Apple announces the much-anticipated AirPods Max over-the-ear headphones

Apple has been teasing us about some kind of high-end over-the-ear headphones for at least a year, promising state-of-the-art stuff that would eclipse all competitors including, apparently, the Apple-owned line of Beats cans. The AirPods Max is now here.

The press release is loaded with hundreds of words featuring the typical Apple hype bumpf that need not be reproduced here at length, but I can you the following:

  • Adaptive EQ powered by a “dual neodymium ring magnet motor” that uses “an Apple-designed H1 chip in each ear…[that uses] computational audio to deliver the highest-quality listening experience possible.” Apparently, the chips have 10 cores and are capable of nine billion calculations per second.
  • Active Noise Cancellation: Gotta have that these days.
  • Transparency Mode: This allows the user to hear the music as well as what’s going on around them. A safety feature, then.
  • Spatial Audio: Long story short, the sound will follow the position of your head. This will also apparently make listening to 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby ATMOS mixes through just two speakers.
  • The headphones will automatically detect when they’re placed on your head “using optical and position sensors.”
  • Want to pause what you’re listening to? Just lift one of the ear cups.
  • Battery live is rated at 20 hours.
  • Automatic switching between iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. And yes, Siri is integrated.
  • You can share what you’re listening to with someone else nearby who is also wearing the same headphones.

How much? Just $779 from the Apple Store. Weird, given that the US price is $549. Doing the exchange math, that works out to $703 Canadian. We’re getting jobbed. Again.

Oh, and cue the memes.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Apple announces the much-anticipated AirPods Max over-the-ear headphones

  • December 8, 2020 at 11:05 am
    Permalink

    WTF! $779! I guess only the rich people will be getting these.

    Reply

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