AirPods Max review: it's not easy to justify the price

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 80
    The design is definitely David Clark, like pilots use. 
  • Reply 62 of 80
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,679member
    Didn't AI recently have an article on how to disable the automatic device switching because it is annoying when the AirPods switch to another device without your control?  Like when they automatically switch to your Mac when you wanted to keep listening on your iPhone?
    That's not how it works. "When you turn to your Mac, a pop-up banner helps you seamlessly switch the audio over."
    Maybe that’s not how it’s supposed to work, but that’s how it was working for me. I didn’t realize Apple had added this ‘feature.’ I disabled it after reading the AI article and have no more issues. 
  • Reply 63 of 80
    Andrew, Waterfield’s new Shield Case  for the AirPods Max looks perfect for protection while traveling .
    Regards
  • Reply 64 of 80
    urdaman said:
    Andrew, Waterfield’s new Shield Case  for the AirPods Max looks perfect for protection while traveling .
    Regards
    Looks like they've updated the materials/finish on a general case design that already exists for other brands of headphones that don't fold. Not bad. I wouldn't mind seeing some bag designs in interesting materials for AirPod Max as well.
  • Reply 65 of 80
    Only Apple would make headphones without a headphone jack, without a power switch, with cloth that will get dirty, worn out, and hard to clean, and cripple the control of your music when you use their $35 wired cable for better audio.

    Didn't AI recently have an article on how to disable the automatic device switching because it is annoying when the AirPods switch to another device without your control?  Like when they automatically switch to your Mac when you wanted to keep listening on your iPhone?

    I have the Sony MX3s and they are amazing.  Excellent sound quality, excellent ANC, fold into a compact hard case, wired connection included, USB-C, excellent controls by swiping on the right ear (or covering the right ear to turn off ANC temporarily), customizable software in the Sony app, and zero issues with Bluetooth connection or wired (preferred for better audio), and all for over $200 less.

    You nailed it with this review.  Mediocre sound quality (typical of all Apple sound products) and not good enough to justify the $549 price.  Apple could have had something if they were $349 or less to compete with Bose and Sony, but no audiophile will buy these headphones if that was the market they were hoping for.  Audiophiles or recording artists do not listen to Bluetooth audio.
    As Beats said multiple times above also... these reviews and opinions miss the whole point and therefore are pretty stupid. Same with so many of the AirPods Pro and HomePod reviews.  

    And MacQuadra, you have missed the point as well because the market you describe is NOT the market Apple are going for - not even trying or pretending to. 

    The POINT of these headphones is bringing another form factor to APPLE’s ecosystem. The market for these (as is the case for many Apple products) is a very specific and unique market - the market of Apple users who want the Apple specific integration.  Arguably the H1 chip and other Apple-integration-specific features are $100-200 worth of value (not cost) meaning that every other part of these headphones (the audio, comfort, fit, etc.) only make sense to be compared with $350-$450 headphones.  

    Maybe those specific numbers aren’t accurate but the point remains. If you want the Apple integration these headphones are awesome - and priced appropriately. For anyone who doesn’t care about that integration then these are a waste of money - why would you pay for features you don’t want? 

    Again, same with all the other AirPods, most of the beats products, and the HomePods.

    This review addresses this point but not the right way in my opinion.  The tone of the review - and especially the title - casually saying these aren’t worth the money unless you want the Apple specific features comes across as if that’s a negative for these headphones. The review should highlight more clearly that the integration features are the point of these headphones.

    Here’s a couple of analogies... 

    Imagine a review comparing an electric desk lamp to every other brand’s candles and then complaining the electric light is too expensive and requires an electricity source to function properly and so “no one will buy this if that (candle market) is the market they were going for.” 

    Or, imagine a review comparing the iPhone Pro Max to a bunch of other brands’ $1000 cameras and saying the iPhone is overpriced and not as good a camera and “no one will buy this iPhone if that (camera) market is what Apple was going for.”

    Yes, that’s how stupid these headphones, etc. comparisons are. 
    edited December 2020 ronn
  • Reply 66 of 80
    jcs2305 said:
    Only Apple would make headphones without a headphone jack, without a power switch, with cloth that will get dirty, worn out, and hard to clean, and cripple the control of your music when you use their $35 wired cable for better audio.

    Didn't AI recently have an article on how to disable the automatic device switching because it is annoying when the AirPods switch to another device without your control?  Like when they automatically switch to your Mac when you wanted to keep listening on your iPhone?

    I have the Sony MX3s and they are amazing.  Excellent sound quality, excellent ANC, fold into a compact hard case, wired connection included, USB-C, excellent controls by swiping on the right ear (or covering the right ear to turn off ANC temporarily), customizable software in the Sony app, and zero issues with Bluetooth connection or wired (preferred for better audio), and all for over $200 less.

    You nailed it with this review.  Mediocre sound quality (typical of all Apple sound products) and not good enough to justify the $549 price.  Apple could have had something if they were $349 or less to compete with Bose and Sony, but no audiophile will buy these headphones if that was the market they were hoping for.  Audiophiles or recording artists do not listen to Bluetooth audio.
    Correct.. Audiphiles and recording artists use more expensive wired headphones. This headphone is not remotely geared toward an Audiophile or professional sound engineer. I don't care what the sticker shock is over the 549 price tag, they simply aren't made for those critical or professional listening use cases. They also couldn't price them at $299.00-$349.00 as that directly competes with Beats. So I can understand the price bump in that regard.

    Apple is trying to compete with MontBlanc MB-01's or Master and Dynamic MW65's at this price point.. Not Sony or Bose.. Unfortunately they don't sound good enough for the comparison they are going for with the price. 

    Here is a great review .. Audiophile honest analysis and breakdown. 


    I was really looking forward to these.. I was open to the price if the sound quality justified it. I love how my Airpods pro sound and work with my devices ( auto switching, call quality and spatial audio ) and I wanted the option going with over ears when I wanted to give my ear canals a break.. or wanted bigger better sound. With reviews like these it makes it harder and harder to justify spending this amount of money for these. 



    Well, this audiophile reviewer's perspective is to be expected. Watching this on YT led me to other audiophile reviews of the APM by the likes of Joshua Valour and a few others as well as some "mainstream" reviews (i.e. millions of views) by the likes of Marques Brownlee. The audiophiles aren't impressed at all while Marques describes the sound quality as "awesome". These are two totally different worlds - virtually night and day. I'm an audiophile with a collection of boutique headphones that add up to the price of a nice midrange car but I don't think I'm an elitist audiophile snob. I like different headphones and earbuds for usage different environments and occasions.

    I really like the Sony XM3 for what it does: excellent ANC with sound quality that's fine for what it is at that price point. I'm also quite happy with the Sennheiser Momentum TW first-generation ear buds for working out at the gym. Currently, with the pandemic situation still being what it is, I don't see the need to upgrade from these but I'm always interested in what may be better in their respective classes and that's why I'm looking into the AirPods Max.

    While watching some of these reviews, I also ended up looking into the MontBlanc MB-01 and the Master & Dynamic MW65s that you mention but I didn't find them intriguing enough to spend that kind of money. I'm thinking about business travel usage (which I can't do right now) and occasional home usage in the hot tub. I'm trying to compare apples to apples but so many reviews are comparing an apple to a cantaloupe or something else totally different. Or they are comparing different kinds of apples and I'm only getting their personal opinions on what they like more.

    After spending a little too much time on these reviews, I've decided that I'll wait until things return to somewhat normal and I can make my periodic business trips to Asia for 2~3 weeks at a time. The way things are looking, that may not happen until late-2021 or 2022. I was also hoping that the APM would "blow away" or be significantly better than the Sony XM3/4 or the Bose 700 sound quality wise but that doesn't seem to be the consensus at all. The APM does seem to be at least a little better but not by much. The Apple ecosystem features and the spatial audio are nice but, for me, these are fluffy things that aren't useful to me even though I have the latest MBP and iOS devices. For me, it'd be about the ANC for the long trans-Pacific flights and the overall sound quality first.

    Like you, I was also really looking forward to these. I was hoping that these were the truly great ANC-Bluetooth headphones but they seem to be maybe a little better while being priced almost twice as much as the likes of the Sony XM4 and the Bose 700. I may yet end up getting the APM when I know I can fly over the Pacific again but I certainly don't see the need to shell out $600 now (including the CA sales tax) for the occasional hot tub usage. It's intriguing for sure but, as the review states, it's hard to justify the price. As an audiophile, I'd rather use that money to save up towards getting another ridiculously expensive but worthy (like the Abyss AB-1266 Phi TC) headphone.
    Agreed.  From the perspective of an audiophile, most of them won't like the AirPods Max for the simple reason that this product is not aimed at that market but more so at the high-end consumer, or as Marques stated in his interview, the Apple user that appreciates "Luxury Listening".  This review was very in-depth (54 minutes) and well-done from the perspective of the type of user the APM are aimed at:

    AirPods Max In-Depth Review! Hear the difference vs Sony XM4, Bose 700, & Beoplay H9/H95 Headphones! - YouTube

    Here is another review from an audiophile who actually did like the APM:

    AirPods Max Review: An Audio Engineer's Breakdown vs Sony WH1000XM4, Bose 700 and More - YouTube
    edited December 2020 ronn
  • Reply 67 of 80
    macgui said:
    Best non-biased review I’ve read here in a long time. For a couple hundred more you could get a pair of B&W P9. I think Apple has lost their way here. While the integration into the Apple ecosystem is great, the price is simply a money grab and an insult to the Apple faithful. 
    You have some P9s?? Great! Maybe you can answer a few questions. What is their Bluetooth range? What about spatial awareness? Hows that work? Is the ANC as good as Apple's or Sony's? How 'bout their transparency mode? How much does it cost to have the earcups replaced and what's the turnaround time? 
    Snooze alert. If you knew what you were talking about and it is quite clear you don’t and a pair of $20 is more your listening speed (for discerning listening) . If the P9’s are good enough for studio work then that speaks volumes. I’d gladly match my P9’s against your BT enabled Apple headphones in terms of pure sound quality. I’ll take sound quality over a host of features I may or may not use. To each his or her own. 
    Way to miss the point completely. He knows exactly what he’s talking about and his point went over your head it seems.

    Here’s a couple of hints:

    I’ll gladly match my $1000 Canon SLR camera against your phone and app enabled iPhone Pro in terms of pure picture quality. I’ll take picture quality over a host of of features I may or may not use.  To each his or her own.

    I’ll gladly match my collection of candles against your electric light bulb in terms of pure brightness. I’ll take brightness over a host of of features I may or may not use.  To each his or her own.
  • Reply 68 of 80
    sdw2001 said:
    I agree this is a balanced review.  I just don't know who this product is for, exactly.  They aren't good enough for audiophiles.  They are too expensive for most consumers.  It would seem to be for people like those who run AI---tech professionals, but not necessarily A/V professionals.  I know that as a trained musician, my original AirPods and even my $100 Raycon buds are fine for me.  If I want something better, I'd go with AirPods Pro.  Why do I need over the ear headphones? And as the review states, if you're in that price range, there are better options.  

    This isn't an Apple Doom™ post, because I tend not to do those.  But I do think we're seeing a pattern here.  They eliminated the charging block from the Phones and introduced the separate MagSafe charger, which doesn't include the USB-C brick.  They introduced the overpriced and questionable-durability MagSafe Duo charger.  Then the AirPods Max.  Not only are there some odd design caveats, but Apple seems to be charging a premium for niche products that aren't necessarily top of the line.  I've got to question the wisdom of that during a pandemic, or really any time.  This is in contrast with most of their products, which are typically premium, even if not chock full of the latest features and/or gimmicks.  The iPhone is the best smartphone for my money.  Ditto on the iPad for tablets.  My MBP is 5 years old and going strong in all aspects.  AirPods Pro are some of the best wireless buds you can buy.  But this pattern of products seems....different.  
    "They eliminated the charging block..." Meanwhile, iPhone 12 seems to be going through a super cycle of sales. So yeah, stupid Apple, eliminating the charging block and sending the masses running for Android phones because of it. Personally, I was THRILLED not to have another charging block added to the collection in my apt. 

    AirPods Max ARE top-of-the-line for wireless bluetooth headphones.  The best materials, the best construction (Bose and Sony are mostly plastic) and arguably the best sound for wireless bluetooth headphones. I'm not gonna fight you if you think either the Sony or Bose sound better--if we all agreed on which "flavor" of audio sounded best, all products would sound the same, but they don't, even at the highest end of megabuck audiophile equipment. And none of these wireless 'phones will compete with the sound of the best wired 'phones at their price points playing back wried, full resolution audio. Why do people think this is somehow "news?" 
    ronn
  • Reply 69 of 80

    Jlong said:
    The problem with the AirPods max is that they are trying to bridge multiple spaces at the same time. Audiophiles, tech heads, and the average consumers. These are very different spaces, Audiophiles want great audio above all, everything else either helps or hinders that goal, $550 isn't that big of a deal considering there are headphones costing up to 4k. And from what I seen in reviews, these aren't competitive with audiophile headphones in the $500-800 range Tech heads want things that are filled with technology and here the headphones shines but is the value inline with the cost? Some reviewers think they are, some do not, and some believe it's up to the buyer to determine that. And now in the "average consumer" space, price is king, Not saying that the average consumer won't spend big $$$ but they do it only if they feel the entire package is worth it in value to them. Even taking into account of the Apple tax, most consumers will compare these with the nearest competitors which are the Bose and Sony's. And while max may sound better is that better worth the additional $150? This is the question that a lot of consumers are going to need to answer especially with the way things are right now.  
    Umm... No.

    Anyone who only wants sound quality is not Apple’s target for the APMs and the APMs are a waste of that person’s money. That person buying these is paying extra for a bunch of other features he/she doesn’t want. That’s just stupid.  

    Neither of tech heads or “average” consumers are (nor have ever been) Apple’s target market for any of their products. Yes Apple targets consumers, but not “average” ones — except maybe with the lowest tiers of Apple’s consumer products (which these APMs are certainly not). And “audiophiles”...? This is a very relative and misunderstood term so targeting (or not targeting) them could mean anything. 

    The APMs are NOT trying to bridge all those spaces. The APMs are simply trying to bring another level of audio quality and another form factor to Apple’s eco system — to the APPLE users who are primarily (though not exclusively) connecting these to other APPLE products. That’s it.

    And for that purpose alone (even at that price), they excel.
    edited December 2020 svanstromalexkhan2000ronn
  • Reply 70 of 80
    jcs2305 said:
    Only Apple would make headphones without a headphone jack, without a power switch, with cloth that will get dirty, worn out, and hard to clean, and cripple the control of your music when you use their $35 wired cable for better audio.

    Didn't AI recently have an article on how to disable the automatic device switching because it is annoying when the AirPods switch to another device without your control?  Like when they automatically switch to your Mac when you wanted to keep listening on your iPhone?

    I have the Sony MX3s and they are amazing.  Excellent sound quality, excellent ANC, fold into a compact hard case, wired connection included, USB-C, excellent controls by swiping on the right ear (or covering the right ear to turn off ANC temporarily), customizable software in the Sony app, and zero issues with Bluetooth connection or wired (preferred for better audio), and all for over $200 less.

    You nailed it with this review.  Mediocre sound quality (typical of all Apple sound products) and not good enough to justify the $549 price.  Apple could have had something if they were $349 or less to compete with Bose and Sony, but no audiophile will buy these headphones if that was the market they were hoping for.  Audiophiles or recording artists do not listen to Bluetooth audio.
    Correct.. Audiphiles and recording artists use more expensive wired headphones. This headphone is not remotely geared toward an Audiophile or professional sound engineer. I don't care what the sticker shock is over the 549 price tag, they simply aren't made for those critical or professional listening use cases. They also couldn't price them at $299.00-$349.00 as that directly competes with Beats. So I can understand the price bump in that regard.

    Apple is trying to compete with MontBlanc MB-01's or Master and Dynamic MW65's at this price point.. Not Sony or Bose.. Unfortunately they don't sound good enough for the comparison they are going for with the price. 

    Here is a great review .. Audiophile honest analysis and breakdown. 


    I was really looking forward to these.. I was open to the price if the sound quality justified it. I love how my Airpods pro sound and work with my devices ( auto switching, call quality and spatial audio ) and I wanted the option going with over ears when I wanted to give my ear canals a break.. or wanted bigger better sound. With reviews like these it makes it harder and harder to justify spending this amount of money for these. 



    Well, this audiophile reviewer's perspective is to be expected. Watching this on YT led me to other audiophile reviews of the APM by the likes of Joshua Valour and a few others as well as some "mainstream" reviews (i.e. millions of views) by the likes of Marques Brownlee. The audiophiles aren't impressed at all while Marques describes the sound quality as "awesome". These are two totally different worlds - virtually night and day. I'm an audiophile with a collection of boutique headphones that add up to the price of a nice midrange car but I don't think I'm an elitist audiophile snob. I like different headphones and earbuds for usage different environments and occasions.

    I really like the Sony XM3 for what it does: excellent ANC with sound quality that's fine for what it is at that price point. I'm also quite happy with the Sennheiser Momentum TW first-generation ear buds for working out at the gym. Currently, with the pandemic situation still being what it is, I don't see the need to upgrade from these but I'm always interested in what may be better in their respective classes and that's why I'm looking into the AirPods Max.

    While watching some of these reviews, I also ended up looking into the MontBlanc MB-01 and the Master & Dynamic MW65s that you mention but I didn't find them intriguing enough to spend that kind of money. I'm thinking about business travel usage (which I can't do right now) and occasional home usage in the hot tub. I'm trying to compare apples to apples but so many reviews are comparing an apple to a cantaloupe or something else totally different. Or they are comparing different kinds of apples and I'm only getting their personal opinions on what they like more.

    After spending a little too much time on these reviews, I've decided that I'll wait until things return to somewhat normal and I can make my periodic business trips to Asia for 2~3 weeks at a time. The way things are looking, that may not happen until late-2021 or 2022. I was also hoping that the APM would "blow away" or be significantly better than the Sony XM3/4 or the Bose 700 sound quality wise but that doesn't seem to be the consensus at all. The APM does seem to be at least a little better but not by much. The Apple ecosystem features and the spatial audio are nice but, for me, these are fluffy things that aren't useful to me even though I have the latest MBP and iOS devices. For me, it'd be about the ANC for the long trans-Pacific flights and the overall sound quality first.

    Like you, I was also really looking forward to these. I was hoping that these were the truly great ANC-Bluetooth headphones but they seem to be maybe a little better while being priced almost twice as much as the likes of the Sony XM4 and the Bose 700. I may yet end up getting the APM when I know I can fly over the Pacific again but I certainly don't see the need to shell out $600 now (including the CA sales tax) for the occasional hot tub usage. It's intriguing for sure but, as the review states, it's hard to justify the price. As an audiophile, I'd rather use that money to save up towards getting another ridiculously expensive but worthy (like the Abyss AB-1266 Phi TC) headphone.
    Agreed.  From the perspective of an audiophile, most of them won't like the AirPods Max for the simple reason that this product is not aimed at that market but more so at the high-end consumer, or as Marques stated in his interview, the Apple user that appreciates "Luxury Listening".  This review was very in-depth (54 minutes) and well-done from the perspective of the type of user the APM are aimed at:

    AirPods Max In-Depth Review! Hear the difference vs Sony XM4, Bose 700, & Beoplay H9/H95 Headphones! - YouTube

    Here is another review from an audiophile who actually did like the APM:

    AirPods Max Review: An Audio Engineer's Breakdown vs Sony WH1000XM4, Bose 700 and More - YouTube
    Hey, thanks for these links. I was about to give up on reading or watching more reviews about the APM and gave this one a try based on your recommendation and I'm glad to have watched it all the way through. I do not expect the APM to be anywhere even near the ballpark of my audiophile gear but I do still like my Sony XM3 for what it is; I just know that there is a lot of room for improvement in the sound quality area.

    Based on this review, I will probably end up getting the APM but only when I know I can travel freely again and take those long trans-Pacific flights, which may not be for another 6~9 months or so. The sound comparison segments between the different headphones were great and definitely provided a true sonic perspective for the viewers and listeners rather than just relying on opinions of various reviewers.

    For me, what matters the most, by far, is the sound quality and this gives me a good idea of it which I did not have before I watched this video. The APM definitely sounds markedly better than the Sony XM4 and the Bose 700. I think it sounds as good as or slightly better than the B&O H9. That's debatable but I preferred the sound of the APM. From what I heard, the B&O H95 definitely has a bigger soundstage and better imaging but, tonally and resolution-wise, they are about equal. There was something "electronic" in the H95 that I did not like. The APM sounded slightly more "natural" but that's just how I heard it.

    I guess I'll get the APM eventually. Being an audiophile, it's not like I'm as excited about it as I would be with a new high-end headphone from the likes of Audeze, Hifiman, or Abyss or other hi-fi gear, but I'm obviously paying a lot of attention to the APM right now. I mean, I just watched a good chunk of the 54-minute review. What is very clear now is that the APM is indeed a significant improvement over the XM3 and even the later generation XM4 and Bose 700. Well, I'm sold; I'm just not going to spring for one right away. Looking forward to your own review!
  • Reply 71 of 80

    Detnator said:

    Jlong said:
    The problem with the AirPods max is that they are trying to bridge multiple spaces at the same time. Audiophiles, tech heads, and the average consumers. These are very different spaces, Audiophiles want great audio above all, everything else either helps or hinders that goal, $550 isn't that big of a deal considering there are headphones costing up to 4k. And from what I seen in reviews, these aren't competitive with audiophile headphones in the $500-800 range Tech heads want things that are filled with technology and here the headphones shines but is the value inline with the cost? Some reviewers think they are, some do not, and some believe it's up to the buyer to determine that. And now in the "average consumer" space, price is king, Not saying that the average consumer won't spend big $$$ but they do it only if they feel the entire package is worth it in value to them. Even taking into account of the Apple tax, most consumers will compare these with the nearest competitors which are the Bose and Sony's. And while max may sound better is that better worth the additional $150? This is the question that a lot of consumers are going to need to answer especially with the way things are right now.  
    Umm... No.

    Anyone who only wants sound quality is not Apple’s target for the APMs and the APMs are a waste of that person’s money. That person buying these is paying extra for a bunch of other features he/she doesn’t want. That’s just stupid.  

    Neither of tech heads or “average” consumers are (nor have ever been) Apple’s target market for any of their products. Yes Apple targets consumers, but not “average” ones — except maybe with the lowest tiers of Apple’s consumer products (which these APMs are certainly not). And “audiophiles”...? This is a very relative and misunderstood term so targeting (or not targeting) them could mean anything. 

    The APMs are NOT trying to bridge all those spaces. The APMs are simply trying to bring another level of audio quality and another form factor to Apple’s eco system — to the APPLE users who are primarily (though not exclusively) connecting these to other APPLE products. That’s it.

    And for that purpose alone (even at that price), they excel.
    I agree with your assessment. I guess I'm an "audiophile" since I have super expensive headphones from the likes of Audeze, Hifiman and JH Audio connected to the latest DAC/up-sampler from Chord Electronics and still desire another set of ridiculously expensive headphones from Abyss.

    But I'm also a "mild tech head" like any above-average tech enthusiast with the latest Apple products and something a little more than an "average" consumer although definitely not wealthy or anything like that. I like good quality stuff but I'm not at all into nor do I own what would be considered "luxury" items except for the audiophile gear I mention. 

    I'm just looking to upgrade from the Sony XM3 which I've had for a few years and comparing the APM against the likes of the XM4, Bose 700 and even the B&O, MontBlanc, and Master & Dynamic headphones - none of which I would consider as "audiophile" and which I have only recently become aware of.

    Yes, I'm just looking for the best ANC wireless headphone for my Apple ecosystem. I'm now convinced that the APM is definitely for a guy like me. :smile: 
    ronn
  • Reply 72 of 80

    i dont care so much 4 any of these buyers-guide articles …but ill tell u a few other aspects that matter a whole lot more 2 me…

    first, i didnt even have to bring out any of my wired analog sweeties for comparison. i didnt have to wait for my accuphase ref sys to warm up its beautifully glowing tubes.  u can relax my darlings, ur unthreatened  …but u can rest for a while now

    second, i defo didnt have to bring out my xm3:s …LOL    …cos no1 seriously have to  …period.

    but i can tell u…  since the moment i got the apm:s ive basically lived with them on.  i wear them evrywhere n all the time …indoors, office, kitchen, outdoor walking, bicycling, even while coding  (prefer my ap pros when jogging tho  …better ergonomically)  …and man, they look exceptionally stylish  …no matter how im dressed  …this pic says it all

    i can now listen to any of my favorite producers or genres — bar none   …its like constantly being in my man-cave studio   …and i can easily say, over a 9 day period ive never ever had as much uninterrupted, bone-hard music pleasure in my life be4   …its just there all the time

    only downside…  i was planning to give my old xm3:s to my wife   …cos shes not that much of a techie, altho i know shes always checking out my gear   …but this time it was “–no no, baby.  imma get myself a pair of them apple maxes 2”

    ronn
  • Reply 73 of 80
    Detnator said:
    macgui said:
    Best non-biased review I’ve read here in a long time. For a couple hundred more you could get a pair of B&W P9. I think Apple has lost their way here. While the integration into the Apple ecosystem is great, the price is simply a money grab and an insult to the Apple faithful. 
    You have some P9s?? Great! Maybe you can answer a few questions. What is their Bluetooth range? What about spatial awareness? Hows that work? Is the ANC as good as Apple's or Sony's? How 'bout their transparency mode? How much does it cost to have the earcups replaced and what's the turnaround time? 
    Snooze alert. If you knew what you were talking about and it is quite clear you don’t and a pair of $20 is more your listening speed (for discerning listening) . If the P9’s are good enough for studio work then that speaks volumes. I’d gladly match my P9’s against your BT enabled Apple headphones in terms of pure sound quality. I’ll take sound quality over a host of features I may or may not use. To each his or her own. 
    Way to miss the point completely. He knows exactly what he’s talking about and his point went over your head it seems.

    Here’s a couple of hints:

    I’ll gladly match my $1000 Canon SLR camera against your phone and app enabled iPhone Pro in terms of pure picture quality. I’ll take picture quality over a host of of features I may or may not use.  To each his or her own.

    I’ll gladly match my collection of candles against your electric light bulb in terms of pure brightness. I’ll take brightness over a host of of features I may or may not use.  To each his or her own.
    I’d gladly match my Hasselblad X1DII against your Canon any day of the week. Now to more important things, as was mentioned, the AirPods Max aren’t meant for audiophiles but for consumers that are more invested in the Apple ecosystem, and who are so picky about absolute sound quality. It is what it is. 
  • Reply 74 of 80

    i dont care so much 4 any of these buyers-guide articles …but ill tell u a few other aspects that matter a whole lot more 2 me…

    first, i didnt even have to bring out any of my wired analog sweeties for comparison. i didnt have to wait for my accuphase ref sys to warm up its beautifully glowing tubes.  u can relax my darlings, ur unthreatened  …but u can rest for a while now

    second, i defo didnt have to bring out my xm3:s …LOL    …cos no1 seriously have to  …period.

    but i can tell u…  since the moment i got the apm:s ive basically lived with them on.  i wear them evrywhere n all the time …indoors, office, kitchen, outdoor walking, bicycling, even while coding  (prefer my ap pros when jogging tho  …better ergonomically)  …and man, they look exceptionally stylish  …no matter how im dressed  …this pic says it all

    i can now listen to any of my favorite producers or genres — bar none   …its like constantly being in my man-cave studio   …and i can easily say, over a 9 day period ive never ever had as much uninterrupted, bone-hard music pleasure in my life be4   …its just there all the time

    only downside…  i was planning to give my old xm3:s to my wife   …cos shes not that much of a techie, altho i know shes always checking out my gear   …but this time it was “–no no, baby.  imma get myself a pair of them apple maxes 2”

    Well, now you are making me want to get the APM earlier than I need to.  ;)
  • Reply 75 of 80
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,391member
    AI_lias said:
    The design is definitely David Clark, like pilots use. 
    I think David Clark Company’s (DCC) headsets, like many others, all basically follow an archetypical design that headsets arrived at 100+ years ago. I’m very familiar with the DCC and their leading contributions to the development of space suits/g-suits. Cool stuff. But the basic headphone design, whether for audio monitoring or noise protection, with earpieces and padded headband (cough cough ... “canopy”) has been around for ages. The US Navy sonar technician insignia that originated in 1942 uses a stylized headphone design.
    edited December 2020
  • Reply 76 of 80
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,679member
    dewme said:
    AI_lias said:
    The design is definitely David Clark, like pilots use. 
    I think David Clark Company’s (DCC) headsets, like many others, all basically follow an archetypical design that headsets arrived at 100+ years ago. I’m very familiar with the DCC and their leading contributions to the development of space suits/g-suits. Cool stuff. But the basic headphone design, whether for audio monitoring or noise protection, with earpieces and padded headband (cough cough ... “canopy”) has been around for ages. The US Navy sonar technician insignia that originated in 1942 uses a stylized headphone design.
    I couldn't put my finger on it but that's definitely what they look like; it makes sense - it's a very functional design.
  • Reply 77 of 80
    jcs2305 said:
    Only Apple would make headphones without a headphone jack, without a power switch, with cloth that will get dirty, worn out, and hard to clean, and cripple the control of your music when you use their $35 wired cable for better audio.

    Didn't AI recently have an article on how to disable the automatic device switching because it is annoying when the AirPods switch to another device without your control?  Like when they automatically switch to your Mac when you wanted to keep listening on your iPhone?

    I have the Sony MX3s and they are amazing.  Excellent sound quality, excellent ANC, fold into a compact hard case, wired connection included, USB-C, excellent controls by swiping on the right ear (or covering the right ear to turn off ANC temporarily), customizable software in the Sony app, and zero issues with Bluetooth connection or wired (preferred for better audio), and all for over $200 less.

    You nailed it with this review.  Mediocre sound quality (typical of all Apple sound products) and not good enough to justify the $549 price.  Apple could have had something if they were $349 or less to compete with Bose and Sony, but no audiophile will buy these headphones if that was the market they were hoping for.  Audiophiles or recording artists do not listen to Bluetooth audio.
    Correct.. Audiphiles and recording artists use more expensive wired headphones. This headphone is not remotely geared toward an Audiophile or professional sound engineer. I don't care what the sticker shock is over the 549 price tag, they simply aren't made for those critical or professional listening use cases. They also couldn't price them at $299.00-$349.00 as that directly competes with Beats. So I can understand the price bump in that regard.

    Apple is trying to compete with MontBlanc MB-01's or Master and Dynamic MW65's at this price point.. Not Sony or Bose.. Unfortunately they don't sound good enough for the comparison they are going for with the price. 

    Here is a great review .. Audiophile honest analysis and breakdown. 


    I was really looking forward to these.. I was open to the price if the sound quality justified it. I love how my Airpods pro sound and work with my devices ( auto switching, call quality and spatial audio ) and I wanted the option going with over ears when I wanted to give my ear canals a break.. or wanted bigger better sound. With reviews like these it makes it harder and harder to justify spending this amount of money for these. 



    Well, this audiophile reviewer's perspective is to be expected. Watching this on YT led me to other audiophile reviews of the APM by the likes of Joshua Valour and a few others as well as some "mainstream" reviews (i.e. millions of views) by the likes of Marques Brownlee. The audiophiles aren't impressed at all while Marques describes the sound quality as "awesome". These are two totally different worlds - virtually night and day. I'm an audiophile with a collection of boutique headphones that add up to the price of a nice midrange car but I don't think I'm an elitist audiophile snob. I like different headphones and earbuds for usage different environments and occasions.

    I really like the Sony XM3 for what it does: excellent ANC with sound quality that's fine for what it is at that price point. I'm also quite happy with the Sennheiser Momentum TW first-generation ear buds for working out at the gym. Currently, with the pandemic situation still being what it is, I don't see the need to upgrade from these but I'm always interested in what may be better in their respective classes and that's why I'm looking into the AirPods Max.

    While watching some of these reviews, I also ended up looking into the MontBlanc MB-01 and the Master & Dynamic MW65s that you mention but I didn't find them intriguing enough to spend that kind of money. I'm thinking about business travel usage (which I can't do right now) and occasional home usage in the hot tub. I'm trying to compare apples to apples but so many reviews are comparing an apple to a cantaloupe or something else totally different. Or they are comparing different kinds of apples and I'm only getting their personal opinions on what they like more.

    After spending a little too much time on these reviews, I've decided that I'll wait until things return to somewhat normal and I can make my periodic business trips to Asia for 2~3 weeks at a time. The way things are looking, that may not happen until late-2021 or 2022. I was also hoping that the APM would "blow away" or be significantly better than the Sony XM3/4 or the Bose 700 sound quality wise but that doesn't seem to be the consensus at all. The APM does seem to be at least a little better but not by much. The Apple ecosystem features and the spatial audio are nice but, for me, these are fluffy things that aren't useful to me even though I have the latest MBP and iOS devices. For me, it'd be about the ANC for the long trans-Pacific flights and the overall sound quality first.

    Like you, I was also really looking forward to these. I was hoping that these were the truly great ANC-Bluetooth headphones but they seem to be maybe a little better while being priced almost twice as much as the likes of the Sony XM4 and the Bose 700. I may yet end up getting the APM when I know I can fly over the Pacific again but I certainly don't see the need to shell out $600 now (including the CA sales tax) for the occasional hot tub usage. It's intriguing for sure but, as the review states, it's hard to justify the price. As an audiophile, I'd rather use that money to save up towards getting another ridiculously expensive but worthy (like the Abyss AB-1266 Phi TC) headphone.
    Agreed.  From the perspective of an audiophile, most of them won't like the AirPods Max for the simple reason that this product is not aimed at that market but more so at the high-end consumer, or as Marques stated in his interview, the Apple user that appreciates "Luxury Listening".  This review was very in-depth (54 minutes) and well-done from the perspective of the type of user the APM are aimed at:

    AirPods Max In-Depth Review! Hear the difference vs Sony XM4, Bose 700, & Beoplay H9/H95 Headphones! - YouTube

    Here is another review from an audiophile who actually did like the APM:

    AirPods Max Review: An Audio Engineer's Breakdown vs Sony WH1000XM4, Bose 700 and More - YouTube
    Hey, thanks for these links. I was about to give up on reading or watching more reviews about the APM and gave this one a try based on your recommendation and I'm glad to have watched it all the way through. I do not expect the APM to be anywhere even near the ballpark of my audiophile gear but I do still like my Sony XM3 for what it is; I just know that there is a lot of room for improvement in the sound quality area.

    Based on this review, I will probably end up getting the APM but only when I know I can travel freely again and take those long trans-Pacific flights, which may not be for another 6~9 months or so. The sound comparison segments between the different headphones were great and definitely provided a true sonic perspective for the viewers and listeners rather than just relying on opinions of various reviewers.

    For me, what matters the most, by far, is the sound quality and this gives me a good idea of it which I did not have before I watched this video. The APM definitely sounds markedly better than the Sony XM4 and the Bose 700. I think it sounds as good as or slightly better than the B&O H9. That's debatable but I preferred the sound of the APM. From what I heard, the B&O H95 definitely has a bigger soundstage and better imaging but, tonally and resolution-wise, they are about equal. There was something "electronic" in the H95 that I did not like. The APM sounded slightly more "natural" but that's just how I heard it.

    I guess I'll get the APM eventually. Being an audiophile, it's not like I'm as excited about it as I would be with a new high-end headphone from the likes of Audeze, Hifiman, or Abyss or other hi-fi gear, but I'm obviously paying a lot of attention to the APM right now. I mean, I just watched a good chunk of the 54-minute review. What is very clear now is that the APM is indeed a significant improvement over the XM3 and even the later generation XM4 and Bose 700. Well, I'm sold; I'm just not going to spring for one right away. Looking forward to your own review!
    Here's one more review from an audiophile's perspective.  Joshua Valour has a popular YT channel for headphones and sound.  Just posted today

    Airpods MAX REVIEW - YouTube
  • Reply 78 of 80
    cornchip said:
    Best non-biased review I’ve read here in a long time. For a couple hundred more you could get a ________________. I think Apple has lost their way here. While the integration into the Apple ecosystem is great, the price is simply a money grab and an insult to the Apple faithful. 

    I feel as if I’ve read this exact sentence 1976 times. 

    Apple. Losing their way since 1976™ 
    Hyperbole much? He / She is obviously talking about the AirPods Max and not Apple as a company. Apple is not infallible. They have had product failures in their 40+ years as a company.

    I deal with one everyday using the Apple TV. The damn remote, worst design for a remote ever. 

    Apple is not infallible. They generally make good design decisions but when they fail... man those fails are spectacular. Like this purse case. 
    edited December 2020 canukstorm
  • Reply 79 of 80
    I have today received my AirPods Max.  The sound quality is absolutely superb and the noise-cancelling is not only extremely good, it also doesn’t make me feel queasy, which I’ve had before.  The price is obviously quite serious but, overall, I think it’s worth it.  These really are very good indeed.
    ronnsvanstrom
  • Reply 80 of 80
    mainguymainguy Posts: 1member
    aderutter said:
    Best non-biased review I’ve read here in a long time. For a couple hundred more you could get a pair of B&W P9. I think Apple has lost their way here. While the integration into the Apple ecosystem is great, the price is simply a money grab and an insult to the Apple faithful. 
    $999 B&W P9 have really poor build quality I’m told. I think P7 might be a better buy - can’t seem to find anyone selling either now though.

    What other Wireless ANC Headphones can you get for $600 that are better sounding? That is the question. I don’t think there is a truly comparable alternative.

    Another good question is what better sounding wireless (non-ANC) headphones can you get for similar money?

    By better sounding, I mean more neutral, not cheap trashy fake bass sony and beats.

    Ah man, not quite, I’ve got the P9 & P7 wireless. P9 sound heaps better, like miiiles, it’s very obvious AB testing, and the build is much nicer. Way more premium and solid.

    That said, is the P9 comparable to APM? Depends on use case. Some people are buying APM for at home listening, in which case, does the convenience of auto pairing outweight the SQ difference between P9 and aPM?

    Important questions to ask. Comparisons are never clear cut, all depends on uses. I’ve seen two people directly compare P9 and APM, of course both said the former is quite a way ahead in sound.

    Also worth noting, for the price of APM I bought P9 (£405) and a pair of Airpod Pros (£160). For most that is probably a much better option, APP for outside, P9 for home listening.
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