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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.

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