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AirPods Max - Over the ear with active noise cancelling


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AirPods Max - Over the ear with active noise cancelling
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turtle
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Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-12-08, 09:08


Quote:
The over-ear headphone has been completely reimagined. From cushion to canopy, AirPods Max are designed for an uncompromising fit that creates the optimal acoustic seal for many different head shapes — fully immersing you in every sound.
I'm sure they are awesome, and at $550 they really need to be. They do have the spatial audio like the Pros so that is something good for them.

The color options are a bonus. I'm actually somewhat surprised they didn't just go for grey and white.

Here is a write up from TechCrunch about it. They talk about the colors as well as the Smart Case which makes it look like you've got a purse.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
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Last edited by turtle : 2020-12-08 at 09:33.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-12-08, 10:32

For those who like spending $700 on wheels.

Just kidding. I’m sure they’re world-changing.
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turtle
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2020-12-08, 10:35

I mean, really. Now they might sound absolutely awesome and have Bose and B&O crapping their pants, but I just find that difficult to buy into. Clearly B&O is their target audience with these though. Beats is for their Sony market.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-12-08, 10:57

Well, it's times like this that I guess I should be happy I spent three-plus decades blowing my ears out with amps, drums, etc., severely diminishing my abilities to be discerning audiophile (and the $$$ required to be one).

Along with golf, I imagine those have to be two of the more money-sucking hobbies/pursuits a person could get themselves into. I hear fine, just not well enough that I'd ever feel compelled to drop this kind of money on things like this. Small blessings, I guess?
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drewprops
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2020-12-08, 11:08

You people are crazy and sad.

So sad.

You call yourselves Apple fans, but you balk at the next great experience.

I just don't know why I try anymore.



...
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chucker
 
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2020-12-08, 11:08

The Max branding suggests these may be the high end. We could still see cheaper over-ear ones.
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Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-12-08, 11:43

The Sky Blue color already slipped to a 12-14 WEEKS delivery time.
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kscherer
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2020-12-08, 12:47

When it comes to the Mac Pro, I am not Apple's customer. Nor the HomePod, nor AirPods Pro, nor whatever these things are.

Apple will sell a bunch of them up front, and we won't be carrying them. Too expensive for our clientele.

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turtle
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Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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2020-12-08, 14:43

The cheap ones are branded with a "b" on the side of them. I'd be shocked if Apple releases an "AirPods" branded one that is "Pro" given they already have AirPods Pros.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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turtle
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2020-12-08, 14:53



Gizmado made my day here!
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Originally Posted by Gizmado
I Thought It Was an Ugly Titty Purse
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Bryson
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2020-12-08, 16:33

I saw a pic of the case earlier and thought it was a clever silly photoshop mockup a la pscates. But apparently that's real?


I also read the price and did a double take on $91.50...per month.
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kscherer
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2020-12-08, 16:58

The owner of our shop is a studio engineer by trade, and didn't bat an eye at the price. Apparently, people are quite willing to fork out $500-$1500 for headphones—if the sound is right and the fit is good.

But then, they'll pay $1million for a car, too. So, you know.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-12-08, 17:54

If that's your career and all, I can totally see spending good money for the absolute best sound to do your job. It's the people spending $549 to listen to Cardi B that I find funny. To each their own; it ain't my money.

Like a lot of things, it'll be a "thing" among many. I always heard those Beats things weren't anything to write home about, sound-wise, but it became more of a fashion accessory/status symbol (I know so many people who have/had them) so things like this don't always have to be about what they're supposed to be about (audio quality, etc.).

Maybe these are different, and truly good? Great. It'll make a lot of people happy...people have been wanting Apple to do these kinds of headphones for quite a while, so, three weeks before Christmas, they got their wish (I honestly thought Apple was done with hardware releases for the year, so this was a genuine surprise when I saw their homepage this morning).

But I know I can't hear/appreciate $550 worth of quality or "next great experience", so it's not anything I could sensibly purchase. I do like how this green ones look, though.
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chucker
 
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2020-12-08, 18:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
I can't hear/appreciate $550 worth of quality or "next great experience",
I’m guessing Apple agrees and just wants these out of the way as a high-end option. Odd to start with them, though.
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Matsu
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-12-08, 18:34

I think you probably can hear more than you think, but you probably don’t need to spend $550 usd to hear it. Seems to me that the USP here is the fancy spatializing wizardry to help create 3D effects that are anchored to the screen as opposed to whooshing through your head, along with all the right integration that makes it just work without any sort of setup. As well as the transparency and noise cancellation modes also present on the smaller AirPod models and the iDevice control/nav integration, it all adds up to something pretty slick. But it costs. I’m sure the signal processing is also very good, but like the cost it’s maybe not needed to simply make up a really good music listening system headset. Try a good quality, wired, over ear set in the $200 range and you’ll be surprised how much you still can hear!
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PB PM
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2020-12-09, 15:59

If Apple can make something good fine, but I doubt this is going to steal sales from Sennheiser and other real high end audio brands. High end headphones start at $600, Sony and Bose, entry level stuff.
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kscherer
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2020-12-09, 17:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
If Apple can make something good fine, but I doubt this is going to steal sales from Sennheiser and other real high end audio brands. High end headphones start at $600, Sony and Bose, entry level stuff.
True, but rich folk like to save nickels too, and may be compelled to buy a pair for the kids rather than unload on Sennheiser.

But, the kids may want $350 Beats instead, 'cause, y' know, they're cool!

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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Brave Ulysses
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2020-12-10, 02:05

Stupidly expensive. Will seam to sell well initially because demand for anything apple puts out is beyond reason these days but sales will suck after the first quarter on the market and Apple will neglect these for the next two years. A price drop to $399 seems inevitable for late spring/summer.
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Matsu
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-12-10, 11:41

There'll always be someone willing to spend more than the rest of us on something like a set of cans. It's possible that what they make will sound very good indeed and compete with sound quality of high end "audiophile" sets. A lot of that stuff is good, but not so much better as the price may suggest, let's say there's an element of hype and subjectivity to it... Personally, I think there are numerous ways to get to a very nice headphone sound - in many ways close to "audiophile quality" without spending more than $200, particularly if you choose an old school wired set...

The Apple buyer here is paying for style and feature integration in addition to (I presume) desirable sound quality - even if Apple chooses to achieve it with a degree of signal processing as opposed to the hifi purists' hardware-centric approach - I'm not judging. Still, it seems a lot to pay for something that depends on bluetooth integration and iOS software support and a built-in battery that will eventually die. I guess I sort of got used to the idea that a set of listening headphones would just last pretty much forever or until I lost or broke them

.........................................
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PB PM
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2020-12-10, 12:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
Stupidly expensive. Will seam to sell well initially because demand for anything apple puts out is beyond reason these days but sales will suck after the first quarter on the market and Apple will neglect these for the next two years. A price drop to $399 seems inevitable for late spring/summer.
Maybe, who knows. I said the same thing about AirPods, but hey a sucker is born every minute right?

I mean people buy Lexus and Acura, even though they are just Toyota’s and Honda’s with a different plastic shell and fake wood panels. These days if a company calls something a luxury item people want it, got to keep up with the other sucker down the street, and all that.
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Brave Ulysses
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2020-12-12, 02:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Maybe, who knows. I said the same thing about AirPods, but hey a sucker is born every minute right?

I mean people buy Lexus and Acura, even though they are just Toyota’s and Honda’s with a different plastic shell and fake wood panels. These days if a company calls something a luxury item people want it, got to keep up with the other sucker down the street, and all that.
I don’t know or see anyone who owns a Lexus or an Acura. At least not since maybe 2004.

Apple certainly has had their share of shitty overpriced products that did not sell well despite being Apple. This just seems to be the latest one.
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PB PM
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2020-12-12, 12:57

We see tons of MB, BMW, Lexus, Acura, Rang Rover, Cadies etc here in Greater Vancouver, luxury cars a big thing in the region. Either that or high end pickups.
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chucker
 
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2020-12-12, 15:14

I… wouldn’t put Mercedes and BMW in the same category as Lexus and Acura.
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PB PM
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2020-12-13, 00:46

Your right, the Lexus and Acura cars still work after the lease runs out...

Anyway this is about overpriced headphones, not cars.
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Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-12-19, 15:25

So.......

I just picked up one in Space Grey from the Apple Store. These are replacing the Bose QC35's that I have. I first put on the Max's before the QC35 as a way to remain neutral in terms of weight/feel. And they are comfortable on my head. It doesn't feel outright heavy. The weight is definitely felt more on the side of the head from the cups than the band. The mesh band is nice and can barely feel it. So it doesn't feel like something is clamping down on my head. I listened to Andrea Bocelli and the sound quality to my untrained non-audiophile ears is fairly good. I then put on the QC35's. I then instantly tell how much lighter the QC35's are compared to the Max. Again remaining "ignorant" to how the Bose were, the Max didn't feel heavy on my head. But you can definitely tell the difference if you immediately put on a lighter pair of headphones.

Again played the same songs on the Bose and sound quality is still good, but I could tell a difference and the Max definitely sound better. Build quality is no competition, Max blows the QC's out of the water.

I am not even going to talk about the case besides yeah it is easy to slide them in and out. Apple certainly should have done better there.

Are they worth the ~$250 over the Bose? For me yes. But my values are different, only you can decide.

giggity
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Brave Ulysses
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2020-12-20, 00:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagmire View Post
So.......

I just picked up one in Space Grey from the Apple Store. These are replacing the Bose QC35's that I have. I first put on the Max's before the QC35 as a way to remain neutral in terms of weight/feel. And they are comfortable on my head. It doesn't feel outright heavy. The weight is definitely felt more on the side of the head from the cups than the band. The mesh band is nice and can barely feel it. So it doesn't feel like something is clamping down on my head. I listened to Andrea Bocelli and the sound quality to my untrained non-audiophile ears is fairly good. I then put on the QC35's. I then instantly tell how much lighter the QC35's are compared to the Max. Again remaining "ignorant" to how the Bose were, the Max didn't feel heavy on my head. But you can definitely tell the difference if you immediately put on a lighter pair of headphones.

Again played the same songs on the Bose and sound quality is still good, but I could tell a difference and the Max definitely sound better. Build quality is no competition, Max blows the QC's out of the water.

I am not even going to talk about the case besides yeah it is easy to slide them in and out. Apple certainly should have done better there.

Are they worth the ~$250 over the Bose? For me yes. But my values are different, only you can decide.
What are your values?
Your review basically said they sound the same and are heavier and the case is lazy design on Apple’s part.
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_Ω_
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2020-12-20, 06:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagmire View Post
Again played the same songs on the Bose and sound quality is still good, but I could tell a difference and the Max definitely sound better. Build quality is no competition, Max blows the QC's out of the water.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
What are your values?
Your review basically said they sound the same and are heavier and the case is lazy design on Apple’s part.
Read the same post I did?
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Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-12-20, 08:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
What are your values?
Your review basically said they sound the same and are heavier and the case is lazy design on Apple’s part.
They do sound better than the QC35’s. I obviously did not compare them to the XM4’s or the Bose 700’s since I do not have them.

Yes they are heavier, but again before I put on the QC35’s making me realize the difference, the weight isn’t offensive for me at least. It’s comfortable. I played with them for about 30-40 minutes and felt no fatigue from wearing them before I went to the QC35’s. I will add on.... This is either sitting or standing. After I made that post( which is a more of a quick first impressions than “review”) went to lay down in bed and they do become uncomfortable due to the weight. It feels like they are pulling on my ears wanting to fall off sort of speak.

Yes the case is lazy design. The fact the Max’s go in and out of them easily is their only positive thing they have going for them. Hence why that is the only aspect I talked about. I didn’t think it was necessary to join in on the bashing. It’s well established the case is not well thought out.

I focused on sound quality in my first impression because that is what headphones are about. Doesn’t matter how good the ANC is if sound quality is crap. The AirPods Max ANC is a crap ton better than the QC35’s. The QC35’s obviously lack transparency mode which is freaking amazing on the AirPods. The ear cushions are super comfy on my ears. I love how easy it is to replace the ear cushions on the AirPods. It makes sharing the Max’s a breeze if you care about them being on others peoples ears. Each person can have their own cushion and when they use them, can just pop yours off and theirs on. Though I don’t intend to share my Max’s( but am bothered by headphones being on others peoples ears). Build quality is bar none.

Look I knew by posting my first impression would draw some “controversy” since I know the reaction these things have garnered since announced. But I felt I should at least post a perspective from someone who actually used them. I obviously don’t have the ability to compare them to their more direct competitors since yeah pandemic going on unless I went and bought all 3 and then return 2( which I’m not a fan of). But I like them and will be keeping them.

giggity

Last edited by Quagmire : 2020-12-20 at 08:44.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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2020-12-21, 09:26

I'm glad you shared your thoughts on them. It is nice to get that from someone who wasn't handed a pair to review for free.

Do I still think they are over priced? Yep. Will I ever buy a pair, not likely given I don't wear over the ear type headphones. If I ever want one though, I can keep an eye out for a great deal down the road. The ANC is the one true incentive for me from them. Knowing how good it works with the Pros, I could see me loving it in the Max.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
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chucker
 
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2020-12-21, 10:17

FWIW, I think Marco Arment said that the ANC is slightly worse compared to the Pros, but the transparency mode is way better than he's seen on any headphones.
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