Review of the Apple AirPods Max: When AirPods Max first became available online in December of last year, I was undecided about buying them. However, by the time they hit store shelves a week later, I had persuaded myself into giving them a try. After eight months, I still insist that anybody who can afford $549 get them (or find a deal).
Although my occupation as a writer and podcast presenter for 9to5Mac carried a lot of weight in justifying the purchase, it was my love of music that ultimately led me to make the purchase without opening my eyes.
To spend $589 (after taxes) on a single set of headphones is a waste of money when there are so many other options available. Having a pair of AirPods Pro that I absolutely adore already made me doubt whether or not I should buy a new pair. In February, when supplies were still extremely low, I sold them off at a loss to save money for the impending relocation.
It’s been said that if you truly love something, you should leave it free; if it returns to you, it’s yours. I like the sound quality of my AirPods Pro over the Max. After using the first pair for around six weeks, I decided to get a second set of AirPods Max and listen to music in complete darkness. Since purchasing this set, I have used it constantly for at least an hour every day.
What I’ve gone through isn’t typical, but it is my experience. To me, AirPods Max is currently as revolutionary as the iPod was in the 2000s. In many instances when headphones aren’t welcome, the AirPods Pro earphones are my go-to, but the AirPods Max pushes my expectations for audio quality to new heights. Add in Apple’s secret sauce (wireless, reliable connection, and updated functionality via software), and I’m a believer.
I’m almost 31 now, but at 15 I remember clearly hearing individual instrument tracks for the first time in a recording. I have the ability to listen to the same music many times while focusing on a different part each time. At the same time, I came to appreciate the bass guitar’s place in rock music as much as the lead and rhythm guitars.
That’s exactly what the AirPods Max do for me: they take me back in time. Due to my familiarity with the high-quality sound of Apple’s white earbuds, I was surprised to hear details in songs with the AirPods Max that I had previously ignored. Lately, I’ve been listening to songs from the 2000s again and seeing details in the background voices and other tracks that I hadn’t noticed before.
This is what makes the ridiculously high price of the AirPods Max seem worthwhile. I remind myself, “You only have to purchase once,” and that helps a little.
The AirPods Max has given me more than just a better musical experience. The combination of Apple TV or iPad Pro and AirPods Max for immersive audio and visuals is unbeatable. I have a Dolby Atmos sound system, but frequently enough, it’s more immersive to take in a movie with AirPods Max when I’m viewing it on my own.
Since I’m a single parent, the noise suppression and transparency functions are also quite helpful in retaining my sanity while raising my four- and eight-year-old children.
As of now, AirPods Max’s $550 price tag is the largest obstacle to buying them, but I can now justify the investment. Once you get into a routine with charging (particularly if it’s every day), you won’t miss features like wireless charging or a USB-C connector that were first criticized at launch.
The strange case scenario was fixed through firmware, and in actuality, mine just lives at the top of my wardrobe. My AirPods Max has their own compartment in my backpack for safekeeping.
I’m a little disappointed that they don’t support Apple Music’s lossless high-resolution audio, but I suppose that’s inevitable with wireless headphones. I haven’t yet gotten into the area of digital audio converters or reference headphones.
If you’re on the fence about AirPods Max but can envision a situation where you’d benefit from them as much as I do, I’d say to shut your eyes and make the purchase.