Note: We may earn commissions (at no cost to you) if you buy through links on our site. Learn more.

Apple AirPods Max review

8.4/10 AVG.
RATING
Compare Compare  

Apple AirPods Max
Apple AirPods Max
Apple AirPods Max
Apple AirPods Max
...

Specs / Features


Overview
Type Over-Ear
Volume Control Yes
Playback Control Yes
Noise Canceling Yes
Specification
Warranty (Months) 12 months
Release date December 15, 2020
Size 16.86 x 8.34 x 0.737 cm (6.6 x 3.3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 384.8 grams
(13.58 ounces)
Suggest a correction
Reviews summary section

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

If you don’t mind the price (and the absurd case) the Apple Airpods Max offers the best audio experience you’ll get from Apple. Just be sure the trade-offs are worth it before committing.

What's good

  • Superior sound quality
  • Seamless connectivity among iOS devices
  • Quality durable design
  • Spatial audio for extreme immersion
  • Great noise cancellation

What's bad

  • The case design
  • There’s no way to shut them completely off
  • No headphone jack for a wired option
  • Only works well with iOS devices

There’s no question that Apple has a reputation for high-quality products and the Apple Airpods Max is no exception. But if you think earbuds when you hear the name Airpods, these massive cans are just as likely to surprise you as their price tag. But are they worth the expense? How do they stack up to other noise-cancelling, wireless headphones?

Design & Materials

These headphones are full metal, from the band to the actual earphone. A slightly padded sheath covers the headband to avoid discomfort.

They come in silver, space gray, sky blue, pink, and green. These aren’t the normal colors you’re used to either, they’re retro subdued pastel tones.

All that good stuff aside, reviewers found the case you’re meant to keep them looked unfortunate. There is no disputing it, the case kind of looks like a common undergarment. Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that, it’s just odd for a premium product.

Comfort & Fit

The padded headband offers a little relief from these heavy metal headphones. Reviews note there’s plenty of room for adjustment in its telescoping arms as well. The earpads themselves are mesh-covered memory foam and reviewers thought they were pillowy soft.

Sound

Reviewers raved about the quality of the sound on offer. Its range pleased most with plenty of bass and treble. More importantly, it’s balanced for the perfect listening experience. The level of clarity had reviewers noticing elements in their music they never noticed before.

Wireless Performance

No qualms were found with wireless performance. No lag, no disruption, and then you have the active ear detection that knows when you are or are not wearing them.

Battery Life

Apple guarantees 20 hours of uninterrupted use. This might may seem like a lot, but there’s a catch. The Airpods Max never shut off. So that comes some extra battery drain. The only thing you can do is put them into low power mode by either leaving them undisturbed for 5 minutes or by sliding them back into the case that came with them.

Noise Cancellation

Reviewers loved the ability to turn the noise-cancelling on and off from right on the headphones. There is a discrete knob on the top that allows you to choose how much or how little noise cancellation you want depending on where you’re listening. Better still, reviewers found the noise-cancelling plenty capable.

Other Features

  • Automatic switching allows you to jump seamlessly from one Apple device to another. This means you can take a call on your phone then switch back to the movie on your iPad or Macbook without having to disconnect and reconnect every time.
  • You can also use your headphones to share sound to another set of Airpods Max headphones. This means you can enjoy your favorite songs or watch shows with someone else with a pair without having to compromise noise cancellation abilities.
  • Apple Airpods Max offers the use of Siri and voice controls.


The Bottom Line

Airpods Max features Apple’s attention to detail and premium experience. That doesn’t mean they’re flawless though. The case is largely deemed as a design mistake by most reviewers. You can’t turn the headphones completely off either. The complete incompatibility with anything besides Apple devices are all serious downsides to consider.

Despite this, the features are many, the audio quality is great, and the noise cancellation extremely effective. It’s not the best headset for that price point but reviewers note there aren’t many that can keep up.

That said, the price point is probably out of the range of many buyers.

TechRadar states, “The Apple AirPods Max are among the best-sounding headphones we've ever tested, they're easy to use, and their noise cancellation can easily stand up to the likes of the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. However, their high price, limitations for Android users, and lack of 3.5mm audio port means we'd only recommend them to iOS users with a lot of money to spare – and no interest in Hi-Res Audio.”

Tom’s Guide says, “The AirPods Max are exceptional noise-canceling headphones with a luxurious design, sophisticated soundstage, and clever computational features. But the $549 price and unconventional case are difficult to overlook.”


Use this product?

Help inform others by sharing your experience with Apple AirPods Max

Rate It:

Resources


Review Sources and Citations Share / Embed

Maybe one of your friends will find this review helpful? Please help us spread the word.

Q&A Forum


No questions for the moment.