AirPods Max Review: Incredible Sound & a Flawed Design
So that’s one thing to look forward to today, though i want to talk about these, the airpods max i’m a little bit late, getting to review these, because i actually didn’t get them until like christmas eve, and at that point i was taking a break from youtube, But nevertheless, i’ve been using them for nearly two weeks now and i’ve had enough time to really test them out so i’m ready to share my thoughts on them. Let me preface this by saying that i own a lot of headphones. I’Ve got the astro a50s i’ve got the the sony. Xm4S i’ve got the surface headphones too uh the the razer opus and just a whole bunch more that i obviously can’t fit on this table. The reason i’m telling you this is because the airpods max are completely different from all of them and not necessarily in a good way or a bad way, they’re just tough to compare to any one set of headphones, bluetooth or otherwise. The first and most obvious way. They’Re different is just how they look. Apple has a way of designing products that differentiate themselves without having to slap an apple logo onto the side. The design language of these headphones is distinctly apple. From the rounded edges to the digital crown, that’s been brought over from the apple watch. Actually, if you look at the right ear cup from the top, it looks exactly like an enormous apple watch. Some people will like how these headphones look and some people won’t i’m.
In the former camp of people, i actually love how these look. They’Ve got a minimalist space age vibe, going on that i’m. A fan of one thing i’m, not a huge fan of, though, is the mesh headband. While it is very comfortable and we’ll get to comfort. A little bit more in detail later, it does have me very concerned about the durability, long term. The mesh is very soft and it feels like it could easily be punctured or torn over time with use, while apple is selling replacement, ear cups for 70 bucks. A pop they don’t seem to have an option for replacement headbands while we’re. Here, though, let’s talk about these ear cushions. These are very well designed. They have memory foam beneath the fabric, making them very comfortable to wear long term and they have very strong magnets built in so that you can pop them on and off easily for cleaning underneath the ear cushion is a plastic grille to protect the 40 millimeter drivers. As well as a sensor for detecting when the headphones are on, your head on, the outside airpods max are made almost entirely of metal. The ear cups are anodized aluminum and the frame is stainless steel. Admittedly, the headphones do feel very nice in the hand, but all that metal comes at a pretty hefty cost. Wait. These things weigh 385 grams, and you can definitely tell from the moment you pick them up. The extra heft does make them feel more expensive, but it also means that they’re – probably not the headphones, that you want to have in your bag.
If you’re going to the gym, the frame of the max is also different from most other headphones in the way that it telescopes there’s no clicking involved here. It just pulls smoothly in and out, and it requires a bit of force to do so. While that feels nice it’s actually kind of impractical, let me explain on my sony xm4s the frame has these tactile clicks every few millimeters and that’s helpful for getting the right fit on my head every single time you don’t get that on the airpods max. So you kind of just have to guess and adjust accordingly until it’s comfortable again, i i realize i’m being extremely picky here, but hey since these things cost 550 us dollars. I think i have a right to be now. What have we not talked about with regards to the design? Oh yeah io on the bottom of airpods, max we get a lightning port that’s. It there’s, no usbc here, it’s, just lightning for charging and hilariously enough there’s, no 3.5 millimeter audio jack for wired listening. If you want to listen to these with a wired connection, you need to go out and buy apple’s 35 lightning to 3.5 millimeter cable because there’s, not one included in the box. There isn’t a charger either it’s, just a usb c to lightning cable that’s in here anyway, you can probably tell my thoughts about that is so let’s just move on to control the airpods max the right ear cup has the digital crown that i mentioned earlier as Well, as a noise cancellation button, the crown is pretty intuitive you just rotate for volume, control, press once for player, pause press twice to skip a song and three times to go back a song.
You can also press and hold to activate siri. However, i do have one final design complaint about an item that comes with airpods max this thing. What in the world is this? They call it a smart case, but there’s absolutely nothing about this case that’s smart. First of all, it looks terrible you’ve, probably seen the memes. By now it looks like either a purse or a bra. Second of all case cases are supposed to protect things there’s slots in the top and bottom, so they don’t completely protect the aluminum, ear cups and it doesn’t even protect the most fragile part of the headphones. The headband, if you put the headphones in the case, you’ll, see very shortly that the charging port, the cutout for the charging port doesn’t, even line up with the actual port itself. This goes down seriously. This goes down as one of the worst designed apple products of all time, right next to that apple, magic mouse that has the lightning port on the bottom for charging. But look all that stuff is bad, but it’s, not even the most egregious part of this design. The worst part is that the case has this little magnetic flap, that tells the headphones to go into a low power state and if the headphones aren’t inside the case, they don’t shut down according to apple here’s. What happens if you set your airpods max down and leave them stationary for 5 minutes? They go into a low power mode to preserve battery charge after 72 stationary hours outside of the smart case, your airpods max go into a lower power mode that turns off bluetooth and find my to preserve battery charge further.
That sounds like a pretty strange solution for something that could easily be solved with. Oh, i don’t know a power button or better, yet let us just hold down the digital crown and the noise canceling button for like five seconds or something to power them down manually. That could literally be fixed with a software update. Moving on let’s talk about the good stuff, first of all, comfort, despite being much heavier than most of my other headphones airpods max, are extremely comfortable. Yes, the weight gives them momentum. When you swing your head around and you definitely do feel them shift around a lot more but wearing them for long hours has been fine, even with my glasses, on, like most closed back headphones. My ears do heat up after long listening sessions, but that’s the only real comfort complaint i have. The headband is nice and soft and bears the weight of the headphones across my head. Well and, as i mentioned earlier, the fabric and memory foam combo of these ear. Cushions makes them very comfortable as well i’ve heard. Some people complain about the clamp force down on the sides of their heads, but it hasn’t bothered me at all battery life on the max is decent, but not what i would call industry leading apple claims up to 20 hours with the noise, cancelling or transparency modes. On but if you turn them off, you should get an extra hour, so just don’t leave them on outside of the case when you’re, not using it.
Airpods macs, like the airpods pro, have an active noise cancellation and transparency mode. Although the max does both of those modes better i’m, going to go more in depth with the noise cancelling when i compare them to the xm4s, but for now you should just know that these are excellent noise. Cancelling performers, the transparency mode, is even better airpods max uses nine built in microphones to absorb sound from all around you and then project it into your ears and honestly it’s. The most natural sounding transparency mode of any pair of headphones i’ve ever used having nine microphones inside, should help a lot with taking phone calls. Although, apparently, only three of the nine are used while taking calls still airpods macs sound, pretty good overall microphone wise, and they should be more than good enough for your average phone call having active noise cancellation and a pass through transparency mode, really doesn’t set airpods max Apart from the competition, a lot of bluetooth headphones have those modes nowadays, but you’d be hard pressed to find a pair of headphones that do them this well. Airpods max also has a lot of the same cool and convenient features as airpods pro. Spatial audio, for example, is a very cool feature that essentially gives you adobe atmos sound in your headphones. I don’t find it all that practical because it requires ios devices like the iphone and the ipad, and it only works in certain apps like disney, plus and apple tv plus, but it’s shockingly realistic and it’s definitely worth a shot.
If you have the compatible devices and apps, it also gains the same seamless, switching ability that airpods pro have where, if you have multiple apple devices that are paired to the airpods max, you can switch between them without touching the bluetooth settings, if i’m playing music on My iphone and i want to watch a youtube video on my ipad. For example, all i have to do is hit play on the ipad and the airpods max will just automatically switch, but look while all that stuff is neat to have. It would mean nothing if these didn’t sound good, now i’m, not an audiophile. I do own and i have reviewed a lot of different headphones but i’m, just the average joe when it comes to this stuff. That said, i think airpods max sound incredible. I don’t hear any distortion even at the maximum volume which, by the way, is extremely loud and it’s, got crisp, mids and highs, and a very tight low end with nice. Deep bass in a song like paper trails by darkseid, there’s plenty of clarity in the low end with that bass guitar, even when the vocals come in and the sound stage is excellent for a pair of closed back headphones, it does have some pretty bad sound bleed, Though, if the volume is above 50 or 60, people will be able to hear your music pretty easily paired with spatial audio. These headphones produce a very convincing dolby atmos experience and are quite honestly, the perfect portable movie watching experience when comboed with an ipad pro.
I was watching for all mankind on apple tv plus, and the rocket launch scene sounded incredible with that deep rumble of the engines blasting off, but regardless of how good these sound, these probably aren’t the pair of headphones, that audio files are running out to grab off The shelves and that’s for one simple reason: they’re bluetooth, headphones, that use the lossy aac codec there’s, no support for codecs with higher bitrates like ldac or aptx hd. Unfortunately, for most people looking to buy airpods max, i don’t think that’s a problem, though, despite apple’s marketing efforts calling them the ultimate high fidelity headphones. These weren’t, designed to target audio files, the lack of a dedicated audio jack, made sure that, but at 550 us dollars who are these, for, as i mentioned at the beginning of this video it’s hard to compare the airpods max to any other pair of bluetooth headphones. The most obvious comparison is the sony xm4s, which also sound great and have excellent noise cancellation, but even though the xm4s are half the price of the airpods max, they have a mostly plastic build, making them feel quite a bit more inferior. They don’t sound. Quite as nice, and they lack the spatial, audio and seamless switching features that the airpods max have look. In my opinion, the airpods macs are the best noise cancelling wireless headphones that i’ve ever tested, but they’re. Also, the most expensive you’ll just have to decide whether or not that huge leap in price is worth.
The extra features for you personally, like i mentioned earlier, i’ll, have a full video dedicated to comparing the airpods max to the sony xm4s coming very soon.