Some Thoughts After a Few Days with the AirPods Max

I did it. I bought a pair of headphones that cost more than my first car. I’ve never been embarrassed about spending so much money on something silly but I told my wife to call it my Christmas present and that helped. Getting over the sticker shock, I’ve been enjoying the AirPods Max for the last few days. My desk, thanks to COVID, is centrally located in our home so having noise cancelling is a must. Also, having it so everyone can see I’m obviously wearing headphones also helps. But AirPods Max for this job, really? Here are some thoughts:

  • The build quality is amazing. I’ve never had a pair of expensive headphones. Even the ones I use for podcasting are low-budget plastic. These things feel like something to come out of a secret government rocket factory.

  • The stainless piston-style adjustment is nice. My “click adjust” podcast cans never quite fit right. These can be fine tuned to exactly your head.

  • My ears fit comfortably in the ear cups. I’ve worn them for four-hour sessions without discomfort. That’s another first for me. All prior can-style headphones made my ears sore.

  • The sound quality is the best I’ve ever heard through headphones. That would make sense considering these cost 5X any headphone I’ve ever purchased, but still good to know.

  • A lot of people are making a big deal over the weight. It really hasn’t been a factor for me. However, I’m only really using them while seated at my desk. I don’t imagine I’ll ever take these fancy cans on the road or on a plane. The AirPods Pro are good enough for travel and they fit in my pocket. Also, these headphones are so clearly over the top. I think I’d be embarrassed to wear them in public.

  • Battery life as well hasn’t been a problem. I charged them before using them the first time and I’ve been using them a lot over the last few days and then just hanging them on a hook under my desk at the end of the day. I’m going on day three and there is still gas in the tank from that day one charge. I’ll charge them again today.

  • All the Apple bits are nice too. The Digital Crown and button are great for an interface that you can’t see when using (since it is stuck to your ear). Also, I’ve made several calls with them and nobody noticed anything unusual.

  • Noise cancelling on the AirPods Max is clearly superior to the AirPods Pro, which only makes sense with those big cans over your ears.

  • So much has already been said and written about the cover/case thingy. It does feel cheap compared to the rest of the AirPods Max. I’d be super curious to see if they don’t improve on that with a future iteration. I haven’t used my cover since pulling it out of the box.

  • At this price point, it’s just silly that they didn’t include a cable for me to plug the AirPods Max into an audio jack while they simultaneously sell that very cable for $35.

  • If you’re curious, I bought the silver model.

Overall, these headphones tick so many of the Apple checkboxes. They’re beautifully engineered and very good at the intended job of delivering music to your ears. But also they are a little over the top and over priced. That said, I bought these with the idea that I would send them back if I didn’t love them, and I’m keeping them.