A WASTE OF MONEY!? AirPods Max Review 1 Week Later
Intro: Today we take a look at the most controversially priced Headphones in the consumer market to date. The $549 price tag screams Luxury, Premium or just flat out Overpriced! Either way you see it the AirPods Max are definitely the talk of the Tech community and honestly for good reason. Can you truly justify Apple’s price point on these over-the-ear headphones or is it a blatant slap in the face to the loyal Apple community? We’ll answer this and so much more so sit back Smash that LIKE button and come along for the ride…
DESIGN: The first thing everyone noticed after the price tag was the design. Although these are premium materials by far it’s also a unique and polarizing look. The second these touch your hand out of box the cold aluminum and stainless steel make their presence known by their weight. You do notice the increase in weight but we’ll get more into that during the comfort segment so stay tuned. My only concern is how the Aluminum will hold up to scratches over time. But only time will tell. There’s also this silicon-like material covering the headband which is a mesh design similar to the mesh style office chairs you see. Except a lot softer and more forgiving. The stainless steel adjustments are smooth as butter and the removable memory foam ear cups are cloud-like. All in all very premium very well built just not the most pleasing visually to my eye but their growing on me kinda…**..
COMFORT: Next up lets explore the comfort $549 gets you in a heavier premium all metal build. It’s not what you’d expect. Your first assumption is if they’re heavier then they’re less comfortable but that’s actually not the case. Apple has designed these quite well in the weight distribution and longevity. I’ve worn these hours upon hours with little to no fatigue. Now all isn’t perfect in the comfort at first try because it does take some fine tuning to find your fit. This is exactly why these do not click when adjusting because it allows you to dial in exactly what fit works for you. Now with these being a solid more rigid metal build. You have to find that sweet spot that relieves any tension or pressure but once you find your fit you’re good. And the fact that the adjustment rods won’t move easily ensures your choice of comfort is locked in and won’t move. I think this is apart of Apple’s choice of not creating a folding pair like the Sony XM4’s which actually requires you to collapse and reset your headphones whenever stored in the carrying case. Which lets be honest isn’t a deal breaker at all. I still think we wanted a travel case with the AirPods Max and since I mentioned the case let’s talk about it briefly.
CASE: I’m not a fan. Honestly I find myself not using the case at all but if I were to travel with these the case would be used most definitely. Or hopefully we can rely on 3rd party case manufactures to bring the swag that Apple didn’t. Also Apple has confirmed that the headphones go into a low power state automatically after being left stationary for 5 mins. And then an Ultra Low power mode after 3 days. So don’t worry about losing battery if you use a third party case. The low-power mode and drain is extremely efficient. And since we’re on the topic of battery let’s talk about it.
BATTERY: Is it the best out? No. But will it be good for most? Absolutely. Battery power is always subject to the use from each individual user. And yes for a HEAVY user a longer battery life reduces the amount of battery cycles over time but a heavy user on any technology will depreciate the battery life faster than any Average to Low use user anyways. In a nutshell the battery life is enough to get get days of listening and convenience.
SOUND QUALITY: Now this is the area I was curious most about because that’s a big part of any headphones. How good or how great do they sound? And how well is the frequency spectrum translated. I’ve spent over a decade manipulating audio frequencies in the audio engineering world so I understand sound. But honestly when it comes to sound in this consumer market it’s strictly about balance and clarity. And Apple knocked it out of the park with these. Every sound from low too mid too high is balanced tamed and properly placed in the sound stage. These custom drivers were built to deliver and they do just that.
3.5mm CABLE: Now for those wondering NO Apple did NOT include a 3.5mm headphone jack but there is a cable adapter being sold in Apple’s store for $35. Now this cable is thin and way too short to be a functioning headphone cable but it does get the job done for those seeking an analog audio experience. Now while I’m not a fan of this cable at all I use it almost daily for editing my videos and plugging into my various audio interfaces. Now I’m hoping to see a LONGER more PREMIUM lightning to headphone jack cable be released but I won’t hold my breath.
USER EXPERIENCE: Now when it comes to user experience we have to talk about the Apple ecosystem and how these fall right into it and so will you. Listen if you’re not an Apple user these headphones are not for you period. Because the true user experience is unlocked with other Apple products. Being able to switch from my iMac Pro to my iPhone by just waking and looking at my phone is seamless. And the same goes for my iPad Pro and Apple TV. You get the picture. Apple has built a very smooth user experience for those who choose the walled garden. You can hate apple all you want but you can’t deny the fact that they have the BEST ecosystem on the market period.
CONCLUSION: My conclusion is this… Are the AirPods Max a waste of money or extremely overpriced? The answer is Yes and No. Let me explain. To those who are just fine with the Bose or Sony XM4’s or 3’s which cost almost half the price. Then yes these are overpriced and ridiculous. But to those who subject themselves willingly to the Apple ecosystem and can rightfully AFFORD these then absolutely not! I would never encourage you to spend beyond your means when it’s not a necessity. And for a lot of consumers these are out of your means. The Sony XM4’s are a great value in comparison and sound awesome! But they are not better than the AirPods Max. I would be lying if I said so. The price is what separates the AirPods Max but it also kind of alienates them from many getting their hands on them. Bottom line is we do not know the exact profit margin being baked into this $549 price point so… It really comes down to can you afford them. Are you willing to pay that price for them. And once you get them and use them do you find yourself saying I’m going to keep them. I’m keeping mines.
My name is CJ this is CJ Unplugged.