Apple Airpods Max
Dec 17, 2020 at 2:01 PM Post #18 of 27
Judging by the end statement of "TL;DR: In consideration that it’s a wireless ANC headphone, good for $300" he doesn't hold it any higher than Sony or Bose's offering in its wireless operation.... I can't see it punching above its weight with a wired connection if thats the case. Overpriced and you're paying for the convenience aspect more than anything.
Dec 18, 2020 at 11:54 AM Post #19 of 27
I have had mine for a couple days now and have worn them for a good few hours. If you are looking for a pair of audiophile headphones stop reading here. These are not for you. Equally, if you already think they are too expensive, they probably are. However, if you are looking for a truly great pair of wireless headphones that have a better sound quality than the Sony XM4s (which I also own), slightly better ANC, great build quality, great looks (not so important for a headphone) and are a natural part of the Apple eco system, then look no further. The more I use them, the more I am impressed with the sound. It is remarkable. Crisp is the word that sprung to mind when I first listened to them and this still applies several hours later. The sound is well balanced and the base is tight going deep when it needs to (sometimes surprisingly so). The soundstage is amazing. Not so much wide as distinct is the way I would describe it. Even full L/R stereo (like the Beatles) does not have that compressed feel in one ear but is not mono sounding either. I hear little nuances in well known tracks that I have not heard before. This is amazing considering that I also listen to these same tracks with a chord hugo 2 and Oppo PM1s! I am not suggesting for one moment that the Airpod Max's are better, but £549 Vs £2500, they are not 4 times as bad! The weight is a non-issue as Apple have done a good job with the balancing and they are at least as comfortable as the XM4s. All I will say about the cover (its NOT a case) is that it works well enough. There is already a hard case available on Amazon so expect to see more. Bottom line - I like them a lot, and I think they are worth the money.
Dec 30, 2020 at 4:37 PM Post #20 of 27
Hi all

ive owned mine for about a week and in that time managed about 30 hours, i had my doubts to start with but each time i listen the grin factor gets bigger, highly revealing of bad recordings

i will add if your in the Apple bubble bonus these will reward you in spades, audiophile or not they’re are lovable, I’m slowly coming round to the fact i wont be buying t1’s thats how much i feel about them

they sound fun and if they sound fun you will enjoy them, and to be fair when apple decide to do something they make a pretty good fist of it

I’m ready to be flamed

thanks happy new year
Dec 30, 2020 at 4:38 PM Post #21 of 27
I have them on my head right now, wired connection to Chord Mojo, fiber cable, AK 100 II Abbado Berlin Beethoven 5th 24/96kHz. No Transparency or Noise Canceling activated. First impressions: Apple's claim of "no distortion even at high volumes" works for my old ears. I have to listen for distortion in my signal chain professionally in a studio environment daily in my function as a recording engineer for mostly acoustic music. My setup for work is a HD-800 fed by Benchmark DAC/SPL phonitor, a few years old, but in good shape. At home I enjoy my RS-1 for Rock and Pop, AKG 701 or HD-650 for Classical and Folk. The Airpod Max are a miracle for what they cost, imho. For a closed headphone they sound very open, and even in the loudest passages of the last movement of the 5th never sound closed in or tubby. Bass is realistically presented, with visceral weight, tight and precise. The low mids have fluidity and are smooth, high mids are keeping the music tightly together, and the treble is silky, with enough definition to represent a great sense of space and definition. The only other closed headphones I can compare these with are the Sony CD-900 I have been using for tracking forever, and a pair of Audeze LG-1's. The AirPod Max are a huge step above both of them. The built-in amp is quiet enough to be inaudible to my old ears, and whatever Apple added in the processing chain, it works. Even with the Noise Cancelation Function or the Transparency setting activated, these cans never lose their ability to resolve minute details in the recording. Without processing, they do Piano better than most of my gear (Lilya Zilberstein, Beethoven, 24/96kHz), again, very clean and no audible distortion. Very Enjoyable. These cans get out of the way and let the music breathe naturally. They also seem to reveal flaws in a recording mercilessly. Now to Eric Clapton, "Just One Night" (remaster 24/192kHz), a recording I know since I first got a Sony Walkman in 1979..Ok, old people music...I am virtually on stage with the band. I can hear Albert Lee's slightly scratchy pickup selector. That is enough resolution for me. It is quite amazing how well I can locate the bass amp, and the presentation of the sound stage is indeed very precise all around, coherent and clean.
Well, I am by no means an "Audiophile" listener, I have spent my life mostly on live stages and in recording studios. I had to live and with a lot of different sound gear in the past 40 years, starting in the analog age. Digital sound reproduction seemed to lack fluidity and warmth for a long time until technology finally got up to speed in 20-teens. Tonight I am introduced to the latest development in consumer electronics, once again, and I feel that these Apple Phones will stay with me for a while. They are truly amazing for what they are. I had them on my head now for four hours, my ears are getting tired, but the cans still sit comfortably on my head, no sweaty earcups, no pressure on top of my head, no creaking, no mechanical noise. They are closed, I hear no outside noise, and I don't disturb anybody with leaking sound. Even the infamous case is very easy to use and does a good job at protecting the cans in my bag. Of course, when I use them wirelessly, with Apple AAC files from my Iphone, the precise sound of the phones is revealing the limits of the format. But even without AptX, they sound better than my Shure 846 with the newer bluetooth cable. The active noise cancellation turned my F-150 into a Bentley, and FaceTime calls were well executed. No dropouts or hickups. Handling is easy and intuitive, no fumbling with touchpads and such, Battery capacity sits at 86% after 4 hours of listening wired, and I am a happy camper. I hope that I have not wasted your time, as this is not a review, and I am not a reviewer either. But I am having fun listening to these, a generous and unexpected present from a friend who knows my obsession with all things Apple and sound. I hope to hear from other forum members soon about their verdict. I can't say anything bad about them right now, but if you should get them, buy the audio cable from Apple as well. These Phones deserve better than AAC only... It is worth the extra expense. The people at Apple love good sound. These AirPod Max are a testament to that. Well done! Thank you.
Listening to Clapton my self sounds awesome good shout

Jan 2, 2021 at 8:18 AM Post #22 of 27
Tried it at the Apple shop today and the bass and ANC is awesome. However I find it too heavy. I could feel the pressure on the headband area. Don't think could last more than 30mins wearing them.
Jan 4, 2021 at 1:39 AM Post #23 of 27
Did someone compare it with B&W PX7? Those are my main wireless cans. I like them but the highs are quite fatiguing to my ears.
I`m a bit of a bass head (quantity but also quality). Do the Airpods provide in this area?
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Jan 12, 2021 at 3:44 PM Post #24 of 27
Did someone compare it with B&W PX7? Those are my main wireless cans. I like them but the highs are quite fatiguing to my ears.
I`m a bit of a bass head (quantity but also quality). Do the Airpods provide in this area?
I have both and these blow the B&W away in my opinion. Details like I haven´t heard in a long time. Bass is clean and dry but not super heavy. Can maybe be adjusted but I have not tried yet. I feel like these are more jazz cans than EDM. ANC is much better than the PX7, also much more comfortable, not the deathgrip on your head like the PX7.
Jan 15, 2021 at 2:44 AM Post #25 of 27
Nice to hear that. How sibilant the Aipords? As I wrote in my initial post, the PX7 are borderline in this respect.
For this reason, I want to find out how these cans compare related to this issue, all the more because due to Covid I am not able to audition the cans.
Feb 28, 2021 at 11:34 PM Post #27 of 27
Didn’t notice that the portable’s sub-forum had an APM thread too :p I didn’t see it when I searched Google XD

Any point to using them wired with a Chord Mojo though, or does the internal dac supersede whatever magic the Mojo provides?
Some people on the other APM thread actually have tested this out. A lot say that using it wired does help. However, you are right to feel it would supersede the DAC the Mojo has. Essentially, if you go through the Mojo the path would follow: Source -> USB -> Mojo DAC -> Mojo amplifier -> 3.5mm cable ADC -> APM DAC -> APM amplifier. Keep in mind that although double DACing and double amping could cause increased distortion, the first set of DAC/amp could color the sound so it is different enough from the secondary DAC/amp to make it worth while.

Another thing to note is that the DSP path also changes when going BT to wired as the source would need to decode the file source, encode it as AAC/SBC then send it to the headphone where it would be decoded again and then sent to the DAC/amp. The entire decoding and re-encoding can decrease SQ as well if it’s lossy to lossy; though some have said that decoding and re-encoding AAC is non-destructive, I’m not sure how true that is. With a wired setup, the decoding of the source file is likely the only thing that is needed.

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