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I ditched my AirPods Max – here’s what I need from AirPods Max 2 to buy them again

Published Feb 27th, 2024 5:55PM EST
AirPods Max Noise Cancelling Headphones
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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After years of being the best-sounding headphones I’ve ever owned, I decided to part ways with my AirPods Max. Despite everything those headphones have going for them, I found myself running into two problems that caused me to always reach for my AirPods Pro 2 instead of Apple’s over-the-ear headphones.

Now that I’ve been living with just my AirPods Pro 2 for about a month now, I do miss my AirPods Max for the sound quality, but that alone isn’t enough for me to consider going back to the headphones. I’ll live with just my AirPods Pro 2 for now and would only consider picking up the Max headphones again if Apple fixes these two things:

AirPods Max 2 need a USB-C port

Okay, this first one is going to be an obvious upgrade when Apple releases the AirPods Max 2. Since the company finally brought USB-C to the iPhone and even did a small update to AirPods Pro 2 with a new USB-C charging case, it’s basically guaranteed that the company will switch out the Lightning port for a USB-C port for AirPods Max 2.

That said, this is a small issue I ran into when still using my original AirPods Max. I realized that, once I upgraded to the iPhone 15 Pro and AirPods Pro 2 (with USB-C), all of my Apple devices used a USB-C port. Finally! The future! However, I was stuck with one device that still rocked that now ancient Lightning port: my AirPods Max.

AirPods Pro USB-C Port
USB-C port on AirPods Pro 2. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

As petty as this is, this bothered me — especially when I was traveling. I was so excited to travel with one charging cable but, every time I brought my AirPods Max along, I was stuck having to lug along a dedicated Lightning cable just for those headphones. If I’m going to consider getting AirPods Max 2, they better have a USB-C port (they will).

AirPods Max 2 need to be lighter

If there’s one other thing that I need Apple to do with the second-generation AirPods Max headphones, it’s to accept that using stainless steel as a material for the headband was a mistake. There’s no getting around it — AirPods Max are heavy headphones and, even though Apple has attempted to mitigate that with its mesh headband design, it doesn’t improve the experience much.

I’ve found that walking around with AirPods Max feels really strange. Not only do I feel the weight of the headphones more prominently, but they also don’t feel secure on my head — like they might slip back or forward and fall right off. I’ve attempted to adjust the fit as much as I could but never found a good way to combat this. Even sitting, I found that the weight of the AirPods Max gave me fatigue after enough time. I can listen to them for about an hour or so before I need a break. That weight just kills the comfort factor of these headphones.

Man wearing AirPods Max
A man is shown wearing Apple’s new AirPods Max headphones, the company’s first to feature an over-the-ear design. Image source: Apple

What I’d love to see Apple do is accept that not every product makes sense to use materials like Stainless Steel, Titanium, or Aluminum. Instead, I’d love to see the company embrace something like recycled plastics which would be MUCH lighter. I know there’s an environmental sacrifice if that was the case, but I’m sure Apple could figure out how to minimize that impact. Use what you learned with the iPhone 5C!

Apple doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel here. Bose and Sony already use plastics in their headphones — because they know it makes them much lighter and more comfortable. I tried out both company’s offerings and found that they were immediately more comfortable to wear than AirPods Max. In fact, I might end up picking up the Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones while we wait to see what Apple does with the AirPods Max 2.

When will AirPods Max 2 be released?

Right now, we can only rely on the rumor mill to have any sense of when AirPods Max 2 could get announced and released. The latest rumors suggest that the second generation of Apple’s over-the-ear headphones could be announced towards the end of this year.

I also wonder if Apple will even unveil AirPods Max 2 at an event. The original AirPods Max were announced through a press release rather than being included as part of an event, so the company could go the same route here. That was during the height of the pandemic though, so I’d hope Apple would take the time to show off the headphones with more fanfare this time.

In addition to USB-C and a lighter weight, I would definitely expect Apple to add a ton of the features that recently came out for AirPods Pro 2 including Conversation Awareness, Personalized Volume, and Adaptive Audio since the new headphones should feature an updated processor.

Come on, Apple, make all of this happen and pull me back into the over-the-ear game. In the meantime, I’m happy with my AirPods Pro 2.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.