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Apple launches a $549 AirPods Max with active noise cancellation

    The Cupertino tech giant, Apple announces a rather unique looking headphone called Apple AirPods Max. It is a $549 AirPods Max noise-canceling headphones and Apple’s own over-ear noise-canceling headphones with a premium design.

    Apple AirPods Max over-ear headphones with active noise cancellation have been rumored for quite a long period of time, and it verges into the 2021 session. But the company announces the $549 headphone, and pre-orders start today.

    Inside the AirPods Max is Apple’s own H1 chip for a premium wireless Bluetooth 5.0 audio experience, offering an active noise cancellation (ANC), adaptive EQ, and high-fidelity special audio.

    Apple also culled some important features from the AirPods lines such as transparency mode, spatial audio, and audio sharing. Although, the designs of the new headphone is uniquely accepted but still not ‘more’ premium than other high-end noise-canceling headphones.

    Apple AirPods Max

    The company said that the new headphone features what it calls a “custom acoustic design with a 40mm driver system “that provides rich, deep bass, accurate mid-range, and crisp, clean high-frequency extension so every note can be heard.”

    About the designs, this is what Apple said:

    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.

    Each ear cup attaches to the headband through a revolutionary mechanism that balances and distributes ear cup pressure and allows it to independently pivot and rotate to fit the unique contours of a user’s head.

    Apple also copied an important feature from its own Apple Watch, it is the Digital Crown and the company says it offers precise volume control and the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri.

    You can easily activate these features by a single, double, and triple taps or press and hold, which makes for one overloaded key. There’s also a separate “noise control” button for switching between noise-canceling and transparency modes.

    AirPods Max

    There is still a physical port on the headphones, it is a lightning connector (not USB-C) port for charging the battery, and Apple said it can last up to 90mins on 5mins charge or 20 hours on a single charge with either spatial audio or ANC enabled.

    Unfortunately, Apple omitted details of a power button, whether if you can either power on and off the headset as there does not seem to be a dedicated button for that. But instead, there is some cool advanced sensor that will fit this feature.

    There are optical and position sensors and they can be used for wear detection among other things – Lifting one ear cup from your ears pauses audio and more data on the user’s head position using its Spatial Audio and Adaptive EQ features.

    The headphones automatically pause audio when removed from your ears and resume playback when you put them back on. AirPods Max arrives with a total of nine microphones, where six are used exclusively for the active noise cancellation and one for voice pickup with two more serving double duty.

    Apple AirPods Max smart case

    Apple does provide a slim Smart Case in the box for carrying the AirPods Max, it is what Apple is calling a smart case that automatically puts them into a low-power state, and currently, there is no more protective hardshell case.

    The AirPods Max comes in five colors: space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink. The MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price) is $549 in the US, €600-629 in continental Europe, £549 in the UK, and INR 59,900 in India. It is set to go on sale on December 15th.