Apple today announced its new AirPods Max over-ear headphones with noise cancellation. Apple says AirPods Max combine a custom acoustic design, H1 chips, and advanced software to power computational audio for a breakthrough listening experience with Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency Mode, and spatial audio.
AirPods Max are available to order starting today for $549 (US) and are available in space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink, AirPods Max will begin shipping on Tuesday, December 15.
AirPods Max offer a breathable knit mesh canopy, spanning the headband, which is designed to distribute weight and reduce on-head pressure. Apple says the stainless steel headband frame provides strength, flexibility, and comfort for a wide variety of head shapes and sizes. Telescoping headband arms smoothly extend and stay in place to maintain the desired fit.
“Each ear cup attaches to the headband through a revolutionary mechanism that balances and distributes ear cup pressure, and allows it to independently pivot and rotate to fit the unique contours of a user’s head. Each ear cushion uses acoustically engineered memory foam to create an effective seal — a critical factor in delivering immersive sound. The Digital Crown, inspired by Apple Watch, offers precise volume control and the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri.”
AirPods Max feature a 40-mm Apple-designed dynamic driver that the company says provides rich, deep bass, accurate mid-ranges, and crisp, clean high-frequency extension so every note can be heard. A unique dual neodymium ring magnet motor allows AirPods Max to maintain total harmonic distortion of less than 1 percent across the entire audible range, even at maximum volume.
The new headphones are equipped with an Apple-designed H1 chip in each ear cup, a custom acoustic design, and advanced software, AirPods Max use 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 a breakthrough listening experience that includes Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio.
- 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.
AirPods Max automatically detect when they are on a user’s head using the optical and position sensors. Once in place, AirPods Max play audio and can pause once removed or when the user lifts one ear cup.
AirPods Max features battery life with up to 20 hours of high-fidelity audio, talk time, or movie playback with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled.
- Automatic switching allows users to seamlessly move sound between iPhone, iPad, and Mac. When playing music on Mac, users can easily take a call on iPhone and AirPods Max will automatically switch over.
- Audio Sharing makes it possible to easily share an audio stream between two sets of AirPods on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV 4K. Simply bring AirPods Max near the device and connect with a single tap.3
- Siri capabilities include the ability to play music, make phone calls, control the volume, get directions, and more. Siri can also read incoming messages as they arrive with Announce Messages with Siri.
AirPods Max are available to order starting today for $549 (US) from apple.com and in the Apple Store app in the US and more than 25 other countries and regions. AirPods Max will begin shipping on Tuesday, December 15.