AirPods Max are officially one year old. That means we’re probably getting close to the first revision, assuming Apple is planning to keep them around. There are lots of ways Apple could improve upon these excellent over-the-ear headphones. But, we wanted to think realistically. What might Apple actually do to upgrade AirPods Max?

Some level of water resistance

AirPods Max are my favorite product that Apple makes right now, but they are missing an essential that makes AirPods and AirPods Pro great: sweat and water resistance. The main reason I don’t wear AirPods Max outside is because I fear liquid damage of any kind. A sudden rainstorm could kill them in seconds, and a heavy run could stink up the ear cups. If Apple could seal up AirPods Max in a way that makes them more water resistant, even if not necessarily waterproof, we’d be pleased.

USB-C + MagSafe charging

Like other AirPods, AirPods Max use lightning to charge. But, they’d be far better served by having a USB-C connector. AirPods Max are significantly bigger than AirPods or AirPods Pro and therefore take a bit longer to charge. By switching to USB-C, the company could not only expand compatibility but increase charging speeds. Switching to USB-C could also make using AirPods Max wired easier for more people. The proprietary lightning to 3.5mm jack cable is obscure and sometimes hard to find.

MagSafe came to AirPods and AirPods Pro this year, and we’d like to see it come to AirPods Max as well. AirPods Max are big enough to accommodate a strong ring of MagSafe magnets. Since magnetic charging doesn’t play nice with aluminum, the ring could be built into the case. Apple could put a USB-C (or lightning) connector in the case that plugs into the headphones when they’re inserted into the case. Then, you could simply plop the MagSafe puck on top of the case.

Offer more customization options

Before AirPods Max were released, there had long been rumors about interchangeable cups and headbands. And while you can indeed change them on the current AirPods Max, Apple doesn’t advertise the ability to customize your headphones. The company sells ear cup replacements in each color, but they’re expensive and not sold in Apple retail stores. You also can’t buy the AirPods Max case separately, and if you wanted to change the headband because of damage or because you wanted to mix up colors, you’re out of luck.

Apple should start selling all three components of the package individually and in all sorts of different colors. They could even switch colors up seasonally with Apple Watch bands and iPhone cases. This brings me to the next thing we’d like to see: fresh colors.

Seasonal color refresh

AirPods Max currently come in five colors: silver, space gray, green, pink, and blue. These colors line up perfectly with the five options that the 2020 iPad Air is available in. But let’s be clear, these are last season’s colors, and they don’t match Apple’s 2021 products. We’d like to see AirPods Max get at least three new shades to match the iPad mini: starlight, a new rosier pink, and purple.

All three colors look stunning when applied to AirPods Max, and they really accentuate the unique design of the headphones. In fact, these retro colors look right at home. AirPods Max have a retro feel to them purely in terms of visuals, and these colors really compliment the look.

Lower that $549 price

Apple has priced a lot of people out of AirPods Max. They’re jaw droppingly expensive at $549. And while some of us believe that they’re worth every penny, it seems as though the product really only moves when the price is dropped. Over the past few months, Apple’s retail partners have held sales that have rapidly sold AirPods Max. The sweet spot appears to be somewhere between $400 and $500. Right now AirPods Max are available at Best Buy for $455.99 and at Target for $479.99.

Apple should at the very least get them down to a tidy price of $499. AirPods Max could be as culturally pervasive as regular AirPods if more people were able to get them. Making the price even lower, like $399 or $449 would probably make them a blow out.

What would you change?

There’s no indication that Apple is close to releasing second-generation AirPods Max headphones anytime soon, but we’re hopeful that the company is working on improving one of their best products. What do you want Apple to change in the next generation AirPods Max, assuming we get them? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author

Parker Ortolani

Parker Ortolani is a marketing strategist and product designer based in New York. In addition to contributing to 9to5mac, he also oversees product development and marketing for BuzzFeed. A longtime reader, Parker is excited to share his product concepts and thoughts with the 9to5mac audience.