Apple recently launched the Airpods Max, just around the end of the Year that we wish wasn’t – 2020. Well, you’ll be saying, it’s an Apple product and is great, but I say wait until you hear its price tag of a whopping $549, and in India 59,900 INR! At first, I was so incensed I just skipped them. But then, I just pondered over the fact how very few headphones WOW me anymore. So, after maxing it out, here is, the Airpods Max. And I’m deeply disheartened to say, buddy, max out your credit card on this one.
First, let’s begin with what’s good. And grab a bite, friends for this is a long one. Look at the AirPods max and see the statistics. It’s heavy at 384g and might look bulky with the big earcups, but, once you put it on, voilà! The weight vanishes into thin air. The earcups are memory foam, so they mold themselves into your ear’s comfort as worn in a few days, and the mesh-like canopy on top of your head keeps the top soft, however, this leads to two centers of gravity, the earcups. That might take a bit used to. Having used big headsets and bulky ones for a long time, I expected this to give me oodles of sweat rings around my ears and pain on my scalp after a few hours of wearing it. But, oh my, none of that even happened! Now, over to the quality. This shouldn’t be too long. Exquisite and sophistication define it perfectly. Also, you can change the earcups (at a hefty price tag of $96.99 or 6,500 INR) but still, an option’s an option. Better than changing the entire headphone 🙂
Onto the headphones as an audio device.
Putting these headphones on, you suddenly emerge into a whole new world! Away from the noise and the shouts, you are now in the ANC world of the Airpods Max. ANC is acoustic noise cancellation, which blocks outside noise out. And these do that really well. And also, there’s transparency mode which helps you reconnect to the earthly noise world without removing the headphones, and it sounds just like real life.
In this mode, the Airpods Max’s performance is stellar and even better than the Sony WXMH300 Mark III’s, which had a sort of an artificial quality to it. And, obviously, the audio quality is astounding. Apple’s spatial audio helps enhance it further, and the sound is never too bass-heavy at times, it’s all a perfect balance. However, this is not the headphones for audio engineers to work with, as it doesn’t deliver authentic sound comparing to studio headphones like the Shure SRH1540, or the Drop Panda headphones (yes that’s a headphone name 😉 )
The Airpods max have an *interesting* carrying case. In this case, when the headphones are put inside of it, make the headphones go into a low power state, losing as low as 1% or even none for 7-8 hours. Even without the case, the battery loses only about 3-4% battery in 4-5 hours after which it automatically goes into low power mode and after 24 hours, ultra low power mode, where Bluetooth and the Apple ‘Find my’ functionality is turned off. The battery on a continuous should give you 20+ hours battery life (ANC & Transparency).
Wearing these headphones for an 8-10 hour workday? Break no sweat, this is a comfortable headphone with a great audio soundstage too!
However, when on ANC, there is acoustic auditory sensory deprivation, which may lead to disorientation, due to lack of ambient noise, but that can really be something to deduct points for, it’s proof that they are doing as advertised!
Phew! That’s a lot of pros!
Now, let’s come to the things that weigh it down.
To cut a long story short, the bad parts are the charging, the case & of course, the mammoth price.
Yes, you will have a lightning cable, but what about USB-C? Even on the iPad & MacBook Apple has jumped to USB-C. It makes travel easier as I need to carry one less cord.
Second, the case is good, but it is very bulky and a bit hard to carry during travels. And they don’t fold, so, portability? Nah, uncheck that box.
Price? Obviously. At that price, we want it but can’t have it. But if you are out there with a ludicrously large budget for a headphone like this, I’m saying, it’s worth it. Max out your credit card and when the bank comes after you, turn on ANC, and shut them out completely!