It has been about five years since Apple started producing wireless headphones with the introduction of AirPods with the iPhone 7. Since then, the tech giant has added the second-generation AirPod, the AirPods Pro, and, of course, the AirPod Max to the AirPods family of headphones, gaining a significant share of the headphone market. Of course, the Cupertino-based company, which acquired Beats Audio in 2014, also sells products under the Beats brand, including Beats Solo Pro and Beats Studio3.
Among the AirPods family of products, Apple’s AirPods Max headset, launched in December last year, is one of the flagship devices that Cupertino residents claim will surprise you with its sound quality, noise cancellation, and user experience. Still, even if you believe what Apple claims, when you come across the $ 549 price tag, you have some doubts about the value of buying these high-end headphones.
Is the AirPods Max more valuable than competitors such as the Bose 700 and Sony WH-1000XM4, which are about $ 200 cheaper than the AirPods Max? Keep reading our review of Apple AirPods Max in this article.
Design and Build Quality Of Airpods Max
In describing the appearance of the AirPods Max, one can suffice with “simple and beautiful.” You might be surprised if Apple designers didn’t even put the company logo on the AirPods Max to avoid damaging the minimal design of the headphones. The AirPods Max aluminum body has an excellent build quality and conveys a pleasant feeling to the user, but its weight reduces the device’s ergonomics by the same amount. AirPods Max weighs 385 grams and is 130 grams heavier than its competitors. You will feel the weight of the AirPods Max during prolonged use or while moving your head, especially if you used Bose and Sony headphones before AirPods Max.
AirPods Max’s Smart Case
When you take the AirPods Max out of the box, in addition to the headphones themselves and the USB-C Lightning cable, you’ll find its disappointing smart protector. The AirPods Max case has a terrible design; it does not cover the whole body, and the headband of the device remains outside it. On the other hand, the metal cups of the AirPods Max collide with each other after the headphones come out of the bag, which can cause corrosion of the cups in the long run.
AirPods Max does not have an on/off button; therefore, when you are not using it, the device automatically enters Sleep Mode. But if you put the headphones in the smart bag, it enters Ultra Low Power mode with the lowest battery consumption.
Sound quality and noise cancellation of AirPods Max
It is not possible to spend $ 550 on dual headphones and not expect high sound quality. Apple claims that the AirPods Max can create a different user experience thanks to its 40mm drivers, but can the sound quality of Apple’s headphones surprise the user as much as its price tag?
The AirPods Max has an excellent sound as a wireless headphone; the bass, middle, and lower frequencies are entirely separate, and the extra volume of the lower frequencies makes the sound output of the AirPods Max more attractive. You will not feel any quality loss at the highest volume, and the volume is entirely satisfactory.
AirPods Max does not allow you to adjust sounds a lot, but if you are a fan of real sounds, neither the AirPods Max nor any of its competitors from the Sony and Bose brands will suit you. To hear a sound close to that intended by the producer of the work, we suggest that you consider monitoring headphones instead of wireless ones.
The makers first introduced Active Noise Canceling in the AirPods Pro. Now, with the AirPods Max, Apple wants to offer active noise-canceling headphones.
You will be amazed by pressing the activate button for active noise cancellation mode. The AirPods Max can immerse you in music in noisy environments with eight noise-canceling microphones. For a closer look and comparison of AirPods Max noise cancellation with competitors, refer to the isolation test diagrams on the SoundGuys website. To better understand the graph, you should know that a higher position of the blue-dot line in the chart means better noise cancellation.
The opposite of Noise Canceling mode is the Transparency mode, in which the headphones, with the help of microphones, bring the ambient sound to the user’s ear so that he does not need to remove the headphones from the head to be aware of the surrounding environment.
Keep in mind that the AirPods Max leaks sound, and at high volume levels, those around you will hear music playing. Note that AirPods Max competitors emit much less noise under the same conditions and can be more attractive options to choose from.
However, the AirPods Max can deliver good sound with low noise in conversations. If you limit the use of the AirPods Max to phone calls and online meetings, it will give you a satisfying experience.
Features of AirPods Max software
Spatial Audio mode, which we’ve seen before on the AirPods Pro, plays audio in 3D. The AirPods Max spatial sound is an exciting experience that can be used in all video and audio content by selecting the Spatialize Stereo option in the control center. But despite the attractiveness of this feature, it cannot be considered more than entertaining.
Like other Apple products, connecting AirPods Max to Cupertino’s ecosystem products is simple, fast, and unique. The automatic headphone switch between the devices you are using works smoothly and accurately to create a great user experience.
Apple does not have a separate application for the AirPods Max and provides all the settings related to headphones in the user interface of iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS operating systems. But connecting AirPods Max and using it on Android and Windows devices is one of the disadvantages of AirPods Max. Because in addition to the challenges of connecting to the device, there is no application or part of the user interface to make changes such as enabling/disabling ANC or using Spatial Audio mode.
If you have upgraded your iPhone or iPad to iOS 14 / iPadOS 14, you can make changes to the AirPods Max’s sound from Settings> Accessibility> Audio / Visual> Headphone Accommodations. Of course, modifications are not limited to the AirPods Max and are also available on other Apple AirPods and Beats headphones.
When it comes to all-wireless headphones, charging is a priority. The AirPods Max can accompany the user for up to 20 hours when ANC mode is enabled. On the other hand, these headphones take about 2 hours to charge from zero to one hundred.
Overall, the battery life of the AirPods Max seems to be enough, but if you rarely have access to power and lightning cables during the day and battery life is your first priority, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is a better choice for you.
Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose 700 headphones are the main competitors of AirPods Max; but they are sold at half the price tag of Apple headphones. The AirPods Max has a metal body that conveys a better feeling to the user, but it is 100 grams heavier than its competitors. The AirPods Max eliminates ambient noise better than its competitors overall, but absolute superiority cannot be attributed to it in terms of sound quality or charging.
If you are an Apple user and you are looking for a high-quality headphone that has great sound quality in addition to great noise cancellation, and you do not consider $550 a costly choice, AirPods Max can be a good option for you. But if you are looking for a cheaper option, the Bose 700 and Sony WH-1000XM4 are smarter options that are $200 cheaper than Apple’s headphones.