Skip to main content

Official: AirPods Max launch December 15 for $549

Apple Airpods Max With Iphone
Apple Airpods Max With Iphone (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • After months of rumors, AirPods Studio are actually AirPods Max. And they're coming next week priced at $549.

After months of rumors, AirPods Max are here. That's right, the AirPods Studio name isn't a thing anymore and Apple has gone with the Max branding it uses on iPhone. Naming aside, there's a lot going on here – including a price of $549.

Apple made the announcement via press release, saying that we can look forward to all the same features and benefits of other AirPods devices, but with a new over-ear design. Buyers will also get to choose from five different colors; space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink.

Airpods Max In Pink

AirPods Max in Pink (Image credit: Apple)

Apple today announced AirPods Max, innovative wireless headphones that bring the magic of AirPods to an over-ear design with high-fidelity sound. AirPods Max combine a custom acoustic design, H1 chips, and advanced software to power computational audio for a breakthrough listening experience with Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio. AirPods Max come in five gorgeous colors, including space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink, and are available to order starting today, with availability beginning Tuesday, December 15.

AirPods Max join AirPods and AirPods Pro in a growing family of audio products that also includes HomePod and HomePod mini. The inclusion of the H1 chip also means we'll get all the same features as Apple's smaller earbuds.

AirPods Max join the existing AirPods family in delivering unparalleled wireless audio, whether a customer is listening to music, making phone calls, enjoying TV shows and movies, playing games, or interacting with Siri. The magical setup experience customers love with today's AirPods and AirPods Pro extends to AirPods Max with one-tap setup, followed by automatic pairing with all the devices signed in to a user's iCloud account, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

The larger since means we can look forward to 20 hours of battery life with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled. You'll also get a fancy soft, slim Smart Case to keep your headphones in when you aren't wearing them as well.

This being Apple, these aren't any standard headphones. The company waxes lyrical about the way the earbuds are designed and attached, using a breathable mesh canopy to ensure improved acoustic performance and more.

Apple Airpods Max Exploded

Apple Airpods Max Exploded (Image credit: Apple)

From the canopy to the ear cushions, every part of AirPods Max is carefully crafted to provide exceptional acoustic performance for each user. The breathable knit mesh canopy, spanning the headband, is made to distribute weight and reduce on-head pressure. The stainless steel headband frame provides strength, flexibility, and comfort for a wide variety of head shapes and sizes. Telescoping headband arms smoothly extend and stay in place to maintain the desired fit.

All of this, and more, will set you back a cool $549 (opens in new tab). You can place your order today with delivery taking place on or around December 15. You'll get that soft Smart Case and a Lighting to USB-C cable in the box, too.

As an aside, AirPods Max will require iOS 14.3 in order to function, suggesting that update will be made available to the public within the next few days.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

12 Comments
  • There's absolutely no world in which I'd pay $549 for these. Especially at only 20 hours of battery life. AirPods don't even connect reliably enough as it is.
  • To each their own. They do look nice 👍..
  • I purchased Beats Solo Pro for $160 at Best Buy for a Black Friday sale. No way in **** would I ever pay $549 for these things, especially during a recession. Jesus, Apple. Read the room.
  • Ignoring the haters, I just snapped up a pair! By the way, your Lightening to 3.5mm article links to this one, instead.
  • Does the Lighting to USB-C cable let you listen through the cord to your MacBook Pro vs. wireless? Or do you have to get the 3.5mm cable?
  • There’s no wire override, it’s wireless only. The cable is only to charge the headphones.
  • No, they do sell a 3.5mm to lightning cable to use these wired with something like an airplane entertainment system with a headphone jack. Legitimate question to ask if they would work plugged into USB. USB C on an iPad or Mac does support audio out. You can connect USB C earphones to them. In fact the iPad Pro has no audio jack, so USB is the only wired option.
  • Pass!! No wire override, no USB-C (though expected), only 20 hour battery life, and $549? Wait, outside of these being an Apple speaker in the form of headphones. I guess if you really care about Audio then yeah the price range is right.
  • Guess the price isn't too big a deterrent. If you want these anytime soon, you are down to two 'colors' already.
  • No way. There are already outstanding headphones available at half that price. Dream on. No, I am not a “hater”. I just picked up a 256GB iPhone 12 Pro Max. But I did not pay $1200 for it either.
  • Way too expensive. Almost the price of a basic iPad Air.
  • And they are sold out for the next 2-3 months. Evidently during a pandemic there are a significant number of people who are able and have the desire to purchase something this ridiculously expensive, and good on them for that. For the rest of us, there are plenty of perfectly fine alternatives out there, though they might be missing some perk of having an Apple-made Bluetooth product, but when you get right down to it, they work just as well or might even sound better. To each his own, there is a product for everyone's needs and budget.