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Home / Hot Stuff / Audio / Apple’s AirPods Max over-ear smart headphones sound good to us

Apple’s AirPods Max over-ear smart headphones sound good to us

AirPods… to the max!

To date, AirPods have been shoved inside of ears, but AirPods Max (£549, available 15 December) change everything, with Apple seeking to reimagine over-ear headphones. They come in five colours and have an “uncompromising fit”. Through a knitted mesh canopy, telescopic arms and pivoting ear cups with acoustically engineered memory foam, even the most awkward bonce/ears combos should be sorted. Set-up’s a breeze – one-tap with Apple kit, with seamless switching and a 20-hour battery life. But how do they sound? If Apple’s to be believed, you’ll be in audio bliss as custom chips, advanced software and computational audio provide your lugholes with clear, rich, distortionless sound, adaptive EQ and spatial awareness that figures out where your head’s pointing and adjusts what’s playing accordingly. There are even physical controls – a Digital Crown swiped from Apple Watch, for controlling volume/skip/calls/Siri, and a noise control button to switch from immersive sound to transparency mode, ensuring you won’t get run over by a bus when rocking out to Phil Collins in the middle of the street.

Profile image of Craig Grannell Craig Grannell Contributor


I’m a regular contributor to Stuff magazine and Stuff.tv, covering apps, games, Apple kit, Android, Lego, retro gaming and other interesting oddities. I also pen opinion pieces when the editor lets me, getting all serious about accessibility and predicting when sentient AI smart cookware will take over the world, in a terrifying mix of Bake Off and Terminator.

Areas of expertise

Mobile apps and games, Macs, iOS and tvOS devices, Android, retro games, crowdfunding, design, how to fight off an enraged smart saucepan with a massive stick.

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