Apple Announces AirPods Max: Noise-cancelling headphones with high-fidelity audio and more

In a rather surprising announcement, Apple has unveiled AirPods Max, its long-rumoured own branded wireless headphones. AirPods Max features technology that many love about AirPods, along with high-fidelity sound, Active Noise Cancellation, spatial audio, and much more. Priced at a Recommended Retail Price of A$899, available from December 15th, 2020.

“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,”

Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing

AirPods Pro promises to offer a breakthrough listening experience with high-fidelity audio. To deliver rich, deep bass, accurate mid-range, and more, AirPods Max has an Apple-designed 40-mm Apple dynamic driver. While a unique dual neodymium ring magnet motor enables AirPods Max to maintain total harmonic distortion of less than 1% across the entire audible range.

The listening experience is powered by an Apple-designed H1 chip within each ear cup that is capable of 9 billion operations per second. Utilising each of the chips 10 audio cores. Enabling Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, spatial audio, and more.

  • Adaptive EQ: AirPods Max uses 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 delivers 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 voice, sounds natural while the 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 uses spatial audio with dynamic head tracking to place sounds virtually anywhere in space — delivering an immersive, theatre-like 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.

Additional Features

  • 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.
  • Battery Life: up to 20 hours of high-fidelity audio, talk time, or movie playback with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled.

Pricing and Availability

In Australia, AirPods Max is priced at a Recommended Retail Price of A$899, in five colours including space grey, silver, sky blue, green, and pink. AirPods Pro Max will start shipping on December 15th, 2020, with pre-orders being taken from today.

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