In the wake of this week’s AirPods Max announcement, Apple provided the premium wireless headphones to a handful of YouTubers and media outlets. Nobody had even a full day with the AirPods Max, so none of these are full reviews, but they do provide a closer look at the headphones and some valuable first impressions.
Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch was impressed with the sound quality but warned of the sturdy design:
There is a tradeoff here that I feel I must mention even in this early review, though: These things are heavy. If you do not like heavy headphones, do not buy the AirPod Max.
All of the reviewers seemed impressed with the sound quality of the headphones, including The Verge’s Nilay Patel:
Sound-wise, I’ve had fun listening to the AirPods Max for a few hours — they’re crisp and bright, with a pleasingly wider soundstage than my Sony headphones, and no distortion at all, even at max volume.
Comparisons to wireless headphones from Sony and Bose were also common, but Marques Brownlee questioned whether that was the right comparison, arguing that contrasting the AirPods Max to higher-end headphones might be more meaningful.
The AirPods Max case was raised as a frequent downside by reviewers who compared to a purse, a bra, and even a butt. Another downside depending on how you might use the AirPods Max is the lack of a cable in the box to connect to airplane entertainment systems and other audio sources. Apple offers a 3.5mm to Lightning cable separately for $35.
Be sure to check out the videos published on YouTube that I’ve linked below too. They’re an excellent way to get a better sense of the design details of the AirPods Max.
I’m curious to read and watch full reviews of the AirPods Max after reviewers have had time to use them for more extended periods and in different settings. For now, though, the first impressions provide a nice introduction to what the AirPods Max can do and what some of their limitations are.