AirPods Max
Dec 18, 2020 at 9:48 AM Post #781 of 4,887

torifile

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The APM is a confusing product to talk about and read forum threads about because I think people are conflating things a little. Either they are in the wireless/ANC class of headphone like the XM4 and Bose *or* they are in the desktop class of mid-fi headphones like the LCD-2C, HD650, etc.

They are clearly better from a sound quality and build perspective than the wireless/ANC class. Heads and shoulders above, IMHO. And they are better with the smart features, too. Again, no comparison. They fall down on the case and on the price. I am in the fortunate position that a couple Benjamins will be quickly forgotten (and I'm sure many of you are too!). They are the only headphones that I'd consider as my daily drivers for music. I'll get a damned case and be done with it.

They get compared to the mid-fi class too. In this area, they are heads and shoulders ahead with convenience and cost. And, IMHO, sound quality. Hear me out - out of the box, no EQ, so many mid-fi and hi-fi cans, frankly, suck. They need amplification and equalization. At that point, you're talking about a very different experience. You're never just talking about the LCD-2C, you're talking about the the DAC and amp and source you're feeding them. Are you using them balanced? Via XLR or 4.4 mm jack? FLAC or MQA?

And when compared to mid-fi cans with all the accoutrements, they cost, what? 1/2? 1/3? That price difference does get my wallet nervous.

So, what ends up happening in a thread like this is that people talk about both. Often in the same post! The APM, in my opinion, don't really have a peer. That isn't to say they are "peerless" in the OMFG THEY ARE SO AMAZING!!! sense, but in the "they are sort of in an in-between place" sense. For that reason alone, I think they deserve some praise. I'm keeping mine. I might also keep my LCD-2C and DAC/amp. I am definitely unloading my DAP, though. (I think the disruption from the APM may come to the DAP market, actually. We'll see.)

Anyway, my 2¢.
 
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Dec 18, 2020 at 9:53 AM Post #782 of 4,887

euckersw

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anyway, my only criticism is that I wish you could dial the transparency in or out, but - just something to get used to

You can - check this out: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211218

Customize Transparency mode on your AirPods Pro
Headphone Accommodations supports Transparency mode on AirPods Pro, making quiet voices more audible and tuning the sounds of your environment to your hearing needs. Learn more about Transparency mode and how to turn it on.
When Transparency mode is on, your Headphone Accommodations settings might change how you hear your own voice or increase your environment's noise level. You might need to adjust these settings to find a setup that's most comfortable for you. You can start from a milder setting by adjusting the Tone or Amplification slider. Then gradually increase to the setting that's most helpful for hearing people’s voices or natural sound around you.
To customize Transparency mode settings:
  1. Check that you have the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.
  2. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Headphone Accommodations > Transparency Mode.
  3. Tap Custom Transparency Mode and turn it on.
To adjust the audio-volume balance between left and right channels, adjust the Transparency Balance slider. You can also adjust Transparency mode settings by tapping the Hearing icon
ios14-hearing-inline-icon.png
in the Control Center.
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 10:18 AM Post #783 of 4,887

tkddans

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The APM is a confusing product to talk about and read forum threads about because I think people are conflating things a little. Either they are in the wireless/ANC class of headphone like the XM4 and Bose *or* they are in the desktop class of mid-fi headphones like the LCD-2C, HD650, etc.

They are clearly better from a sound quality and build perspective than the wireless/ANC class. Heads and shoulders above, IMHO. And they are better with the smart features, too. Again, no comparison. They fall down on the case and on the price. I am in the fortunate position that a couple Benjamins will be quickly forgotten (and I'm sure many of you are too!). They are the only headphones that I'd consider as my daily drivers for music. I'll get a damned case and be done with it.

They get compared to the mid-fi class too. In this area, they are heads and shoulders ahead with convenience and cost. And, IMHO, sound quality. Hear me out - out of the box, no EQ, so many mid-fi and hi-fi cans, frankly, suck. They need amplification and equalization. At that point, you're talking about a very different experience. You're never just talking about the LCD-2C, you're talking about the the DAC and amp and source you're feeding them. Are you using them balanced? Via XLR or 4.4 mm jack? FLAC or MQA?

And when compared to mid-fi cans with all the accoutrements, they cost, what? 1/2? 1/3? That price difference does get my wallet nervous.

So, what ends up happening in a thread like this is that people talk about both. Often in the same post! The APM, in my opinion, don't really have a peer. That isn't to say they are "peerless" in the OMFG THEY ARE SO AMAZING!!! sense, but in the they are "sort of in an in-between place" sense. For that reason alone, I think they deserve some praise. I'm keeping mine. I might also keep my LCD-2C and DAC/amp. I am definitely unloading my DAP, though. (I think the disruption from the APM may come to the DAP market, actually. We'll see.)

Anyway, my 2¢.

Agreed. Comparisons get tricky with midfi when the AMP/DAC and cabling get involved in pricing. And also quality changes between rigs depending on the differences in each person’s sound chain. Even if two people have 650’s, they may have different media files, different amps/dacs, different ears, Eesh!

I think if some people say they prefer them over the midfi tier cans they own, that may totally be true for their situation and their tastes. Claims of them being better in raw performance or objectively further from Harman curves compared to other headphones, etc...that gets a little trickier and I feel at some point we need to relax about trying to argue them too much.

At the end of the day, what do we enjoy more with what we have set up and where our preferences stand? If a person enjoys the experience of APM more than even their hifi rig against one of their pairs, so be it. I actually managed to find some classical music I preferred on the accessibility’s balanced mode of APM over the 800 S without EQ. But then other tracks or genres preferred the 800 S.

Comparisons are weird in audio. They can start to mess with you to the point that you really do like what a cheaper pair offers over a more expensive.

The APM fill that in between area of fidelity meeting wireless convenience very nicely. Nicely enough that you may, or may not depending on taste, enjoy them as much as hifi gear in some cases. Trying to say definitively that something is simply better entirely than another pair can quickly become a messy subject.
 
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Dec 18, 2020 at 10:27 AM Post #784 of 4,887

lalama

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Experienced a strange glitch with APM this morning. I removed them from their “smart” case and when they connected to my iPad, and noise cancellation was engaged, I could hear ambient noise in the right earcup. It was as if the left was in noise canceling mode while the right ear cup was in transparency mode. Toggling modes did not fix the issue. I had to reset the APM and now they are functioning as normal.

Hopefully this is a rare glitch that can also be resolved with firmware update.
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 10:33 AM Post #785 of 4,887

torifile

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Experienced a strange glitch with APM this morning. I removed them from their “smart” case and when they connected to my iPad, and noise cancellation was engaged, I could hear ambient noise in the right earcup. It was as if the left was in noise canceling mode while the right ear cup was in transparency mode. Toggling modes did not fix the issue. I had to reset the APM and now they are functioning as normal.

Hopefully this is a rare glitch that can also be resolved with firmware update.
I've had a strange situation where the audio will get sped up a bit when I've taken them off my head and put them back on. I'm sure it'll be resolved quickly.
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 10:37 AM Post #786 of 4,887

nihalsharma

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I've had a strange situation where the audio will get sped up a bit when I've taken them off my head and put them back on. I'm sure it'll be resolved quickly.
Bluetooth latency?? I think this happens normally with a lot of devices.
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 10:44 AM Post #788 of 4,887

tkddans

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Headphone Engineers Try AirPods Max

I’ve only started watching the first minute or two. I don’t know what their take on audio is yet! May be interesting...

EDIT:: They don’t know about some things discussed in this thread, like how the low power mode triggers quickly without the case.
EDIT:: They don’t spend much time at all doing listening. They also complain about volume. They wouldn’t have sound check on would they? Maybe the iPhone gets louder than the laptop. I don’t know but it seems loud enough for me.
 
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Dec 18, 2020 at 10:59 AM Post #789 of 4,887

Metalingus

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Headphone Engineers Try AirPods Max

I’ve only started watching the first minute or two. I don’t know what their take on audio is yet! May be interesting...

EDIT:: They don’t know about some things discussed in this thread, like how the low power mode triggers quickly without the case.
EDIT:: They don’t spend much time at all doing listening. They also complain about volume. They wouldn’t have sound check on would they? Maybe the iPhone gets louder than the laptop. I don’t know but it seems loud enough for me.

Watched entire video and not a single statement about audio quality.
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 11:22 AM Post #793 of 4,887

kdphan

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Honestly, I get the impression that 99% of head-fi uses their headphones with bad equipment and they get surprised that their APM is better than their HD 650, HD800S or LCD-2.

On good equipment, the HD 650 makes the APM sound very claustrophobic and the HD 650 is way more neutral. If people think the APM has got great soundstage and great separation, they need to improve their equipment.

However I am not saying the APM is bad. I think it is the best ANC headphone on the market and I'm super happy by it. But the APM doesn't even compete against good portable equipment. I don't even bother comparing it against a HD 650 with desktop level equipment (Chord Dave).
The point I was trying to get at is that for the same price, if you factor in the HD650 and a $250 amp, some people can justify going with the APM instead.
Of course the Chord Dave can make a difference, but we're talking about an amp/dac that's about 15x the price of the APM.
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 11:31 AM Post #794 of 4,887

Jonathan268

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Thanks all Head-Fi members in this forum,
Last couple days by reading all the posts here, I do enjoy all opinions as well as educated me about audio sound, Music Lovers vs Audiophiles ( kind of SW vs HW)
Majority members here, in my own view are Music Lovers with hobby of Audiophiles.
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 11:34 AM Post #795 of 4,887

torifile

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The point I was trying to get at is that for the same price, if you factor in the HD650 and a $250 amp, some people can justify going with the APM instead.
Of course the Chord Dave can make a difference, but we're talking about an amp/dac that's about 15x the price of the APM.
Seriously. It's completely absurd to put the Dave or the 820 or 800s in this discussion. A pair of LCD2, perhaps, or the 650 you mentioned, sure. But the best comparison would be those with a DAP. How does the 650 + FiiO m11 pro stack up? Or the WMA-whatever. That's the interesting comparison I haven't heard yet.
 

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