Apple today unveiled its latest wireless headphones, called the AirPods Max.
The company’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak said that the headphones offer the features of its popular AirPods earbuds in an over-ear design.
“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,” Joswiak stated.
He explained these headphones combine a custom acoustic design, H1 chips, and advanced software to power computational audio wirelessly for the “ultimate personal listening experience”.
Apple claimed that the headphones provide up to 20 hours of playback for high fidelity audio, talk time, or movies with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled.
The AirPods Max headband consists of a breathable knit mesh canopy with a stainless steel frame that is made to distribute weight and reduce on-head pressure.
This provides strength, flexibility, and comfort for a wide variety of head shapes and sizes, Apple claimed.
The ear cups are attached through what the company labelled as a “revolutionary mechanism” that balances and distributes ear cup pressure, and allows it to independently pivot and rotate to fit the unique contours of a user’s head.
“Each ear cushion uses acoustically engineered memory foam to create an effective seal — a critical factor in delivering immersive sound,” the company added.
The control buttons are located in a “Digital Crown” at the top of the ear cups and allow the user to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri.
Apple outlined the features of the AirPods Max as follows:
- Adaptive EQ – AirPods Max use Adaptive EQ to adjust the sound to the fit and seal of the ear cushions by measuring the sound signal delivered to a user and adjusting the low and mid-frequencies in real-time — bringing rich audio that captures every detail.
- Active Noise Cancellation – Each ear cup features three outward-facing microphones to detect environmental noise, while one microphone inside the ear cup monitors the sound reaching the listener’s ear. Using computational audio, noise cancellation continuously adapts to the headphone fit and movement in real-time.
- Transparency Mode – Users can switch to Transparency mode to simultaneously listen to music while hearing the environment around them — ensuring everything, including a user’s own voice, sounds natural while audio plays perfectly.
- Spatial Audio: AirPods Max use spatial audio with dynamic head tracking to place sounds virtually anywhere in space — delivering an immersive, theatre-like experience for content recorded in 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos.
Pricing and availability
The AirPods Max will be offered in five colours – space grey, silver, sky blue, green, and pink.
The headphones are now available to order in the US at $549 (R8,250), with shipping to start on 15 December.
Information on local availability, launch dates, and pricing are not yet available.
Below are images of Apple’s new AirPods Max over-ear headphones.