tap setup, automatic pairing with all devices within the same iCloud account, and more.

Apple AirPods Max connection process

The headphones also can detect when they are on a users’ head and can pause audio when the user lifts one ear cup (and resume when the position is restored). These can also automatically switch between iPhones, iPads, and Macs if you get a phone call. And there is Siri too, of course.

Pricing and Availability

The Apple AirPods Max comes in five colors: Space Gray, Silver, Sky Blue, Green, and Pink. In the USA, they are available to pre-order from today, with general availability beginning from December 15 for a price of $549. In India, they go on sale from December 15 for ₹59,990.

These headphones also come with a Smart Case that puts them in an ultralow-power state to preserve battery charge when not in use.

Apple AirPods Max Smart Case


What are your thoughts on the AirPods Max? Let us know in the comments below!

About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

I am a tech journalist with XDA since 2015, while being a qualified business-litigation lawyer with experience in the field. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected]