Apple has dropped an end-of-year surprise with the introduction of AirPods Max, the company's first over-the-ear, noise-canceling headphones. The latest Apple accessory boasts high-fidelity audio, comfortable ear cushions, and a flexible headband that can fit any head shape. The wireless headphones also provide a hands-free experience while offering users the familiar convenience of Siri.
The AirPods Max are available for pre-order starting Tuesday for $549. Apple plans to ship them out by December 15.
As with most Apple products, the headphones look nice and sleek. They come in five colors similar to the newest iPad Air tablets: space gray, silver, sky blue, pink, and green.
The headphones have borrowed an Apple Watch feature called 'Digital Crown' that helps users control their audio, take calls, and activate Siri. Inside the headphones are chips that can help adjust the sound using computational audio, Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio.
Adaptive EQ means the chips will automatically adjust the sound coming from the headphones. Active Noise Cancellation monitors and detects outside noise to adjust the headphones accordingly so users won't have their music interrupted.
When users activate Transparency mode, they can listen to both their music and environment with a single button. Lastly, spatial audio monitors the wearer's head to maintain a surround sound effect even if your head is moving.
The headphones have a battery life of 20 hours. Apple has also designed a funny-looking carrying case that can put the headphones in a low-power state to save your charge.
AirPods are one of Apple's most popular products. The company has been looking to push their accessories more as iPhone sales have slowed down. Although iPhones haven't lost their popularity, consumers have become more hesitant to upgrade their phone every year. Not only are smartphone prices going up, but the improvements people get from buying a new phone have narrowed as smartphones catch up with each other.
iPhones still amount to 50 percent of Apple's sales, but AirPods and other devices have been making up the rest. The company's wearables and other digital devices have been enjoying a healthy boost in sales due to the pandemic.