Apple AirPods Max Review: Are They Worth the Hype?

Struggling with uncomfortable headphones? Our Apple AirPods Max review reveals a comfort revolution. Dive into a world of luxury audio experience!

Apple AirPods Max with cover

We recently got our hands on the Apple AirPods Max, and it’s hard not to notice the buzz around these headphones. Wrapping them around your ears, the comfort is immediate, thanks to the knit-mesh canopy and memory-foam cushions that seem tailored to your head. The green color adds a pop of personality to your gear, and the build quality justifies Apple’s luxury branding.

The sound, oh the sound! The AirPods Max brings a level of audio richness that’s expected from a high-end headset. Personalized Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos is a game-changer – it places you right in the middle of your music or movie, and with Active Noise Cancellation on, the outside world fades away, leaving you in your own private concert hall. Transparency mode, on the flip side, keeps you connected to the world with the flick of a switch.

Green Apple AirPods Max in a box

Of course, it’s not all roses. The weight can become noticeable after extended periods, which might be an issue for some. And let’s talk about the Smart Case – it does what it’s supposed to do in terms of battery preservation but it’s a far cry from the headphones’ design and quality, plus it might not offer the level of protection you’d expect.

Bottom Line

We’re inclined to say the AirPods Max are a luxury pick. Their seamless integration with other Apple devices, exceptional audio, and chic design make them stand out. They’re not light on the wallet, but if you value top-notch audio and cherish the Apple ecosystem, these might just be the temptation you can’t resist.

Feel like these might be the headphones of your dreams? Take a closer look and treat your ears to the Apple AirPods Max.

Overview: AirPods Max Highlights

Ever since we got our hands on the AirPods Max, we’ve been pretty wowed by the sound quality. They come with all the bells and whistles – think high-fidelity audio and the clever use of computational audio to really push the envelope.

Now, we’ve all had those headphones that almost cut it except for that nagging external noise. Well, the AirPods Max come into their own here with Active Noise Cancellation that lets us get lost in our favorite tracks.

But it’s not all about shutting out the world; there’s a nifty Transparency mode that keeps us aware of our surroundings – super useful when we’re out and about. The personalized spatial audio feature? It’s like being in a movie theater with sound that literally wraps itself around us, plus there’s Dolby Atmos support for the content that offers it.

AirPods Max exterior

On the fit front, these headphones are snug. A knit-mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions mean they stay comfortable. And our favorite part is how easily they pair with our devices – a simple tap and we’re connected. The Digital Crown gives us a nice, tactile way to manage playback and volume.

Now, they aren’t light on the wallet nor in weight, and the battery life is what you’d expect – up to 20 hours. But it’s worth noting that the Smart Case is there to slip them into a power nap when we’re not using them. Sure, there are some neat tricks like audio auto-pausing when we take them off and easy switching between Apple devices. It makes juggling music and calls a breeze.

Built for the Apple ecosystem, they’re a bit choosy – they work best with the latest and greatest Apple hardware and software. But if we’re already living in that world, they pretty much fit like a glove – or should we say like a cozy ear cushion?

Breathtaking Audio Quality

We’ve all experienced that moment when a pair of headphones takes us to another world, and that’s exactly what happened with the AirPods Max.

Green AirPods Max mesh interior

There’s something incredibly satisfying about the crispness and clarity of the sound these headphones produce. When it comes to drowning out the noise, the active noise cancellation is top-notch – it’s like being in your own silent bubble, just you and your music.

But it’s not all about silence; sometimes you need to stay connected to your surroundings. That’s where transparency mode shines, letting in just enough of the outside world.

What really blew us away was the personalized spatial audio feature. It adjusts the sound to fit the way our ears perceive it, making it feel like the music is playing all around us, which is especially noticeable with Dolby Atmos tracks.

While we adore the sound quality, we can’t turn a deaf ear to the weight. They can get a tad heavy, which might be something to consider if you’re planning on using them during a workout.

The AirPods Max aren’t just about listening, they’re an experience – one that’s crafted with comfort and an almost magical ease of use in mind.

Active Noise Cancellation

When we first tried on the AirPods Max, the hustle and bustle of our surroundings faded away, thanks to the Active Noise Cancellation feature. You’ll find that whether you’re in a busy cafe or near a construction site, these headphones can effectively silence the world so your music or podcasts can take center stage.

However, nothing is perfect, and there were rare moments when some ambient sounds sneak through, especially if the noise is exceptionally high-pitched or inconsistent.

Still, in our experience, the AirPods Max stands out for its ability to create an intimate soundstage. While it’s not always absolute silence, it’s pretty close, allowing for a deeply personal listening experience.

It makes sense for those who prioritize losing themselves in their audio without the outside world interrupting. But for those expecting a 100% soundproof experience, just remember that while impressive, no noise cancellation technology can yet totally eliminate all background noise.

Transparency Mode and Spatial Audio

When we tried out the AirPods Max, we were really impressed by the Transparency Mode. It’s incredibly handy for those moments when you want to stay aware of your surroundings without pausing your music. The transition from Active Noise Cancelling to Transparency Mode is seamless, letting us quickly engage with the world around us.

Then there’s Spatial Audio—words hardly do it justice. It felt like sounds were coming from all around us, making our favorite tracks feel live and immersive. Not to mention, Dolby Atmos support takes some movies and shows to a whole new level.

Although creating a personalized profile for Spatial Audio requires an iPhone with a TrueDepth camera, the unique audio experience it offers is well worth that extra step.

On the downside, remember that not all content supports Dolby Atmos, so your mileage may vary. And although the headphones are comfortable, they might feel heavy after extended periods, which is worth considering if you plan to use them for a long time.

Design and Comfort

When we got our hands on these AirPods Max, the first thing that struck us was the sleek, modern look. Apple has definitely put a lot of thought into the aesthetics of these headphones, and the green hue adds a pop of personality that’s pretty unique.

The knit-mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions aren’t just for show – they really do make a difference in how comfortable the headphones feel.

We’ve worn them for extended periods, and we didn’t experience the discomfort that often comes with over-ear headphones. The ear cushions create a seal that not only keeps the sound in but also makes the audio experience kind of enveloping.

Plus, handling these headphones feels intuitive. Adjusting volume or skipping tracks with the Digital Crown feels satisfyingly smooth, which is a nice touch.

Headphone band AirPods Max

However, no product is perfect. Some of us felt that the headphones could get a bit heavy after a while, and that’s something to consider if you’re planning to use them for long listening sessions. But the comfort and the build quality do make up for this slight inconvenience.

Battery Life and Charging

We’ve found that our AirPods Max keep us jamming for a good 20 hours, whether we’re grooving with Active Noise Cancellation on or getting lost in a movie with that sweet spatial audio working its magic. During our talks, the charge holds up just as well, making sure we’re not left hanging mid-conversation.

We love that we don’t have to wait long if we do forget to charge them; just a quick 5-minute charge nets us an impressive 1.5 hours of listening time. And when we’re done, popping the headphones into their Smart Case doesn’t just keep them safe – it puts them into an ultra-low-power state, extending battery life really effectively.

Sure, a full day’s power is plenty for us, but it’s still something to think about if you’re away from a charger for longer. Our experience? The convenience of Lightning charging mixed with the longevity of the battery does keep us more than satisfied on most days.

Ease of Use

We’ve found that the AirPods Max from Apple hit a sweet spot when it comes to ease of use. Right out of the box, the pairing process with an iPhone is lightning fast – a hallmark of Apple’s user-friendly design. The knurled Digital Crown, inspired by the Apple Watch, allows for precise volume control and the ability to play, pause, or skip tracks with a simple press or turn.

The headphones’ weight is on the heavier side, but they remain surprisingly comfortable even after hours of listening, thanks to the well-cushioned ear cups and headband. Some of us did feel the weight during longer listening sessions, which is something to be mindful of.

Physical controls are elegantly integrated, avoiding any fumbling for buttons. Active Noise Cancellation can be toggled effortlessly, and Transparency Mode is quite a fantastic feature for staying aware of surrounding sounds without removing the headphones.

The one aspect that could be improved is the protective case provided, which doesn’t seem to match the premium feel of the headphones and is a bit lackluster in terms of protection. However, this is a minor point in what is otherwise a very user-friendly experience with these headphones.

Pros and Cons

After spending some quality time with the AirPods Max, we’ve gathered our thoughts on what stands out and where they might fall short. These aren’t just any pair of headphones; they’re a premium audio experience for your ears. Let’s break down what makes them shine and where they could use a bit of polish.


  • Breathtaking Audio Quality: The high-fidelity audio delivered by the AirPods Max is simply stunning. The computational audio, when paired with the H1 chip, makes every note feel alive and immersive.
  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC): Turning on ANC lets us escape into our own world without the distraction of external noise, which is great for focus or relaxation.
  • Transparency Mode: This feature is quite handy when we need to be aware of our surroundings without stopping our music.
  • Personalized Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos: It feels like we’re in our own personal concert hall with 3D audio that adjusts to our head movement.
  • Comfortable Fit: The knit-mesh canopy and memory foam cushions are like a soft hug for our ears, perfect for long listening sessions.
  • Effortless Experience: Pairing is a breeze, and automatic pausing when removing the headphones is a nice touch. Seamlessly switching between Apple devices is also incredibly convenient.
  • Long Battery Life: We get up to 20 hours of use with all the features enabled, which is plenty for most situations.


  • Price: The price tag is definitely on the steep side, considering there are other high-quality options that won’t dent our wallets as much.
  • Weight: They can feel a bit heavy during extended use or certain activities, like working out.
  • The Smart Case: It’s sleek but doesn’t seem to offer much protection, which is something we’d expect for the price.
  • Sweat Protection: For those of us using them while exercising, you might need to invest in additional sweat protectors to maintain their pristine condition.
  • Physical Controls: While the Digital Crown offers precision control, it might take some getting used to if we’re coming from other headphones with touch controls.

As with any tech, the AirPods Max won’t be perfect for everyone, but they certainly push the boundaries in many areas we care about as users.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key differences between AirPods Pro and AirPods Max?

AirPods Max and AirPods Pro offer different listening experiences.

The Max are over-ear headphones designed for comfort during extended use, with larger drivers providing a richer sound quality. They also house a more substantial battery, offering up to 20 hours of listening time.

On the other hand, the Pro are in-ear and more suited for an active lifestyle or on-the-go use.

How does the sound quality of AirPods Max compare to other high-end headphones?

From our experience, the AirPods Max certainly hold their own against other high-end headphones. Their custom drivers and computational audio tech deliver clear, high-fidelity sound.

Plus, the Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic tracking adds an immersive dimension that’s tough to find elsewhere.

What is the battery life like on the AirPods Max, and how does it compare to competitors?

When it comes to battery life, the AirPods Max impresses with up to 20 hours of usage with ANC or Transparency mode activated. This is on par with many of their high-end competitors.

A quick 5-minute charge can even provide about 1.5 hours of listening time, which is convenient for us forgetful chargers!

Can you highlight some unique features of the AirPods Max that set them apart?

What sets the AirPods Max apart for us are features like the Digital Crown for precise control, which brings a physical, more tactile element to the touch controls we’re used to.

Their Smart Case also puts the headphones into an ultra low-power state, helping save battery when not in use. Not to mention, the build quality and materials give these headphones a premium feel that justifies their unique position in the market.

How comfortable are AirPods Max for long periods of use, especially given their weight?

Despite their weight, we’ve found that the AirPods Max are surprisingly comfortable. The knit-mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions distribute the weight nicely.

Sure, they’re heavier than some other headphones, but they remain cozy for long stretches, even when lounging around with a good album or podcast.

What improvements can we expect from the next version of AirPods Max?

While Apple hasn’t officially released details about future AirPods Max versions, we could anticipate enhancements like weight reduction, longer battery life, and perhaps even more advanced audio codecs to support higher-resolution streaming.