AirPods Max

Apple unveils AirPods Max over-ear wireless headphones

AirPods Max available to pre-order now for £549

APPLE has unveiled a new pair of headphones called AirPods Max – with a revamped over-ear design. The long-rumoured headphones are totally wireless and sit as a step up from the regular AirPods and AirPods pro.

The new headphones feature all of the smart features of the AirPods Pro: noise cancellation, adaptive EQ, and spatial audio that makes sound follow your head as it moves around. They will also work with the Apple ecosystem in the same way, switching between devices.

But they are put into an entirely new form factor for Apple’s audio products: headphones. The company has previously only ever made earphones that go into the ears rather than over them.

AirPods Maxcome in five different colours – space grey, silver, sky blue, green, and pink – and are available to pre-order today with availability on 15 December.

“AirPods are the most popular headphones in the world, beloved for their effortless setup, incredible sound quality, and iconic design. With AirPods Max, we are bringing that magical AirPods experience to a stunning over-ear design with high-fidelity audio,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“The custom acoustic design, combined with powerful H1 chips, and advanced software enable AirPods Max to use computational audio to wirelessly deliver the ultimate personal listening experience.”

AirPods Max feature a 40-mm Apple-designed dynamic driver that provides rich, deep bass, accurate mid-ranges, and crisp, clean high-frequency extension so every note can be heard. A unique dual neodymium ring magnet motor allows AirPods Max to maintain total harmonic distortion of less than 1 percent across the entire audible range, even at maximum volume.

Equipped with an Apple-designed H1 chip in each ear cup, a custom acoustic design, and advanced software, AirPods Max use computational audio to deliver the highest quality listening experience possible. Utilizing each of the chips’ 10 audio cores — capable of 9 billion operations per second — computational audio powers a breakthrough listening experience that includes Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio.

AirPods Max

Adaptive EQ

AirPods Max use Adaptive EQ to adjust the sound to the fit and seal of the ear cushions by measuring the sound signal delivered to a user and adjusting the low and mid-frequencies in real time — bringing rich audio that captures every detail.

Active Noise Cancellation

AirPods Max deliver immersive sound through Active Noise Cancellation so users can focus on what they are listening to. Each ear cup features 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.

Transparency Mode

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. Switching between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode can be done with a single press using the noise control button. 

Spatial Audio

AirPods Max use spatial audio with dynamic head tracking to place sounds virtually anywhere in a space — delivering an immersive, theaterlike experience for content recorded in 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos. Using the gyroscope and accelerometer in AirPods Max and iPhone or iPad, spatial audio tracks the motion of a user’s head as well as the device, compares the motion data, then remaps the sound field so it stays anchored to the device, even as the user’s head moves.

Automatic switching

Automatic switching allows users to seamlessly move sound between iPhone, iPad, and Mac. When playing music on Mac, users can easily take a call on iPhone and AirPods Max will automatically switch over.

Audio Sharing

Audio Sharing makes it possible to easily share an audio stream between two sets of AirPods on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV 4K. Simply bring AirPods Max near the device and connect with a single tap.

Siri

Siri capabilities include the ability to play music, make phone calls, control the volume, get directions, and more. Siri can also read incoming messages as they arrive with Announce Messages with Siri.

AirPods Max automatically detect when they are on a user’s head using the optical and position sensors. Once in place, AirPods Max play audio and can pause once removed or when the user simply lifts one ear cup. With AirPods Max, voice calls and Siri commands are crisp and clear due to beam-forming microphones that block out ambient noise and focus on the user’s voice.

AirPods Max require Apple devices running iOS 14.3 or later, iPadOS 14.3 or later, macOS Big Sur 11.1 or later, watchOS 7.2 or later, or tvOS 14.3 or later. AirPods Max cost £549, considerably more than even the pricier AirPods Pro. The normal AirPods cost £159 and the AirPods Pro cost £249.

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