A pair of premium over-ear headphones from Apple have been on the cards for some time now. Despite rumours of a delay into 2021, they are now official – meet the AirPods Max.
Apple AirPods Max price:
Cutting straight to the chase here, $549/€600-620/£549 of your hard-earned money get you Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Adaptive EQ and high-fidelity special audio. All of this is backed-up by Apple’s own H1 chip for a premium wireless Bluetooth 5.0 audio experience. There is still a physical port on the headphones – a lightning one meant for charging the battery, said to be good for up to 20 hours on a single charge with either spatial audio or ANC enabled.
Apple AirPods Max availability, price in India:
The Apple AirPods Max is already up for pre-ordering on the Apple Online Store in India with availability beginning Tuesday, December 15.
As for the price, AirPods Max are available to order starting today for ₹59,900 and $549 in US. The headphones can be ordered from Apple.com and Apple Authorised Resellers.
On the other hand, AirPods start at ₹14,900 and AirPods Pro are available for ₹24,900.
The AirPods Max come in five colours: space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink. They feature what Apple calls a “custom acoustic design” with a 40mm driver system “that provides rich, deep bass, accurate mid-ranges, and crisp, clean high-frequency extension so every note can be heard.”
Apple, in its latest product, has brought over a number of features that first debuted in the AirPods line like adaptive EQ, transparency mode, spatial audio, and audio sharing. There’s even an element from the Apple Watch — the Digital Crown — that has made its way to these headphones. The Digital Crown offers volume control and the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri.
Apple says it “offers precise volume control and the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri.” There’s also a separate “noise control” button for switching between noise canceling and transparency modes.
Moreover, with AirPods Max, users can switch to ‘Transparency mode’ to simultaneously listen to music while hearing the environment around them — ensuring everything, including a user’s own voice, sounds natural while audio plays perfectly. This is much like the “Ambient Mode” in its rival pair of headphone from Bose and Sony.
This feature helps in the switching between Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Transparency mode can be done with a single press using the noise control button.
For the active noise cancelling feature, each ear cup in the AirPods Max houses three outward-facing microphones to detect environmental noise, while one microphone inside the ear cup monitors the sound reaching the listener’s ear. Using computational audio, noise cancellation continuously adapts to the headphone fit and movement in real-time, the Cupertino-based company said in a statement.
Color options include space gray, silver, sky blue, green and pink.
Know About it Deeply:
Apple has equipped the AirPods Max with optical and position sensors that can be used for wear detection among other things. Simply lifting one ear cup from your ears pauses audio. Plus, the AirPods Max also have plenty of data on the user’s head position, which is what Apple leverages for its Spatial Audio and Adaptive EQ features.
The AirPods Max come with a total of nine microphones – six are used exclusively for the active noise cancellation and one for voice pickup with two more serving double duty.
Adaptive EQ adjusts the sound in real time to the seal on the earcup, the audio source and the ambient noise conditions.
Spatial Audio might already be familiar to iPhone and iPad users. It promises an immersive theater-like experience by virtually and dynamically placing sound sources in space. This is meant to work with content recorded in 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos formats and uses the gyroscope and accelerometer inside the AirPods Max, as well as a compatible iPhone or iPad as an audio source.
Naturally, in order to get the full seamless experience from the AirPods Max, you need to use them with an existing, preferably current Apple device ecosystem. Officially, they require iOS 14.3, iPadOS 14.3, MacOS Big Sur 11.1, watchOS 7.2, tvOS 14.3 or later. That way you can get things like seamless quick-pairing, automatic switching between devices, audio sharing between two AirPods and always-on Siri capabilities. In fact, the official specs don’t mention any compatibility with non-Apple products. Given the H1 chip at the core of the AirPods Max, we wouldn’t rule out some limited third-party support, though.
Physically, the AirPods Max have what Apple calls “iconic design” and we tend to agree that the look clearly stands out. Another description Cupertino uses is “custom acoustic design”. The funky-looking breathable knit mesh headband is meant to distribute the considerable 385g weight (for reference the Sony XM4 weigh 254g) over a larger area and reduce the pressure you feel. Inside is a stainless steel frame that is telescopic and allows the ear cups to independently pivot and rotate.
A folding mechanism is, however, a notable omission. You can only lay the cups flat. Still Apple does provide a slim Smart Case in the box for carrying the AirPods Max. Putting the headphones inside the case even automatically triggers an ultralow power state.
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