Apple AirPods Max


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10 reviews for Apple AirPods Max

Based on 10 reviews
1-5 of 10 reviews
  1. The good:

    1. Best noise canceling I have ever experienced.
    2. Spatial Audio *almost* makes you feel like you’re not wearing headphones and instead are hearing content from your surround sound speakers. More on this in “The bad.”

    The bad:

    1. Spatial Audio does a pretty poor job of virtualizing sound coming from behind you. It’s basically just muted stereo. I suspect though (and I am speculating) that no headphones made can do this well. Every other aspect of Spatial Audio that you may have heard about is spectacular. They do a remarkable job of virtualizing sound coming from “above you.”

    2. I will describe in detail the issues I had that lead to my returning them. But let me skip ahead to my call to Apple Support. After describing my issue to Apple Support, their response was “we don’t know what’s going on.”

    3. After establishing a Bluetooth connection to my AppleTV 4K (model A1842) running tvOS 15.6, I was able to use the headphones for a few hours with no incident. After using them, I returned the headphones to the supplied case, laid them down flat and connected the lighting charging cable.

    Several hours later, I disconnected the Lightening charging cable, removed the headphones from their case and was unable to establish a Bluetooth connection to the AppleTV 4K. In fact, there was no evidence whatsoever that the headphones had any charge at all. Pressing the Noise Cancelation / Transparency button produced no sound or tone of any kind. Similarly, pressing the volume knob had no effect. The LED near the Lightening plug remained dark.

    It wasn’t until I plugged the Lightening cable back into the headphones that I was able to observe the LED was emitting a green light. Placing the headphones on my head, with the Lightening cable still attached, I was able to establish a Bluetooth connection to the AppleTV 4K; but things were still not right. Despite the AppleTV 4K reporting that there was a Bluetooth connection to the AirPods Max, all sound continued to be directed to the AV receiver and from there to the in-ceiling speakers.

    Removing the headphones and putting them back on had no effect. I restarted the AppleTV 4K and still the sound was directed to the AV receiver despite the AppleTV continuing to report that there was a Bluetooth connection to the headphones. From the AppleTV’s Settings app, I disconnected the headphones and reconnected them. Still no sound coming through the headphones. It wasn’t until I placed the headphones down (for the second time and after restarting the AppleTV) and put them back on did they start working properly.

    It took me 30 minutes to get them working again.

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  2. En principio, este producto es para escuchar musica. La razon fundamental por la que le compre esto a mi hijo es porque opino que la calidad del sonido de este aparato es de lo mejor que escuche hasta el momento. Lo compre con esa premisa.
    Sin embargo, la calidad del sonido del aparato refurbished era bastante mas baja que la uno comprado nuevo. Eso lo comprobe yendo a un Apple reseller en Panama, donde vivimos. Asi que decidi comprar un aparato nuevo de los mismos y devolver el refurbished. Entonces llame a Amazon para comenzar el proceso de devolucion, pero dicho proceso ya habia expirado porque esto fue enviado a Panama. Ademas, para el proceso de devolucion, el shipper de Panama me pide una etiqueta con direccion original, que Amazon tanbien se negaba a darme.
    Todo lo que logre fue que me dijeran de Amazon que debia llamar a Apple. Cosa que hice.
    En Apple me dijeron que debia llevar el aparato refurbished para revision en un Apple store, pero en el Apple store local me dijeron que no podian aceptarlo. A eso Apple respondio que lo lamentaba, pero que para poder arreglarlo en garantia, yo debia viajar a USA para llevarlo a un Apple store.
    Como no quise esperar, utilice la compra del producto nuevo para devolver el viejo. Para hacer ese envio, gaste $28. Y, encima, me descontaron de la compra original de Amazon unos $100, vaya a saber uno por que razon.

    Entonces, concretamente y a mi modo de ver, ni Amazon cumplio con la promesa de tratar adecuadamente al end customer, ni Apple cumplio con su warranty promise. Y yo, queriendo comprar un producto que prometia ser de calidad equivalente al nuevo, perdi $128 y muchisimas horas de esfuerzo para conseguir que mi hijo tenga el producto que Apple se habia prepcupado en diseñar fantasticamente.

    Bastante triste, la verdad

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  3. These are my favorite headphones. When you account for the sound quality, noise cancellation, convenience, comfort and the quality of the build, it makes the price more palatable.

    That said, there’s no denying that they are expensive. At the same time, they pretty much reside in their own category of headphones. You can easily get better sounding headphones for less than $200 – but those are wired and lack active noise cancelling. You can shop around other Bluetooth headphones with ANC (XM4, QCII35, 700 etc…) but those don’t sound as good. Though they certainly don’t sound bad and they’re a couple of Benjamins cheaper. I firmly believe the Max’s ANC is also better than all the previously mentioned gear, though not by much when compared to the XM4s. One very nice thing about the AirPods Max is the ANC causes no hiss at all, not even a little.

    But there’s just no comparison when you compare the build and comfort. Other Bluetooth ANC headphones feel cheap. Once you handle the faux leather and creaky plastic parts you understand why they’re much less expensive. The cloth and foam ear pads on the Max are nearly perfect. They form a good seal, even with glasses, and they’re comfortable for long listening sessions. The aluminum and stainless steel parts feel both durable and even luxurious. The mesh headband distributes the Max’s substantial weight very evenly. Moreover, everything is modular and repairable on the Max. The circuit boards, batteries, cups, pads, the headband itself – all disassemble with relative ease so your purchase may just last for decades.

    Much has been made of the Max’s weight. In my experience, it’s a non issue. Lounging in the house, washing dishes, sitting at the computer – the weight is fine. BUT, the clamping force is another matter. These things firmly squeeze your head. Initially, I thought I was going to have to return them. Having used them for a couple weeks, they’ve loosened significantly. Possibly, I’ve also acclimated to them.

    Transparency mode is amazing. Without doubt, it’s the best implementation I’ve heard. I’ve yet to try out Spacial Audio because until it works with my TV, it’s a gimmick that I don’t care about. I don’t watch movies on my iPhone or even iPad. If you do, you may feel differently.

    I do wish I could use them to block out sounds without playing music or white noise. But when not playing audio, the ANC causes too much pressure on my eardrums.

    I also wish there were an accompanying App that enabled more intuitive EQ or control of other settings: like perhaps degrees of ANC or better monitoring of battery life and standby. This seems like an oversight on Apple’s part.

    Yes, the case isn’t much of a case and it is annoying that they don’t include a cable for wired listening. But those are small things and do not detract from the sound quality, convenience and materials of the headphones themselves.

    The ear pads do make my ears warm in my usage. I don’t see how any closed back headphone with a decent seal wouldn’t make one’s ears warm. That said, the warmth doesn’t bother me at all and I don’t feel that they’re uncomfortably hot.

    Recently, there have been many reports of condensation and/or sweat accumulating beneath the ear pads on the plastic housing that protects the drivers. Though I don’t doubt these accounts, I have yet to have it happen. After using the AirPods Max for three to four hours, at my desk and around the house, they’re as dry as can be. I don’t know what combination of temperature, humidity, body heat and time causes moisture to appear. All I can suggest is that if you purchase the AirPods Max, try and reproduce the issue with your normal usage. Hopefully, it will be a non issue for you as well.

    If you own a couple of Apple devices, say a Mac and an iPhone, the Max’s convenience makes them even more compelling. Normal Bluetooth pairing can be mildly annoying or, depending on your devices, VERY frustrating. There’s no such hassle with the AirPods Max. They just connect. They just switch. They just work.

    If you’re cross shopping, there are a couple of Bluetooth headphones that might sound slightly better, but they lack ANC. There are many, many headphones that are both cheaper and sound better, but they are wired and lack ANC. The AirPods Max really are in a different class compared to the $350 range of Bluetooth ANC headphones the market has become used to.

    In my opinion, these should not be compared with lesser ANC BT headphones but with the BO H95s. Though I’ve never owned the H95s, I have held, listened to and envied them. They’re amazing. But they’re also $800 and the ANC is not as advanced. In comparison, the AirPods Max are a bargain, even if they don’t sound quite as nice as the H95s – though they are very close.

    I’m very pleased with the AirPods Max. As a complete package, I’m not aware of any other headphones, at any price, that are competitive.

    This morning I shoveled snow for a little over an hour while wearing the AirPods Max. Admittedly, my understanding of atmospheric physics is pretty low, but I figured my very warm head combined with freezing temperatures affecting the aluminum would likely induce some condensation. But, after shoveling, they were as dry as can be. Again, I’m not casting doubt on the many reports of moisture below the ear pads, but I can’t reproduce the effect.

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  4. I recently got my hands on the Apple AirPods Max, and I must say, they didn’t disappoint. The headphones arrived promptly at my doorstep, securely sealed as expected. The initial unboxing experience was nothing short of satisfying, and I was eager to dive into the audio quality.

    Speaking of sound, the AirPods Max offer a solid audio experience. The audio is clear, and the bass is punchy, delivering an enjoyable listening experience. However, I did find myself wanting more in terms of customization. Apple’s limited equalization options leave a bit to be desired, as I longed for the ability to fine-tune the sound to match my preferences.

    One noteworthy aspect that slightly underwhelmed me was the exclusive wireless nature of the headphones. While they provide convenience, it becomes apparent that their true potential shines when paired with high-fidelity audio sources. Listening to music with the AirPods Max is a delight, but the wireless limitation can prevent you from fully appreciating the depth of sound they are capable of delivering.

    To make the most of the remarkable sound quality, it’s evident that Apple intends for you to immerse yourself in the Apple ecosystem, particularly through their Apple Music service. While other platforms like Spotify and YouTube Music offer good sound, the complete enveloping experience is best achieved when paired with Apple Music.

    In terms of build and design, the AirPods Max exhibit a touch of luxury with their sleek aesthetics. They do carry a tad more weight compared to their leading competitors, but personally, I didn’t find it bothersome. However, it’s important to note that these headphones are not designed for gym use. The lack of waterproofing and the tendency of the ear cushions to trap heat make them less suitable for intense physical activities.

    When it comes to noise cancellation, the AirPods Max do a commendable job. While they might not be the absolute best in the market, they effectively filter out a significant portion of external noise, allowing you to enjoy your music without excessive distractions.

    In my conclusion, the Apple AirPods Max provide a well-rounded audio experience that caters to music enthusiasts seeking premium sound quality. While there are some minor drawbacks, such as limited equalization options and the exclusivity of their audio potential, these headphones are a solid choice for those within the Apple ecosystem who prioritize exceptional sound and design.

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  5. Full disclosure: I purchased these headphones back in April 2021 and gave them some break-in time (until June 2021) before I reviewed them, so this is my experience of having them for more than 90 Days.

    I owned a pair of Beats Studio Wireless 2’s for about 4 years, and they were a useable set of cans. They had some pretty smart wired connections, good battery life, and were rather comfy to wear… but their wireless connections were a nightmare, the integrated Mic awful, and the noise-canceling mediocre. I was looking for a change, and being a consumer of Apple Products and with the generally good reviews I had seen for the Airpod Max, I decided to take the (kind of) expensive plunge. And honestly, I was not disappointed.

    As with any good review, we’ll break it down into the Pros & Cons and explore both.



    The build quality on these headphones is nothing short of phenomenal. They are made of Metal and some nylon or rubber here and there (for the headband and earcup padding) and they feel VERY SOLID. The piston style adjustments on the headband always feel super tight and mechanical (still even months after using them). The earcups are always tight on my head, allowing the headphones to clamp down on my ears and prevent noise leakage. The Earcups are built out of what looks to be a rubberized polycarbonate and padded mesh fabric and are held in by MAGNETS, making them easy to replace if they get soiled or if you want a different color.

    Also, found out after the fact, the headband is ALSO replaceable if you want a different color later on down the line. The metal the speaker boxes are made from are the standard matte Apple aluminum, and the control buttons on the right speaker box are on par with the dials and buttons included on their Apple Watches (in fact, I’m pretty sure they’re the same buttons, just “upsized” in the CAD program when making this device). It all feels very expensive and well built, and even 100+ days after initial use, still feels “brand new” and solid.


    Whereas I love the build quality, there are some pretty glaring design flaws and comfort issues that come along with this first outing from Apple.

    First, whereas the headphones still fit like they were brand new, I’d hope for some relief on the hard clamping aspect present in them. When I first wore them, I was finding the clamping done by the headphones very tight and threatening to give me a headache if I wore them too long since it was like a vise on my head. This has lessened slightly over time, but it is still very tight. I don’t know of a fix for this outside of constant wear to try and get them to bend a flex to a less tight shape on my dome, but so far they still hurt a bit when wearing them for an extended time.

    Second, even though I like the good piston mechanics on the ear height adjustment with the headband since it takes some force to properly adjust them, sometimes you have to grip on the speaker boxes and pull downwards on them while pushing upwards on the headband with your cranium to get them to adjust to your liking. This wouldn’t be an issue if the dial and button were on the bottom of the headphones, but since they’re on the top of the right speaker box, it is notoriously difficult to adjust them on your head and not accidentally press one of the buttons, causing playback or the headphones to go into pair mode (which happens if you hold down the buttons for too long). You’d think, “oh, just grab the sides of the speaker boxes”, which makes sense, however as I stated they are made of Apple’s standard aluminum, and to add to that the edges are very rounded, so getting a grip on the side of the headphone speaker boxes is difficult at best.


    PROS: The sound quality on these is an absolute beast, and it’s by far the best pair of headphones I’ve ever used. The audio is clear, and you can hear highs, lows, and everything in between. However, I will be the first to admit, while I am musically inclined and love listening to audio, I’m by no means an Audiophile or claim to be able to hear what types of sounds are being emitted cleanly and loudly, and which aren’t. I usually can if I have good reference, but as these are the best headphones I’ve ever owned, so they become the new baseline. Also, the built in noise canceling is the best in the business right now, and is definitely better than its closest competitor. The reason why it is so good is due to the multiple microphones established in the soundbox housing, which not only work EXTREMELY well for the ANC, but also for phone calls. The phone calls made from these headphones are nearly studio mic grade in how they sound, and are much better than most things included on computers or competitor headphones nowadays.

    CONS: Though I am not an audiophile, there is something that I can tell— when there is killer bass and when there isn’t. And to my ears, these don’t have a superheavy bass that will rattle your fillings, which is *fine*, but I thought there would simply be *more* bass in the audio. The bass may be enough for most music, and what it has is ok, but nothing akin to the huge bass I was *expecting*. The nice thing is that if you delve into the Accessibility Settings for your Apple product, you can set an audio profile for the headphones so it’ll enhance the audio based on how well you hear (so already, this enhancement is *proprietary*; not a big deal for me as I own nothing but Apple devices, but YMMV).


    PROS: If using Apple products, the handoff of the headphones to the other devices works really, really well and hasn’t needed to be paired more than once to each device it is used on. The pairing process is nicely simple if it does go wonky, and doesn’t have nearly as many issues as other BT that gets locked into a single device. The equipment/accessories that it comes with are acceptable (charging lightning cable, bra-esque “case”). The stop/start/volume dial is very responsive and easy to click using the same click sequence that Airpod Pros have used for a while (Double click to advance, triple-click to go back, quad click, etc…). If you take them off your head, the headphones have a similar light sensor that other Airpods have to determine if they’re in your ears or not, and will halt the music accordingly or start playing if they recognize they’re back in place on your head. The lightning cable to charge the headphones is embedded in the base of the right-hand speaker box, and charges using the same style cable that your iPhone and old Airpods do, so you should already have at least one cable for it if you own Apple products.

    CONS: Hooo boy, ok. So with any early adopter technology, there’s always going to be some bugs that need working out, or some design flaw that (where not crippling) makes the headphones more of a chore and less fun to use. This may be our longest section, but please take these with a grain of salt— none of these are dealbreakers for *me*, but since I’m not you, YMMV. Here are the issues I found in no particular order, but NEED to be discussed as I’ve often seen them glossed over elsewhere—

    – Analogue Connection. There is no direct analogue connection with these headphones. As most audiophioles claim, digital (especially wireless digital) will never be an acceptable connection replacement for analogue. And most high-grade cans have some sort of analog 3.5mm jack that can be plugged into a normal headphone port that will allow you to use these headphones with devices that don’t transmit via BT, like a Record Player, or high-end sound system. The Airpods Max unfortunately have no such analogue connection. “But!” you may exclaim, “You can always use the Lightning port and plugin a Lightning to 3.5mm converter cable!” This is true… to an extent. First off, to get that feature to work, you need to get a SPECIFIC cable— Apple’s Lighting to 3.5mm cable. The reason? Because that cable, and seemingly ONLY that cable, is BI-DIRECTIONAL. This means that no matter what end you plug your source into, that cable will translate the audio both ways. Most to all third-party cables (that I was able to find in my research) are like an annoying 13-year-old listening to music in 2011: all they play is ONE DIRECTION. Also, to top off the annoyance, when you DO use the Apple Cable, it takes the analogue source, transfers it to the headphones, whose signal is then converted to digital. Automatically, mandatorily, every time. This may be a problem for some people who demand their Analogue output to be heard in its original analogue glory. Also, the Apple cable that you HAVE to use is super cheap feeling and thin, instead of the normal thick or braided casing most headphone cables use. Did I mention that Apple also DOES NOT include this cable with the headphones? It’s extra. Like about $30-$40 extra. So you may be better off with another set of headphones if you want a good, wired, analogue signal.

    – The “Case”. I feel like the case that is included with these headphones will go down in history alongside the 1998 iMac USB Puck mouse, the Apple Newton, and the Magic Mouse Lightning port as one of their more GLORIOUSLY STUPID design decisions. The “case” is made of what I can assume is leather, but for a set of ~$550 headphones, that’s about the only “premium” feature they boast. There is minimal padding. There supposedly is a magnet included in the area where the headphone edges touch that triggers an internal reed switch to put the cans in standby mode. Half the “case” is exposed to the elements and doesn’t fully cover the electronics, so it isn’t ideal as something to protect from inclement weather. And lastly, and most egregious, is that there is no way to use the case to carry around the headphones or attach them to anything— no belt clip or loop, no hanging clip, nothing. So believe me when I say that you’re gonna need a case for these things if they’re ever gonna leave your home, and it’s almost imperative if you live in a place with inclement weather. I bought a full zip case that has a built-in magnet for the reed switch, has a few pockets for cables, and is very padded. It was worth the cost to make sure that my headphones that cost *half a thousand dollars* stay safe. Apple’s lack of protection has not only garnered users’ ire, but made the Airpod Max case into little more than a joke, and I really can’t see a counterargument to either of those things.

    – Lack of Lossless audio on their own products. So as many know, Apple has just announced that it will have lossless audio on its Apple Music platform soon, which is a boon to audiophiles everywhere. But in everything I have read about it, they always have the caveat that the lossless audio currently doesn’t work with the Airpod Max headphones. Even if you buy the bi-directional cable from Apple. And there has been no “we plan to support it soon” soundbite, or “we will be updating the Airpod Max firmware to be compatible in XXX of 202X”. So, if that is super important for you, just know it may not be supported on this model of Airpods Max, possibly at all (Apple is notorious in doing this, and will just release it in the next version). So if it is released eventually, I wouldn’t expect it on this model, and you’ll have to plunk down another half a thousand bucks to get a set that will work with the feature.


    In the end, I’m really pleased with these headphones. They are some of the finest pieces of audio equipment that I have ever owned, and I love all the premium features they included. Certain areas leave something to be desired on them, but they are niggling feature issues or design kinks that will be worked out later. I am hopeful that these headphones will stay the same for a few revisions and the firmware/software will evolve to support more features, as well as the accessories (and third-party solutions) to be able to work more universally with non-Apple products or be more robust in their construction. To be fair, for a first draft Apple product, they are the accessory that I’ve had the least amount hassle with.

    All in all, I highly enjoy and recommend these headphones, and if you are an Apple Fan and budding audiophile, I believe you will too. Let’s just hope that Apple keeps improving these models to make them feel like they were worth the ~$550 price point.

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