Here’s what differs the AirPods Max and other $500 wireless headphones on the market:-
It has two H1 chips on each side of the ear. Imagine this is a “smart” headphones. Each H1 handles 6 microphones on each side of the headsets, process that signal so it can produce a negative waveform for a better noise canceling. It also allow microphone beam forming to be a better microphone when taking calls or saying “Hey, Siri”
Computational Audio. Not only it can do better noise canceling because of the H1 chip, or better microphone due to beam forming, it can produce better sound because of a better audio signal processor. Computational audio in theory can make a better sound listening session because it can create a high-fidelity sound from a lower-bit rate file. In other words, Apple Music should sound better on this headphones than a wired headphones because it has dedicated signal processor to better recreate the sound and potentially fill the missing gaps.
Computation Audio is a bigger deal than Apple seems to make it. My complaint with Apple Music is that the sound quality is much to be desired. It does not sound as good as CD version, but it’s more convenient. But imagine having the sound as good as the CD version, but also having the convenience of the entire library at your fingertips. Until the reviews comes in, I can’t vouch for the sound quality yet.
Digital Crown. My complain about my AirPods Pro is that you can’t really adjust the volume on the AirPods because there’s only the click function. Now you can with the digital crown. Pretty much the same function as the clicks on the AirPods. Single to start / pause. Double to skip. Hold to summon Siri.
Spatial Audio. With supported movies, it can have that 3D sound effects so watching feels more immersive. Only works if the movie supports it.
As for other features like the designs and such, it’s pretty much the same as other high-end head phones. I doubt the sound quality can match or beat $500 dedicated wired headphones but when I buy at that level, I’ll ensure that the headphones are connected to the appropriate gear like a reference CD player, with the high quality recording and amplification, otherwise I’ll not being pushing my high end headphones to the limit. Apple is leveraging on their design and computational prowess for this headphones. As for sound quality, garbage in, garbage out.
My take if the headphones are worthwhile if the features like computational audio, better noise canceling and Siri are important to you.
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