The AirPods Max review

AirPods Max are the new over-ear headphones by Apple, and I’ve been using them in the Silver color for around 2 days now. Here’s my review of them.

AirPods Max in Pink

Comfortability: They are comfortable. I couldn’t say they’re more comfortable than regular AirPods just because of the extra weight. 4/5.

Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode: The noise cancellation is definitely better than on the AirPods Pro, but not perfect. People have different preferences for noise cancellation, and I prefer it to be as silent as possible. When it comes to transparency mode, it’s great and doesn’t get much better. Again, 4/5.

Physical features: The Digital Crown is nice, and you can even change the direction you turn it to adjust the volume. However, I do wish the position of the crown and noise control button were swapped, since for me I always feel like reaching towards the front of them to adjust the audio. The Noise Control button can only adjust your Noise Control, whereas the Digital Crown can control playback, Siri, and volume in one. I do wish the Noise Control button was given extra functionality. There’s also a lack of a on/off button, which is great for the simplicity Apple is going for, but I can see how some people would want to manually control that– especially in over-ear headphones. 3/5.

Charging: Lightning. 1/5. Okay, seriously: I wish these had wireless charging or at least USB-C. However, I do have to give them bonus points with the 5 minute charge for 1.5 hours of listening time. 2.5/5.

Battery Life: Battery life is definitely the best part, coming from AirPods Pro. I used them for a solid 10 hours with noise cancellation on and the battery is still at 57%. However, compared to other headphones, I’d say it’s average or even below average. I think the best comparison is Beats Solo Pro which have many of the same features as these, and they have a 22 hour battery life compared to the 20 hour battery life on AirPods Max. 4.5/5.

Sound quality: I’m no audiophile, but you can tell these are some good sounding headphones. While I couldn’t give any specifics, you can tell these are premium headphones from the sound quality. I’ll rate it 4.5/5.

Smart Case: The case is okay. It’s nothing incredible. I don’t mind the design but I do wish it was more protective of the rest of the headphones. It protects the most important part, but even that isn’t fully covered with the little openings at the bottom. The magnets aren’t as snappy as previous AirPods models. 3/5.

AirPods Max Smart Case

The name: It makes sense. “Air” means wireless for Apple (example: AirPlay, AirDrop, AirPods) and “Pod” means music for Apple (example: iPod, HomePod, AirPods). Put that together, and it means wireless music. And it’s just a smart move for Apple, because they’ll definitely get a few more sales from the “AirPods” name alone. 5/5.

The design: It’s unlike most headphones I’ve seen before. You can tell they’re headphones, but from the mesh canopy to the aluminum ear cups, they’re visibly different than most headphones. I’ll admit: In the first leaks I saw, I hated the design. In the final product, however, it seems to have grown on me. I really like the design. It’s not perfect, but to me, you can tell they’re premium headphones. The mesh canopy is designed to reduce the weight of the heavy headphones and make them more comfortable. When it comes to weight, you can feel it. However, being as expensive as they are, I don’t think plastic, while weighing less, would’ve been good either. 4.5/5.

The price: I saved the best for last. Do they seem like $549 headphones? The simple answer: Not really. The more detailed answer: There’s a lot of good things about these headphones, but there are some bad things as well. I don’t think it would be right to price these at anything less than $400, so with that being said, I would probably consider them worth around $450. 4/5.

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Senior writer for Apple TLD

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