Apple has done something it usually does — it has just entered at sub-US$ 350 noise cancelling over-the-ear headphone market with a $549 product, the AirPods Max. While it barely holds any resemblance to the existing line-up of AirPods, it looks like Apple really has a lot going on with the new iPhone of the headphone world.
Rs. 59,990 for a pair of headphones!
Insane prices have been a trademark for Apple products, and Airpods Max does meet the expectation, with its price at least. At Rs. 59,990 its almost twice as much as the competing headphones from Sony, Sennheiser and Bose.
Apple’s AirPods line-up has become arguably the most widely accepted and famous TWS earbuds and an obvious go-to, especially for iPhone users.
- Build: By the looks of it, AirPods (Pro) Max holds up to Apple’s minimalistic and premium design and comes in multiple colour options. Alongside the usual Silver and Space Grey, AirPods Max also comes in Green, Sky Blue and Pink. The headband is made out of stainless steel with the breathable knit pattern running in between the rails. The fit is further enhanced by a unique-looking hinge that pivots in various directions to adjust according to the user’s needs. The earcups feature engineered acoustic foam that adds to the comfort and acts like a step one noise seal.
Interestingly the AirPods Max also comes with a Crown on the right ear cup. The Apple Watch inspired Crown functions as a controller for the volume, skipping between tracks, pushing for play/pause, taking calls and ending calls as well as firing up Siri (if you’re part of the small clan who actually do that).
- Engineering Inside: Inside the Max resides an industry-standard 40mm “Apple-designed” driver. Supporting it is a dual neodymium ring magnet motor that’s unique to the AirPods Max and allows it to maintain total harmonic distortion of less than 1% which essentially translates to lossless audio even at higher volumes across the range of audible frequencies. Apple is bragging heavily of the 10-core H1 chip that resides inside to handle the software to provide features like Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency Mode, and spatial audio.
- Features: If you’re generous enough to spend sixty thousand rupees you might just be an audio buff, and features here are hence are a priority. Active Noise Cancellation will be the topmost priority, and AirPods Max has got it covered with 3 outward-facing microphones fishing for external noise and actively restricts them from filtering through. Transparency mode does just the opposite by letting environmental sounds to filter through. AirPods Max also delivers Spatial Audio with the help of a gyroscope and an accelerometer to provide theatre-like experience for sounds recorded in 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos with variations occurring depending upon user’s head movements. Adaptive EQ will use a set of interior facing microphones to read the amount of sound reaching into your ears and simultaneously judge the sound seal created by the ear cups to provide richer sound experience.
- Battery and Connectivity: Apple promises 20 hours of playback time for the AirPods Max. AirPods Max will come with a plethora of sensors and software tricks to ensure seamless connectivity to Apple devices. Audio Sharing lets 2 pairs of AirPods Max to listen to the audio from a single source. Apple’s AirPods max comes with a SmartCase inside which the pair of headphones go into an ultra low power mode that ensures long standby time.
The AirPods Max will be living in a class of its own, specifically because it has been outpriced beyond the segment’s range. It is more likely to create a premium version of the segment which might later attract more manufacturers to consider getting into.
AirPods Max will retail at a price of Rs. 59,990 in India.