Apple launched its AirPods Max on December 8, and they look great. The AirPods max feature high-fidelity audio, active noise cancellation, and an unparalleled listening experience.
As an Apple fan, this would be on top of the list for our next apple purchase. The design sits perfectly in between the MacBook, iPhone, and iPad Air designs and looks beautiful. Except for one small little thing, the case it comes in.
AirPods Max Smart Case - A Case or Bra?
The AirPods Max Case looks to be designed by someone unfamiliar with Apple designs from the past. Or we could be dealing with a 'New clothes of the Emperor' type of situation where no-one in Cupertino, California, was willing to say how bad the design is.
As can be expected with this design, it took only moments for the internet to show itself from its best side. Twitter provides a platform for hilarious commentary on Apple's newest design:
According to Twitter user tsan, the pink AirPods case is not dissimilar from a Helmut Lang bra purse, although we wonder who would prefer that bag over the AirPods.
Another Twitter user, Lizzie, compared the silver Apple AirPods Max case to a rather expensive sleeping mask. She isn't far off with that remark, to be honest.
Some people have found some better uses for the Sky Blue AirPods case, the bra comparisons gaining popularity with a majority of Twitter users:
Is It Worth the Price Tag?
As with all things Apple, the Apple AirPods Max comes with a serious price tag. At $549 in the US, choosing simple wireless headphones, wireless earphones like the AirPods Pro or the AirPods Max becomes a real consideration. Does the price tag stand up to the quality of the headphones?
When Apple puts the Pro label on something, it usually means business. We just have to look at the MacBook Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, or iPad Pro. These are products that will stand up to severe testing and pass with flying colors.
The AirPods Max did not get the Pro label. And one must wonder why.
The AirPods Max design is right in the realm of beautiful Apple products of the past; the stylish ear cups are made from the same quality stainless steel as you get on a MacBook. They feel light yet sturdy.
The mesh covering on the ear cups is designed so that weight is evenly distributed and there is no pressure on your ears. The filling in the ear cups is made from memory foam that creates the seal you need for noise cancellation. Painful ears from wearing headphones too long will also be a thing of the past.
Often a problem with headphones is the flimsiness of the telescoping headband arms. It seems Apple has taken care of this issue as the design feels strong while adding some Apple thinking to the design.
Each ear cup is attached to the headband with a mechanism that minimizes pressure on the ears while it adapts to the contours of the user's head.
One of the features loved by Apple Watch users has also found its way to the Apple AirPods Max. The Digital Crown lets you control volume, play or pause your favorite song, skip tracks, answer and end phone calls, and best of all, activate Siri.
The range of AirPods Max colors that Apple has made available are:
- Space gray
- Sky Blue
Unsurprisingly this is pretty much the same range of colors Apple has made available for the new iPad Air.
Apple wouldn't be itself if it didn't make sure that the listening experience would be top-notch. And it certainly hasn't failed in this department. The sound experience is unparalleled.
The AirPods Max features a new dynamic driver. The technology uses magnets to cause the diaphragm to make sound. This means that the AirPods Max can produce louder and tighter bass and mid-range sounds while also crisp high-frequency notes.
Probably the best feature on the AirPods max is the H1 chip that Apple has incorporated in each ear cup. This chip gives one of the best audio experiences we have ever heard. As Apple says in its press release:
AirPods Max uses 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 Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency Mode, and spatial audio.
The feature that truly stands out on the AirPods Max is the active noise cancellation. Some companies often claim to incorporate active noise cancellation on their headphones, and too often, this just does not work.
On the AirPods Max, this is certainly not the case. Outside noise is completely canceled out when switched on. Apple has fitted three different microphones to each ear cup that monitor the noise coming from outside. Using computational audio, noise cancellation adapts the sounds reaching your ears.
It truly works, which you can test as you can also activate Transparency mode. This will let in sounds from outside, ensuring everything sounds natural while the audio plays perfectly.
So far, everything seems great with the AirPods Max, and there is very little, or actually nothing, that wouldn't justify the price tag associated with the headphones. As far as audio equipment goes, it stands up to the test every time. Yet, then we come to the carry case.
We can be sure that testing conducted by Apple has shown that there is some thought behind the design. So is there any use to the case?
Well, again, it would be unbecoming of Apple not to have designed the case to have its uses. The Smart Case puts the AirPods Max in an ultra-low power state, so you save the battery when not using it. This saves battery cycles and allows the AirPods to be used for far longer than we are used to with other headphones.
So the Apple AirPods Max, one of the best over-ear headphones that have come on the market in recent years. Yes, the Smart Case has a funky design that will need some getting used to, but the overall design, sound quality, usefulness, and wearability doesn't just make the AirPods Max another cool item for the hip crowd.