What is that?
After the success of Airpods and Airpods Pro, the arrival of Airpods Max last fall wasn’t much of a surprise. Since 2014, when the company acquired the audio brand Beats, Apple has been steadily building a line of products that will appeal not only to the trend-sensitive listener but also to the audiophile. Crowning glory is the latest addition: Airpods Max, a wireless headphone with acoustic design and active noise cancellation.
There’s a lot to hit in every area, and it’s among the Sony WH-1000 premium headphones. It has now arrived in the fourth generation. The Sonys sound great and feather-light – not unimportant – with prices starting at € 280, they cost less than half the Airpods Pro, which should cost € 629. Under “normal” listening conditions – let’s say Spotify is at the highest quality available – there is no noticeable difference between the two.
Is it something?
Gambler And Lost To Airpods Max? Absolutely not, because apart from its stunning design, Airpods Max excels in one aspect: its seamless interlocking with other Apple devices. Easily switch from iPhone to iPad, and iPad to Macbook. It’s this hassle-free experience in which Apple can make a difference because many of its users are simply brand loyalty.
While watching the movies, it turns out that Apple headphones have another important asset on board: spatial audio, from Apple Spatial sound Baptized. The device tracks how the user manages his head via sensors. The sound rotates – by default – and does it so smoothly that it feels like a surround sound experience. Sony came in 2019 with 360 Reality Audio, a similar tool, but that has yet to be supported by the major streaming services.
On the other hand, Apple has not only opened its own library for movies and series, but it is also supported by Disney Plus. Netflix, Videoland, and Prime Video can’t be left behind, although they have yet to announce the arrival of spatial audio. The smaller Discovery + should already be on board, but this was not apparent during testing. Of course, there isn’t much Apple can do about it.
When a company seamlessly connects its products with each other, it is an ecosystem. The Apple ecosystem expanded last week with the arrival of the Airtag, a tracker that will make losing valuables like keys and pets a thing of the past. With an iPhone or iPad, Airtags can be found roughly in centimeters. What is astounding is the fact that the Airpods Max – certainly not cheap – does not have the required chip on board.
Continuing to complain, both the new Apple TV 4K and the new iMac, which were announced last week, do not support spatial audio. This is cool to say the least. Thanks to this spatial sound, the combination of Apple TV and Airpods Max can be a deadly combination for hours when a user still wants to watch a movie but the house has to be quiet. Unfortunately, though: Apple clearly won’t fully work with audio technology.
You can argue about the taste, but I haven’t seen any point of discussion about the arrival of the Airpods Max. The lady of the house thought his weight was a bit high. With 284 grams, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is no less than a full hundred grams lighter and has been rated. Her opinion was “easier to wear all day,” although I was very satisfied with the Airpods’ portability and durability that the aluminum design brings.
Pros and Cons
+ The sound quality you can expect for this price
+ Design you can expect from Apple
+ Spatial sound turns your headphones into a surround set
Nearly seamless integration into a home full of existing Apple products
The lack of spatial sound on the new Apple TV 4K and iMacs limits versatility
Heavy, according to some users
Faithful Apple users looking at a dollar more or less will not regret expanding their arsenal anytime with Airpods Max. At the same time, it would be crazy to portray the competition as benevolent amateurs. For example, in recent months, I have also used the Sony WH-1000XM4 extensively. An excellent product shockingly hard to complain about, and it costs less than half as compared to the Airpods Max.
Especially for people who have not (yet) allowed themselves to fall into the Apple ecosystem and, for example, use an Android phone, the difference is not so great. Spatial audio only works on (some) Apple electronics. The same goes for a seamless transition from one product to another: it’s brilliantly developed, but only works on iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks. Until then, Airpods remain excellent headphones. But this goes for the flagships from Sony, Bowers & Wilkins, and Bose as well.
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