StereoNET reviews Apple’s AirPods Max: ‘The bleeding edge of quality craftsmanship, performance, and features’

StereoNET’s review of Apple’s new AirPods Max explores the innovative wireless headphones that bring the magic of AirPods to an over-ear design with high-fidelity sound.

AirPods Max custom acoustic design features a 40-mm dynamic driver and a unique dual neodymium ring magnet motor.
AirPods Max custom acoustic design features a 40-mm dynamic driver and a unique dual neodymium ring magnet motor.

AirPods Max combine a custom acoustic design, H1 chips, and advanced software to power computational audio for a breakthrough listening experience with Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio. AirPods Max come in five colors, including Space Gray, Silver, Sky Blue, Green, and Pink.

Matthew Jens for StereoNET:

Let’s be clear: this is the Cupertino company doing what it does best – breaking new ground by taking an older concept and rebuilding it to make something truly unique… Never in my life have I come across Bluetooth headphones that cost so much. But then again, never in my life have I come across full-size headphones that boast so much wizardry and gadgetry packed into a premium, luxurious wireless offering… There are well-made designs, and there are luxury designs, and then there are these. Not a hint of cheapness, nor any plastic. All you’ll find here are solid metals, beautifully crafted woven padding, creative design quirks, and every single element being over-engineered to within an inch of its life.

There’s one single button on the top of the right earcup for changing noise-cancelling modes, and a volume wheel for volume adjustment. Yes, you heard me correctly. A volume wheel, on a pair of headphones. Apple has taken the crown from the Apple Watch, expanded it, and plonked it directly onto the AirPods Max. The silky-smooth wheel is far better for volume adjustment than any touch panel I’ve ever tried. I’m not going to lie – it’s a game-changer, and I love it.

The noise-cancelling quality is surely best-in-class. I put the AirPods Max against the Bose NC700, Audio-technica ANC700BT and Sennheiser Momentum 3, and the Apple’s NC blows them all out of the water. Engine noise on my flights were immediately reduced from a dull roar to a gentle rumble.

This is Apple doing what it does best – reinventing a classic, well-known product for the better, with some quirks along the way. So if you’re the type of person who’s happy to spend serious sums of money to be on the bleeding edge of quality craftsmanship, performance and features – well, here’s your next pair of headphones.

MacDailyNews Take: The reviews are in. And they rave. AirPods Max are serious cans. Apple has yet another hit on their hands!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “TowerTone” for the heads up.]

7 Comments

  1. “There are well-made designs, and there are luxury designs, and then there are these. Not a hint of cheapness, nor any plastic.”

    What about the diaper, er, smart case?

    1. Yeah, that case is something else. I still can’t name it, but it’s a little goofy…all dressed up, but not helping you go anywhere.

      I assume people really tried hard, but….

  2. Isn’t “bleeding edge” a term associated with products which are so new that they are liable to have all sorts of incompatibilities and bugs?
    If so, the headline doesn’t really fit with an article which is filled with praise.

    1. Like the original HomePod, you will NOT find a new design upgrade for quite sometime – if ever. Apple “might” bring to market a much lighter weight “over the ear” set of headphones (in much the same manner the HomePod Mini is a new off-shoot design) but not a direct generational descendent for these AirPods Max

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