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Surprise! Apple has just announced their long-awaited new wireless over-ear headphones – the AirPods Max.
Apple says the ‘custom acoustic designed’ AirPods Max come with H1 chips and a 40mm driver system powering Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio. They also feature a stainless steel headband covered by a ‘knit mesh canopy’ for comfort, memory foam ear cushions and an Apple Watch inspired ‘Digital Crown,’ offering volume control, playback, phone calls, and Siri compatibility. Plenty of these features will already be familiar to AirPods Pro users, with Apple looking to translate the success of their earbuds over to their debut over-ear headphones.
The AirPods Max use position sensors to detect when they are on a user’s head, and can automatically play and pause audio either when fully removed, or when one of the ear cups is lifted. The company says the AirPods Max can offer up to 20 hours of playback with Active noise cancelling and spatial audio enabled, and also come with a ‘smart case’ that can put the headphones in ‘ultralow power’ mode to conserve battery when not in use. Oh, and you’ll still need a lightning connector to charge them.
In a press release, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing Greg Joswiak said:
AirPods are the most popular headphones in the world, beloved for their effortless setup, incredible sound quality, and iconic design. With AirPods Max, we are bringing that magical AirPods experience to a stunning over-ear design with high-fidelity audio,
The custom acoustic design, combined with powerful H1 chips, and advanced software enable AirPods Max to use computational audio to wirelessly deliver the ultimate personal listening experience.
The imminent launch of Apple’s own over-ear headphones has been heavily speculated for a few months now, with the rumour mill sent into overdrive after the company removed Beats by Dre headphones from its stores last month. Several insiders had reported that the headphones would be called AirPods Studio, so, on top of the surprise announcement, Apple have thrown a bit of a curveball with the name, too.
The AirPods Max are available to pre-order from today for an eye-watering $549. You can choose from five colours – space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink – with an official release date of December 15. Check them out here.
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