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Apple AirPods Max arrive: Apple's over-ear headphones make a big impression

Big in size and in battery.

Apple AirPods Max arrive: Apple's over-ear headphones make a big impression
Marc Chacksfield
08 December 2020

Apple has revealed its first-ever pair of over-ear headphones, the aptly titled Apple AirPods Max. These headphones all ready to take on the rather crowded over-ear headphones market and come packing a number of very Apple-like flourishes.

For a start, the headband is a unique knitted mesh canopy that's attached to a stainless steel frame with telescopic arms. The ear cups are made from anodised aluminium and the ear cushions have been given a custom-designed mesh textile that is said to provide "a pillow-like softness while listening". Add to this a digital crown that looks very similar to what is found on the Apple Watch and they certainly look the part.

As for the listening, Apple has packed in 'industry-leading' Active Noise Cancellation, which is helped along with Apple's H1 chip, immersive listening, adaptive EQ and spatial listening, which means that if you move your head it doesn't distort whatever you are listening too.

Apple AirPods Max arrive: Apple's over-ear headphones make a big impression

As with the AirPods and AirPods Pro, Apple has added a one-tap setup - as long as you are using iOS 14.3, WatchOS 7.2 and macOS 11.1. They do work through Bluetooth, though, so you can use them on a non-Apple device but some functionality will be limited.

According to Apple you should get 20 hours' use out of the headphones and a quick 5-minute charge will give you 90 minutes of juice.

The Apple AirPods Max are available now and come in five colours: Silver, Space Gray, Sky Blue, Pink and Green for £549, which definitely puts them in the more premium range for wireless headphones.