Well, Apple’s new Airpods Max are finally official after years of rumors and leaks. Now, as the new headphones hit the market, we have started to receive details of how they came to be. However, we are also getting information claiming that these headphones aren’t exactly what Apple wanted to deliver.
Let’s start with some rumors, as a former Apple engineer claims that the AirPods Max took four years to develop. Dinesh Dave says that these high-end headphones began their process back in 2018, so it was great to see them launch, as they were, in his words, “the last product NDA I signed is finally out!”
Now, we had been expecting the AirPods Max since late 2018, but Apple had to deal with several delays in production, and we also lost several features on the way, or at least that’s what rumors suggest. First, we have to point out the lack of Apple’s U1 chip for ultra-wideband, which would enable improved spatial awareness between devices. However, the lack of this feature would’ve also helped to bring the price of these headphones down by a bit, or at least that’s what Jon Prosser believes.
He also mentions several differences found in the AirPods Max, which were caused by Apple’s decision to drop key features. His sources suggested that the AirPods Studio, now Max, were going to include touch panels in the earcups to provide gesture control. Instead, we received a digital crown like the one we find in the Apple Watch. Apple also ditched the reversible design feature, which would allow users to put them on however they wanted to, and the headphones would be able to detect which was the best way to deliver audio, but now, we find faint R and L lettering inside the earcups to know how to wear them properly. The headband was also supposed to be removed and replaceable, like the earcups.
Now, we may get to see these features in a future AirPods Max refresh, but we should also wait to see what comes next, as we’re also expecting to get a second, less expensive pair of headphones that will be fitness-focused. Whatever the case, you can get a pair of AirPods Max for $549, and you will probably get them in 12-14 weeks, but you could get them faster if you decide to get them engraved, as they would arrive between December 3- and January 7 according to the guys over at MacRumors.