What you need to know
- A new patent from Apple points to potential new features for AirPods Max.
- The patent shows that Apple is experimenting with bringing touch controls to its over-the-ear headphones.
- AirPods Max are currently controlled with the Digital Crown.
Apple could experiment with a different way to control the second generation of AirPods Max.
As reported by Patently Apple, Apple has filed a new patent that shows it is experimenting with bringing touch controls to its AirPods Max wireless headphones. The patent shows off touch controls existing on the earcup for each side of the headphones.
Apple currently pulled the Digital Crown from the Apple Watch and brought it to the AirPods Max in order to control volume as well skipping forward or backward as well as play and pause. It was a pretty ingenious idea and has worked out really well.
While bringing touch controls to the AirPods Max could also be useful if done correctly, it would hopefully come as an addition to the Digital Crown as opposed to replacing it completely.
Bottom line: AirPods Max provide a luxurious and premium headphone experience that mostly works across all of your Apple devices. They sound amazing, the ANC is even better than AirPods Pro, Spatial Audio is out of this world, and the battery lasts through a whole workday. The Smart case is ridiculous though.
Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.
Touch controls on headphones are usually spotty at best. I have AirPods Max and much prefer controlling them with physical buttons / dials as opposed to trying to tap and swipe like with the Sony XM3 & XM4.
Another vote for keeping the crown. It's easy to locate, and works well every time.
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