Apple’s long-rumored over-ear headphones are officially here. AirPods Max feature an over-ear design, deep integration with the rest of Apple’s ecosystem, the H1 chip, and more. They are available to order today for $549, with the first orders arriving next week.

AirPods Max feature Apple’s latest H1 chip with support for spatial audio, automatic device switching, and more. They are available in five colors and include a carrying case as well. Here are all of the details you need to know.

AirPods Max are official

AirPods Max have been rumored for over a year at this point, and Apple has made them official this morning via a press release announcement. An announcement for today was first rumored last week, though we weren’t entirely sure if it would focus on the over-ear headphones or something else.

Here are the highlights:

  • $549, available to order today, shipping Tuesday, December 15
  • Adaptive EQ
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Transparency Mode
  • Spatial Audio
  • Automatic device switching
  • Audio Sharing
  • Charge via Lightning

Apple describes:

From the canopy to the ear cushions, every part of AirPods Max is carefully crafted to provide exceptional acoustic performance for each user. The breathable knit mesh canopy, spanning the headband, is made to distribute weight and reduce on-head pressure. The stainless steel headband frame provides strength, flexibility, and comfort for a wide variety of head shapes and sizes. Telescoping headband arms smoothly extend and stay in place to maintain the desired fit.

Apple makes some significant audio quality claims to help justify the $549 price point. The company says that AirPods Max “feature a 40-mm Apple-designed dynamic driver that provides rich, deep bass, accurate mid-ranges, and crisp, clean high-frequency extension so every note can be heard.”

Adaptive EQ allows AirPods Max to adjust the sound to the fit and seal of the ear cushions. This works by measuring the sound signal delivered to a user and adjusting the low and mid-frequencies in real time. The AirPods Max also include a Digital Crown on the side, inspired by Apple Watch, to control volume and playback, including support for pausing, skipping, answering/ending phone calls, and activating Siri.

AirPods Max up to 20 hours of high-fidelity audio, talk time, or movie playback with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled. There is also support for head detection, so AirPods Max can intelligently detect when they are placed on a user’s head and pause playback when removed.

AirPods Max are available in five colors: space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink. They include a Smart Case that puts the headphones into an “ultralow power state that helps to preserve battery charge when not in use.”

AirPods Max join the rest of the AirPods lineup, which now ranges from $159 all the way up to $549. The new over-ear headphones also barely make the cut for the 2020 holiday season, but it remains to be seen just how many orders Apple will actually be able to fulfill before December 25.

Apple marketing VP Greg Joswiak on AirPods Max:

“AirPods are the most popular headphones in the world, beloved for their effortless setup, incredible sound quality, and iconic design. With AirPods Max, we are bringing that magical AirPods experience to a stunning over-ear design with high-fidelity audio,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The custom acoustic design, combined with powerful H1 chips, and advanced software enable AirPods Max to use computational audio to wirelessly deliver the ultimate personal listening experience.”

AirPods Max are designed to compete with other high-end headphones such as the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. The difference, of course, is that Apple’s over-ear headphones feature deep integration with the rest of the Apple ecosystem, including support for features such as spatial audio, automatic device switching, and Hey Siri.

You can read Apple’s full announcement of AirPods Max in the press release on Apple Newsroom.

AirPods Max colors

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