Just in time for the holidays, Apple released the next evolution of its AirPods. While the company already owns Beats, designing its own audio products is clearly a priority. One leading theory on the grand plan, below.
Apple had customers buzzing on Tuesday following the launch of its first signature over-ear headphone style, AirPods Max, starting at $549. (Free engraving included.)
Top features of AirPods Max include custom acoustic design, adaptive EQ, active noise cancellation, transparency mode and spatial audio. The latter innovation is pretty sweet, allowing the headphones and a paired iPhone to track the motion of a user’s head and adjust the output so the sound stays consistent even if a user's head is moving around.
Good to know: While AirPods Max technically works with non-Apple devices, things like spatial audio and instant pairing are only available with iPhones running iOS 14.3 or later and other updated Apple products.
As far as comfort goes, the headband is covered in a knit mesh canopy that helps better distribute weight and minimize pressure on your dome. Both ear cushions also offer "acoustically engineered memory foam."
Drip: If you want to customize your look, replacement cushions will soon be available on Apple's site for $69 a pair in the five main colorways: silver, space gray, green, sky blue and red. They attach magnetically.
Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said in a statement, "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."
Another exciting function is the 20 hours of battery life for audio streaming or talk. When you're not vibing, the included Smart Case puts the phones in an "ultra-low power state" to reduce battery drain.
Some people are confused as to why Apple is entering the over-ear space with Beats in its repertoire. Well, tech journalist Jon Prosser claimed back in April that Apple is low-key trying to "phase out" Beats.