You’ve got to give it to Apple, if there’s a company that knows how to dominate a news cycle, it’s them. In fact, if you think about it since October we’ve essentially had week after week of some sort of Apple based content, from the endless stream of iPhones to the M1 based MacBooks to now this: USD $550 headphones that do promise a lot but honestly so far leave me with one impression; Why?
Now let’s be clear, the AirPods Max do seem impressive, they boast some impressive noise cancelling tech on paper and will likely sound pretty great. Apple is bosting three dedicated mics meant to hear then cancel out the noise around you, two H1 chips that will be used for computational audio enhancement and a lot of features based on the gyroscope, H1 chips and speakers and Mics meant to study the environment and give you the best audio experience in response to it(see the Engadget video below for more details) . It’s sounds impressive to be honest, but you have to wonder how it will all come together in practice, which of course we will know in a week or two after reviews. Now don’t get us wrong, Apple have backed up some bombastic claims in recent times, especially in the M1 Macs , but they’re definitely still not absconded from being the company that promises the best and tends to deliver “close enough” sometimes. There is a chance that these headphones are amazing but they also enter a very competitive space, one where Bose, Sony and even Microsoft have etched out some praise for themselves because of Amazing products that will deliver the same or better experiences for a lot less. Sony’s WH-1000XM4(please work on your naming Sony) headphones are the best in the game, and they cost $350, Bose’s 700 series headphones tend to cost a little more or a little less, while Microsoft’s Surface Headphones 2 can be found for as low as $180 offering comparable sound and Noise cancelling capabilities to the prior 2. Get where I’m going with this yet? Apple’s headphones are just too expensive. It’s crazy that they cost more that a PS5, Google Pixel 4A 5G, Galaxy Note 10, and even an iPhone XR,SE and are the same price as an iPhone 11 if you find it at a discount. It’s legitimate madness, and even with Apple’s brand and name, you would think they would realize this.
So why are Apple pushing such a crazy price tag? Because well, they’re Apple. Some people will still flock to their corner and buy these without even trying them, because they trust the Apple brand and its delivery. Regular AirPods aren’t even the best wireless earbuds on the market(thought the AirPods Pro do deserve some respect), yet they sell like hotcakes. Apple is betting on a similar reaction here, and so far, history hasn’t proven them wrong. I will say this though, if you’re someone’s girlfriend and you buy your boyfriend these instead of the PS5, I wish you a safe trip back to being single.