Apple’s first over-ear ANC headphones “AirPod Max” launched: It’s plush!

Like every other product with an Apple branding on it; its first pair of over-ear headphones with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) feature a sticker way above its potential competitors. How the Apple fanboys’ will take it, is a story for another day. Today, let’s concentrate on what these stealthy announced headphones bring to the table.

Apple doesn’t usually unveil products quietly. But this was the case with the freshly announced AirPods Max that along with active noise cancellation offer easy access to Siri and incredible “high-fidelity audio” in a very plush form factor.

Comfortable design

The AirPods Max made from stainless steel, feature “acoustically engineered memory foam” cushions on the cups. The headphones will come in five different shades including space gray, silver, pink, sky blue, and green and feature a “canopy” – a headband made from knit mesh fabric that’ll offer more comfort for extended listening.  

On the inside, the new over-head AirPods have a 40mm dynamic driver system that as Apple says “provides deep bass, accurate mid-ranges, and crisp, clean high frequencies” offering the best acoustic experience possible. Since it belongs to the AirPods family, the AirPods Max features spatial audio, adaptive EQ, and audio sharing.

Talking about design, the AirPods Max surprisingly borrows some design cues from the Apple Watch. Just like on the latter, you get a Digital crown on one side of the headphones, which can be used to toggle volume, pause and play, and to answer and make calls. You also get a noise control button on the same ear cup – that lets you “switch between the Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes.”

Pricing and availability

Running on the Apple H1 chipset, the AirPods Max touts 20 hours of battery life with ANC. It delivers same playback time in spatial mode as well. The headphones come with a smart case, which puts them into ultra-low power state when not in use.

Though Apple’s new headphones pair with a mobile device over Bluetooth 5.0, they may just not be useful for non-Apple users right out of the box. The caveat being, its charging! The AirPods Max charges over Lightning connector and not USB-C.

If you are willing to stretch your budget, given there are many options in a much lesser price range – you can wait for the $549 AirPods that go on sale on December 15 in the US and 25+ other locations. If you can’t wait, AirPods Max is available for preorder at the time of writing.