Apple AirPods Max Review

Apple AirPods Max Review

Written by Kenneth Sawyer, In Headset, Published On
October 31, 2023

We found the Apple AirPods Max to be the best-sounding headphones. They’re easy to use and provide noise cancellation that rivals the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. We’d only suggest them to iOS users with a lot of money and little interest in Hi-Res Audio due to their exorbitant price, Android restrictions, and absence of a 3.5mm audio connection.

Apple AirPods Max  Specs

TypeWireless noise-cancelling over-ears
Codec supportAAC, SBC
Finishesx5 (space grey, pink, green, silver, sky blue)
Battery20 hours
Price£549 / $549 / AU$899


  • A+ sound quality and active noise cancellation
  • Spatialized sound for the movies
  • Excellent craftsmanship


  • Irrelevant situation
  • Not with audio cable


Apple AirPods Max

The AirPods Max were the most expensive wireless headphones we had ever worn. They cost a third more than Sony and Sennheiser’s flagship pairs at £549, $549, or AU$899. However, its availability seems to have allowed other headphone makers to join this formerly restricted market. The Mark Levinson No. 5909, Focal Bathys, and Bowers & Wilkins Px8 have launched with higher price tags in the previous two years and justified them. The new (and costlier) rivals outperform the Apples in sound quality, but Apple consumers should still consider the AirPods Max, especially when they’re discounted. They’ve dropped to £420, $450, or AU$800 on Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day.


Apple AirPods Max

While the style may not be for everyone, the Apple AirPods Max’s materials and craftsmanship are top-notch. Hand someone a set of these and a pair of Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones, and they’ll believe the price difference is considerable. The Sonys feel cheap compared to the Apples, which have perfectly machined, single-piece anodized aluminum ear cups and a stainless-steel headband.

Memory foam cushions between the cups and your head comfortably wrap even the biggest ears, producing a soft seal that blocks sound surprisingly well. The AirPods Max weigh 385g, 135g more than the Sony XM5, while the B&W PX8 weighs 320g. The premium materials make them heavier. Because of the weight-distributing design, they don’t feel heavy on the head and have no pressure spots. For over two years, we’ve used the AirPods Max for lengthy, uninterrupted listening periods without pain or fatigue.

Also Read- Sony MDR-XB450AP: Review


Apple AirPods Max

The Apple AirPods Max case has been compared to a bra and a pistol holster. It looks stupid and doesn’t protect the product from knocks, scratches, and grime like a regular case. The headband and cups aren’t covered by this case, so it’s just slightly more protected than throwing them in your backpack. The case prompts the AirPods Max to enter an ultra-low-power mode that will apparently preserve the charge for months, but anyone planning to take them out of the house even occasionally should consider buying a third-party case that protects and supports sleep mode.

That is ludicrous, especially given the headphones’ price. The AirPods Max 2 may come with a new casing, which is good news. Although wireless headphones usually come with a power charger, the lack of one may sometimes be frustrating. If you don’t already have one, plan to buy a USB-C charger. Apple’s 20W model costs £19 ($19/AAU$29) but allows fast charging for the AirPods Max (a five-minute charge gives you an hour and a half of noise-cancelling listening). Apple claims 20 hours of usage per charge. That’s far less than the Sony XM5 (30 hours) and B&W Px8 (60 hours), and especially the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 4. We don’t think many people will find it short, especially because our testing indicated it’s a conservative figure.


Apple AirPods Max

First, the noise-cancelling is great. Note that we reviewed the AirPods Max during the epidemic, so we couldn’t do our regular on-flight or on-bus testing, but we were able to get a fair picture of how the headphones will function utilizing speakers and willing test subjects. While the Sony WH-1000XM4 and XM5 seem to filter steady, consistent noise (engine noises, for example), the AirPods Max let very little through and are somewhat better at blocking chit-chat, which is significantly tougher.

In conclusion, the apples effectively block external noise. Transparency mode actively analyzes environmental noise and sends it to your ears to increase awareness. There’s a little synthetic sound to some of this noise, and we’re not sure how beneficial a transparency mode is for headphones like these (it’s usually more effective with in-ears for outdoor exercise), but it works well if you need it.


Apple AirPods Max

Like AirPods and AirPods Pro, AirPods Max have the Apple H1 processor in each earcup, which has 10 audio cores for adaptive EQ, active noise cancellation, transparency mode, and spatial audio. Spatial Audio, released as part of iOS 14, first came to the AirPods Pro and works for content in 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos, which positions sound all around you in a virtual sphere. For example, if you’re watching a Dolby Atmos film about a plane flying overhead, it will sound like the plane is flying above you.

Unique to Spatial Audio, the AirPods Max can track your head movement using inbuilt accelerometers and gyroscopes, as well as the position of your iOS device. As you move your head, the audio will always sound like it’s coming from the screen. To try it, find content in the surround formats—Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, and HBO Max all support spatial audio, but Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have yet to add it to their iOS apps. Fortunately, the AirPods Max and AirPods Pro can convert stereo content to spatial audio in their settings.


The Apple AirPods Max are amazing over-ear headphones with the greatest sound we’ve ever heard. As usual with Apple, they’re easy to use, have great noise cancellation, and look sleek and distinctive. However, they’re pricey, and Android users are limited. They also lack a 3.5mm audio connector, so we’d only suggest them to iOS users with plenty of money and little interest in hi-res audio.


Are AirPods Max Waterproof?

Not IPX-rated, the new AirPods Max are neither sweatproof nor waterproof.

Can You Exercise with AirPods Max?

This gadget is not sweatproof. Try wiping off the perspiration after each usage.

Will AirPods Max just function with Apple devices?

Misconception: it is a Bluetooth gadget that works with Android and Windows devices, but not fully.

Can AirPods Max Battery Be Fixed?

Apple has always prioritised compactness above serviceability, hence the battery is not replaceable. More about AirPods Max battery drain fixes.

Is Pad Replacement Possible?

Magnetic pads may be changed. The accessories section sells them for $69.

Can AirPods Max turn off automatically when sleeping?

Situational. First-generation headphones feature sensors that detect head position but not sleep. If you sleep and the headphones fall down, the music stops.

AirPods Max: Audio Cable Jack?

The gadget lacks an audio cable jack. Lightning to 3.5mm Audio Cables cost $35 at the Apple Store.

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