With these Apple AirPods Max, Apple has made a big splash. A lot has been implemented perfectly here. The workmanship and the material used are perfect. The sound is better than anything I’ve heard (even on high-quality headphones). Whether acoustic, classical pieces, rock, or pop or vocals – everything always fits together here. Only the strange pocket and the associated only option for (deep) standby has really not been implemented well.
To what extent do the optics suffer over time (dirt on the white headband, scratches on the aluminum ear cups) I can’t say at the moment, but I’ll report it here if necessary. I can fully recommend the headphones, the case, and the standby function only partially.
Things we like
- Automatically connects to Apple devices
- Transparency mode
- Excellent color variants
- Spatial audio support
Things we don’t like
- Value for money (offer €480)
- Normal sound
- ANC compared to Airpods Pro
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The price is hot:
Apple charges almost ₹59900 for these headphones. You often hear usury, overpriced and outrageous.
But you have to take a look at the competition (the Amiron cost just as much) and then see what Apple offers here.
In my opinion, the materials used, the perfection of the workmanship, and the technical and acoustic qualities fully justify the price.
Of course, Apple AirPods Max is expensive, but a Porsche is also more expensive than a VW Golf, isn’t it?
Who should have to Buy these headphones?
- For those who already uses the apple devices loves this headphone.
- Anyone that wants the best noise cancelling should get the AirPods Max.
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- AirPods Max
- Smart Case
- Lightning to USB-C Cable
Apple AirPods Max Review: First Impression
The Apple AirPods Max makes an excellent impression at first glance and even in unopened condition. The rather large white packaging is typical for Apple, simple and fun to open.
There isn’t really much inside:
The headphones in the (controversial) semi-protective case, some papers, and a charging cable. As you know, there is no power supply.
Apple’s new strategy of only giving the customer a minimum scope of delivery, and this at a maximum price, can be clearly seen here.
When you take the headphones out of the box, the first thing you notice is their enormous weight.
The ear warmers weigh a whopping 385 grams – without the bag. The bag alone weighs 135 grams.
Interestingly, my best headphones to date, the Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless, weigh exactly the same.
Freed from the protective paper and the cardboard covers that enclose the earpieces, you can start right away.
Simply place it next to an iPhone or iPad and the headphones will be connect automatically.
When delivered, they are already 90% charged.
If you put the headphones on your head, they wake up automatically. Which is acknowledge with a rich and pleasant signal tone.
Apple AirPods Max Review: Processing
As far as the workmanship of the Apple AirPods Max is concerned, everyone, and really everyone, can learn from other manufacturers. Because here Apple has worked absolutely perfectly.
Everything looks like it was make from one piece. Like the whole thing was bake together. I can’t see any welds or other separations anywhere.
Both ear cups made of solid aluminum are make of one piece.
The bracket is attach to the shells with a ball joint and is make of solid metal.
The adjustment is a bit difficult, but once adjusted, nothing slips anymore.
The bracket then merges into the silicone carrier, which is suppose to evenly distribute the entire weight on the head. The strap is C and quite wide so that after a while you hardly notice that you are wearing the heavy headphones on your head.
I can’t yet say how the headphones will behave in summer, with hot temperatures, but the open carrying strap suggests that you shouldn’t have any problems at least here.
The two velvety ear pads are magnetic and can be easily remove and replace (the current price per is pad 75 euros).
I now wear these headphones all day in the home office, because in addition to the excellent music playback, they can also be used wonderfully as a headset.
Active noise canceling is a big advantage here.
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Apple AirPods Max Review: Service
The only two controls are on the right earcup. The “Digital Crown”, is already found in a similar form and function on the Apple Watches, and the wide control button underneath is also on the Watch.
With the “Crown” the volume and the song selection can be controlled. With the now standard clicks (1 time = stop/start – 2 times = next track – and 3 times press the previous track) there are no problems here.
The wider button in front of it controls solely the sound modes: noise reduction, transparency mode, and off – three different sounds are played here, which first have to be interpreted.
As I said, the headphones are activated as soon as you put them on your head.
If you take them off again, the music pauses and the headphones go into standby mode, but remain switched on.
The “Protective Bag”
Here I come to a really much-discussed point, the strange-looking protective case.
The thing really doesn’t deserve the name “protective case”, as it only protects the two ear cups, and only half-heartedly.
The case itself is made of soft silicone-like material and fits the headphones perfectly.
If you put the Apple AirPods Max in this (half) pocket, it puts the headphones into a deep standby mode. The headphones are basically switched off, thus saving battery capacity.
Why so complicated?
Here I would have just wished for a normal on/off switch. Or you could have done it more elegantly: simply switch to standby as soon as the two ear cups are folded inwards.
The bag is actually the only way to put the Apple AirPods Max into this deep sleep state.Maybe Apple will change that again with the next model. There must still be room for improvement. In any case, this aspect costs the headphones, as great as I think they are, full marks, especially since the combination of bag and headphones really looks like a women’s handbag.
Apple AirPods Max Review: The acoustic rating
Speaking of potential for improvement:
I don’t know what else could be improved on the acoustics. I own many headphones including the Bose QC 35 II and also more analytical models like the BeyerDynamic Amiron and Aventho Wireless. There are also other Beyerdynamic models such as the DT880 and the DT 990.
All great headphones and each is absolutely great for a specific purpose, but you just have to switch back and forth if you want some “thump” from the analytical and rather inconspicuous Amiron or DT880 and then have to go to the Bose or the Beyerdynamic DT 990.
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Long story short:
These headphones from Apple fulfill all (music) genres with bravura.
Sure, a lot is electronically control here, and it’s difficult to determine which performance is attributable to the headphones and which to the technology of the Apple chips.
But that doesn’t matter, because everything I’ve heard (tested) with it is just great.
I could now go on and on about what piece of music I’ve heard and how I rate it in detail, but that would go beyond the scope here.
Apple AirPods Max Review: So much is said
The headphones think along with you and play any music the way it has to be or how you imagine it.
Bass-heavy rock or metal pieces only roar as if you were standing directly in front of the amplifier.
Acoustic music is played extremely sensitively. Every pluck and touch of a fingernail on a guitar string is transmit as if you were sitting next to Eric Clapton at the guitar.
You feel classical as if you were in the middle of the concert hall.
All instruments are always and everywhere clearly recognizable and locatable. Voices sound like the person is standing next to you.
The stage is huge
I only partially tested the special feature of the 3D sound. Yes, it’s cool when you can follow certain music and films as if you were there live and the sound comes from all directions. But overall I don’t need that. Not yet anyway, or I haven’t heard the proper demo material yet.
In summary, I can say that these headphones outshine all the models you have mentioned before.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Bose QC35 II, a Beyerdynamic Aventho, or DT880 or a DT990, nobody can hold a candle to this device.
If anything, Amiron Wireless is still a valid competitor, but this one is wilful more for those who enjoy quiet sounds.
Because it plays the sounds absolutely unimpressed and uncomplicated. I really like that too, but to be honest, I’m really into the sound of the Airpods Max right now.
But that’s a matter of taste, I think, and I’ll definitely go back to the Amiron.
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The active noise reduction and the transparency mode
Incidentally, the headphones are also leaders in active noise isolation. At least if you take the Bose QC35 II here as a comparison.
With the Apple, I get a fright every time someone suddenly stands next to me. You hear absolutely nothing from the outside world. At least nothing that causes medium to low tones.
The device cannot block out high-pitched sounds, such as children’s voices or rattling porcelain in the kitchen. As far as I know, no other headphones can do that.
Much nicer than this effect is the transparency mode.
You have to know that the headphones already have very good passive noise insulation due to their closed design. In transparency mode, the outside world “opens up” and you can actively participate in the environment. Ideal for traffic or if you still want to see your colleagues in the office.
The third option then turns off both the ANC and the transparency mode. So you have the pure passive shielding of the headphones.
Apart from the bag, which looks like a woman’s handbag and whose protection is more than questionable, I didn’t find much to criticize.
The high weight is not necessarily a disadvantage, especially since it is not particularly noticeable on the head. Of course, these headphones are not make for sports, there are other alternatives.
The paint could prove to be a dirt trap, so Apple posts a detailed “washing guide” on its site. There is also a clear warning against bringing the headphones into contact with “…soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners,…detergents, acids or insect repellents, sunscreen, oil or hair dye…”.
So if you have styled your hair well and beautifully, you should be a little careful with these headphones, or choose an inconspicuous color (space gray or blue maybe)
If the color suffers in the future, I will adjust the rating and also make a devaluation for sure.
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As the anticipate conclusion at the beginning of the review shows, I am impress with the first iteration of AirPods Max from Apple for over-ear models.
You can tell that an incredible amount of know-how has gone into this.
Except for the bag, I really like these headphones.
Because of the unnecessarily complicated regulated standby function, which is only possible with the ugly and impractical bag, I deduct a small star.
I award 5 stars for the Apple AirPods Max and their qualities. I give 3 stars for the standby control and the associated bag, which makes 4 stars together.
Thank you for your attention!
What should you get instead of the AirPods Max?
The AirPods Max is quite overprice with this amount of features. There are lots of other headphone who provide a similar specification as the AirPods Max headphone. you can get either Sony WH-1000XM5 or the Monster Persona and still have the cash to spare.
People who want the best noise around is being cancelled but AirPods don’t want to pay for Max they just want to get Boss QuietComfort 45. This headset also has its problems such as loud trouble response and inability to hear without enabling ANC or transparency mode, but this can be a non-problem for the right buyer. The QC45 compares well with the AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM4. Indeed, though, we still recommend the years old Boss QuietComfort 35 II for its affordable price, excellent ANC and accurate sound profile.
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