Apple AirPods Max (Over-Ear Headphones)
Dec 8, 2020 at 8:50 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 30

Moulderine

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Apple has released its rumoured over ear headphones

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020...gic-of-airpods-in-a-stunning-over-ear-design/


  • 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.
 
Dec 8, 2020 at 10:28 AM Post #2 of 30

clerkpalmer

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The pricing looks out of whack even for apple. Assuming these are limited to AAC, there are a myriad of better options out there for an audiophile for less money. This is the Apple Tax at it's finest. Apple jumping into a crowded field with a first effort and pricing higher than established leaders like Bose and Sony let alone B&O, P&W and others. I'm sure they'll sell but that price seems crazy.
 
Dec 8, 2020 at 11:24 AM Post #4 of 30

MayaTlab

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The pricing looks out of whack even for apple. Assuming these are limited to AAC, there are a myriad of better options out there for an audiophile for less money. This is the Apple Tax at it's finest. Apple jumping into a crowded field with a first effort and pricing higher than established leaders like Bose and Sony let alone B&O, P&W and others.

Such "audiophile" grade FR curves indeed :
https://www.rtings.com/headphones/graph#813/4011/1619

Please, comparing Apple's acoustics team with B&W and B&O is insulting. They may not always make the right arbitration and work under a lot of design and ergonomics constraints that may compromise the end results but what they achieve under these is pretty much state of the art.
 
Dec 8, 2020 at 11:24 AM Post #5 of 30

freesole

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Price seems high - they will sell I'm sure but it will be interesting to see how it all comes together.

Call quality and spatial audio is going to matter a lot here because there aren't a lot of other differentiating factors.
 
Dec 8, 2020 at 11:31 AM Post #7 of 30

clerkpalmer

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It's too early to say this. Lets wait until people can actually hear what these sound like before passing judgement.

Fair enough. I'll say this, given that the hardware is limited to AAC, it's a pass for me in any event. I don't hate Apple - I buy a lot of their stuff. But they always make it hard. $549 is aggressive to say the least. I can get a second hand Ananada BT for that...
 
Dec 8, 2020 at 1:29 PM Post #8 of 30

rotten

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I am sure “audiophiles” will not like these headphones. From many I expect no constructive discussion in regards to this product but mainly financial comments, and rant how Apple is not supposed to enter the market reserved to “audio companies”. Similar to topics found in watch forums made by swiss watch enthusiasts, only Bowers & Wilkins or smth are allowed to create stuff. Also I am expecting opinion from “that guy” who is always wearing “that special leather watch band” to look solid when eating out at some fancy restaurant.

Obviously this is not a product meant for audiophiles as the sound will not be neutral. Audiophiles will hate these, as from a price point perspective it is lurking near their territory, but will not deliver to their expectations. The peasant target group of these headphones is different from a crew who is sitting at a sweetspot of an empty dark room in front of Technics speakers, golden cabled reciever and a Sony CD deck playing Pink Floyd remastered album.
 
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Dec 8, 2020 at 1:43 PM Post #9 of 30

clerkpalmer

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I am sure “audiophiles” will not like these headphones. From many I expect no constructive discussion here in regards to this product but mainly financial comments, and rant how Apple is not supposed to enter the market reserved to “audio companies”. Similar to topics found in watch forums and swiss watch makers, only Bowers & Wilkins are allowed to create stuff. Also I am expecting opinion from “that guy” who is always wearing “that special leather watch band” to look solid when eating out at some fancy restaurant.

Obviously this is not a product meant for audiophiles as the sound will not be neutral. Audiophiles will hate these, as from a price point perspective it is lurking near their territory, but will not deliver to their expectations. The peasant target group of these headphones is different from a crew who is sitting at a sweetspot of an empty room in front of Technics speakers, golden cabled reciever and a Sony CD deck playing Pink Floyd remastered album.

I'm not sure what to make of this. I agree audiophiles are not the target but a lot of us here enjoy both: audiophile gear for certain times and technology such as BT headsets with amazing new technology for situations where our "empty room" is not available to us. I happen to love both sides and disagree that audiophile = neutral. I have a wired desktop set up, I have a Drop Panda and I have several TWS headsets, including APP.

Apple is not free from criticism. It's pretty ballsy to launch a product in a new category for them at literally 2x the price of the market. We will see how it turns out. The home pod was a massive fail due to its ridiculous price compared to the competition. I like the product and bought them once the price went down to half. I think these are going to be a hard sell at $550. I actually hope that the reviews convince me I need them. I love new tech.
 
Dec 8, 2020 at 1:57 PM Post #10 of 30

Hondadude85

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No mention of replaceable parts like earpads. That’s somewhat alarming at this price point and, knowing Apple, they probably aren’t replaceable. However, I bet you can buy AppleCare so just get a replacement if something goes wrong. Good enough for a couple of years anyway until AppleCare runs out.
Meh. If HomePod and AirPods Pro are any indication, these will have bloated bass and scooped out mids but I truly hope I’m wrong.
 
Dec 8, 2020 at 2:01 PM Post #11 of 30

MayaTlab

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No mention of replaceable parts like earpads. That’s somewhat alarming at this price point and, knowing Apple, they probably aren’t replaceable. However, I bet you can buy AppleCare so just get a replacement if something goes wrong. Good enough for a couple of years anyway until AppleCare runs out.

Gnagnagna ooops I didn't do my research properly : https://www.macrumors.com/2020/12/08/airpods-max-replacement-magnetic-ear-cushions/

Meh. If HomePod and AirPods Pro are any indication, these will have bloated bass and scooped out mids but I truly hope I’m wrong.

Idem : https://www.rtings.com/headphones/graph#1625/4011/10667
What was it again about scooped out mids ?
 
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Dec 8, 2020 at 2:30 PM Post #12 of 30

Hondadude85

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Dec 8, 2020 at 5:51 PM Post #15 of 30

SilverEars

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To me it seems like a really interesting product. Let's hope they did some acoustical tunning instead of fixing everything with DSP. But I bet their DSP is going to be among the best for Bluetooth headphones.
Hopefully it was designed by somebody experienced with good acoustics and can differentiate good quality sound compared to the general mainstream wireless sounds. Also, hope they take advantage of all the tech Apple has and comes up with something revolutionary in what can be done with sound that others have not done. We'll see.
 

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