The last time I got on a plane to travel for vacation, I didn’t bring a pair of Apple’s AirPods Max premium headphones with me — for two important reasons. One, because I did so before the pandemic. This is, of course, also connected to reason number two. Until this week, my last trip was long enough ago that the headphones themselves weren’t even out yet. Now that I’ve just gotten back from my first post-pandemic vacation, though, I’ve come to the following conclusion:
I wouldn’t dream of ever getting on a flight again without a pair of AirPods Max in tow.
For the uninitiated, there’s a reason that a simple unboxing of pink AirPods Max headphones garnered nearly 3 million views on TikTok in recent days. A lot of reasons, actually. For me, the headphones are so good that they negate some (but, of course, not all) of the headaches associated with flying.
Starting with top-notch active noise cancellation. “Active” being the operative word, since the AirPods Max essentially creates something called anti-noise to replace the external sounds around you.
Features, benefits, and more
Now, that’s certainly not going to completely eliminate the roar of a plane that accompanies you throughout the flight. But it does remove at least a few of the minor annoyances about flying. Like the annoying chatter and too-loud voices of people babbling around you. And that constant roar of the plane is at least also much quieter when you’re wearing a pair of AirPods Max in flight and have noise cancellation turned on.
That, coupled with the premium, high-end audio experience delivered whether you’re watching Netflix, listening to your favorite podcast, or streaming music, made, for me, some of the headaches associated with flying these days a little less nettlesome. And that’s no small feat.
My colleague Christian de Looper has a full, detailed AirPods Max review that you can check out right here. I’ll summarize a few of his points below, which certainly track with what I experienced on my flight.
What you need to know about the headphones
Our guide is worth reading in full, but here are a few key points relating to facets of the headphones like their price, and how comfortable they are to wear.
- Comfort: Not only do the AirPods Max headphones not feel overly heavy. But the mesh headband is built to help evenly distribute the weight of the headphones across the top of your head. So much so, that it’s easy to forget you’re wearing them. I found myself getting up multiple times in the airport while waiting — to go buy something at a stand, to run to the restroom — while still wearing the AirPods Max.
- Sound quality: From the aforementioned review noted above, “Perhaps the best part of how these headphones sound is in the high end. The highs are detailed, crisp, and accurate. The highs don’t get too harsh, but they do help contribute to a generally very detailed experience overall. The headphones also have a nice, wide soundstage, which helps make them more immersive and interesting to listen to.”
- Price: If you don’t mind paying the $550 price tag, you’ll get a premium audio product for a premium price. You definitely get your money’s worth here, in other words.
Is Apple making a new AirPods Max?
It’s not likely that we’d see a radical redesign in a second-generation edition of these headphones from Apple. So what would prompt a release of AirPods Max 2, and when?
Rumors about new health-related features in upcoming AirPods models, and even the rumored ability to identify a user by the shape of an ear canal, are intriguing. That’s what might be enough to give us a new edition of the AirPods Max, though it’s likely one wouldn’t arrive until December of this year (two years after the initial release) at the very earliest.
More AirPods coverage: For more Apple AirPods news, check out our coverage of the AirPods Pro 2.