Early Impressions of Apple's New AirPods Max Over-Ear Headphones [Video]

Early Impressions of Apple's New AirPods Max Over-Ear Headphones [Video]

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Here are some of the first early impressions of Apple's new AirPods Max over-ear headphones. Apple officially unveiled the long rumored headphones earlier this week for $549.

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First, they’re gorgeous. The earcups are beautiful. The band is incredibly sturdy. The netting feels like a high-end piece of furniture. The stems are very well done, with a precision pull out mechanism that acts like a precision milled car piston. The netting, the ear pads, the clever (though now somewhat common) magnetic centering and clasp. The tuck and roll of the earcup covers providing an invisible seam as they attach to the body. The single piece of aluminum each of the ear cups is made of. How high quality is the build here? Like, this shouldn’t ship for $550 high. Judging from materials execution alone, the AirPod Max feels like it should be more expensive if anything.

Marques Brownlee
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They sound really good to me. I’ll revisit more in my full review, but I also don’t know that I could stand here right now and pinpoint exactly how much better they sound than a pair of Bose or Sony headphones. The noise cancellation is pretty solid: I didn’t hear people talking in the room next to me while I was working. I’m not sure how they’ll compare on an airplane to Bose yet, though. And I won’t be flying any time soon for obvious reasons.

I spent some time comparing these to Sony's WH-1000XM4 and Bose's Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, which aren't cheap but cost a lot less than the AirPods Max. As I said, the AirPods Max offer better sound and noise canceling. They're just more articulate headphones than both the Sony and Bose, with more refined, richer sound. It's not a huge difference, but they do perform better overall.

The Verge
I have no idea what’s going on with the AirPods Max case, which is a goofy one-piece contraption that’s folded and glued over on itself to form a case. It looks very much like a purse when wrapped around the headphones, which is at once fun and clever and also not the point of a headphones case that needs to survive in a backpack. It does not appear very protective, feels like it will get dirty fast, and generally does not hold a candle to the nice hard cases that come with almost every other set of premium headphones. It is one of the cheaper-feeling things Apple has ever made, in my estimation — the second in a trend that started with the MagSafe Duo Charger. I hope there is not a third thing.