AirPods & AirPods Max reportedly coming this year but without key feature

AirPods Max
(Image credit: Future)

If you've been waiting for new, non-Pro AirPods or the larger AirPods Max, good news - both are coming this year, according to both Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and a Weibo leaker called "Instant Digital" (thanks, MacRumors)

Both suggest that a fourth generation of standard AirPods and a second generation of AirPods Max headphones are coming in 2024, but that the AirPods Max will stick to the H1 chip of the last generation.

That would mean the AirPods Max wouldn't get AirPods Pro features like Adaptive Audio or Conversation Awareness that are offered by the considerably cheaper Apple buds to adjust noise cancellation on a personal level or adjust to allow users to hear someone else.

Reports had previously suggested that Apple wouldn't invest in big new changes to the AirPods Max 2 because they don't sell well enough. That means we may have to settle for a USB-C shift.

Speaking of, the AirPods 4 will debut with USB-C according to both sources.

AirPods Max

(Image credit: Future)

The state of the AirPods Max

Apple's over-ear headphones launched at a considerable price point, but are now found fairly regularly discounted.

That's a good thing because as I've written before, a second-gen AirPods Max lineup could make some tweaks to what is already a great pair of headphones.

While Gurman suggests it could be a year of minor amendments to the formula, I'll keep my fingers crossed for a more foldable model and maybe an actual power button. And, the less said about that "case" the better.

Still, these reports could change, and with AirPods usually rolled out similarly to iPhones in September, here's hoping Apple gets a little more ambitious - otherwise many of us will stick with the much cheaper AirPods Pro.

Lloyd Coombes

Lloyd Coombes is a freelance writer with a specialism in Apple tech. From his first, hand-me-down iMac, he’s been working with Apple products for over a decade, and while he loves his iPhone and Mac, the iPad will always have his heart for reasons he still can’t quite fathom.

Since moving from blogging to writing professionally, Lloyd’s work can be found at TechRadar, Macworld, TechAdvisor and plenty more.

He’s also the Editor in Chief at, and on the rare occasion he’s not writing you’ll find him spending time with his son, or working hard at the gym (while wearing an Apple Watch, naturally). You can find him on Twitter @lloydcoombes.