14 votes

Apple introduces AirPods Max

76 comments

  1. [24]
    Parliament
    Link
    My pandemic splurge purchase was Airpods Pro. I've been happy with them, but $250+tax was quite a lot to pay for them. $550 for over-ear headphones is even harder to justify IMO.

    My pandemic splurge purchase was Airpods Pro. I've been happy with them, but $250+tax was quite a lot to pay for them. $550 for over-ear headphones is even harder to justify IMO.

    19 votes
    1. [21]
      emdash
      Link Parent
      The price seems at least $100 too high. I'm surprised by this given it's no secret sales of their other "premium" audio product—HomePod—have been sluggish because of the high upfront cost. It's a...

      The price seems at least $100 too high. I'm surprised by this given it's no secret sales of their other "premium" audio product—HomePod—have been sluggish because of the high upfront cost. It's a great speaker, just like these are probably great for audio too, but that still didn't make HomePods fly off shelves. Perhaps they're betting on the AirPods brand name pushing them over the sales target line.

      10 votes
      1. [19]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        The real killer is the lack of interchangeable parts. Audiophile headphones have replaceable ear pads, cables, bands, etc. Even if the audio quality is on par, I'm not sure the W1 features are...

        The real killer is the lack of interchangeable parts. Audiophile headphones have replaceable ear pads, cables, bands, etc. Even if the audio quality is on par, I'm not sure the W1 features are worth this in light of the fact that the battery will likely go kaput in 5 years.

        Apple's trying to compete with a luxury good here that people usually get as "Buy it for Life" purchases. I see Apple's the value proposition where they compromise on repairability and serviceability in favor of thinness, lightness, etc. in product categories--like laptops or phones--that are ephemeral and have a short shelf-life anyway due to how the technology works. But once you get into stuff like audiophile gear or watches, the numbers just don't add up. Even if it's as nice as a BIFL purchase on the day I open it, the lifespan difference is too vast.

        The W1 features are really handy and I do wish I could get them in every pair of headphones I own. But I'd rather Apple distribute them as a dongle to attach to existing headphones than going this route.

        13 votes
        1. [18]
          Akir
          Link Parent
          I'm pretty confident that at the very least, Apple will offer replacable earpads. They will probably have replacement headbands as well, but I can very much see it being limited to authorized...

          I'm pretty confident that at the very least, Apple will offer replacable earpads. They will probably have replacement headbands as well, but I can very much see it being limited to authorized repair centers, where replacement batteries will also probably land.

          As someone who has flirted with Apple over decades, they have done a lot to get me interested in their products and get me to buy in, but I'll be honest, the biggest reason why I have been hesitant was because there is a feeling that they want their products to be disposable. Apple doesn't really care much for legacy support. When they were making iPods, new models kept coming out and old models faded from memory extremely quickly. And while it's great because buying the latest iDevice is going to give you the latest technology, I've traditionally been to poor for the tradeoff to make much sense to me.

          3 votes
          1. [14]
            ali
            Link Parent
            iPhones get 5 years of OS Updates, android phones sometimes 0 Also I am pretty sure iPods still work right now. I don’t quite get the point about them

            Apple doesn't really care much for legacy support

            iPhones get 5 years of OS Updates, android phones sometimes 0

            Also I am pretty sure iPods still work right now. I don’t quite get the point about them

            8 votes
            1. Whom
              Link Parent
              Yeah, I don't think it's as clear cut as Akir says. Airpods are absolutely designed to be disposable and that sucks, but they are much better than the competitors when it comes to supporting their...

              Yeah, I don't think it's as clear cut as Akir says. Airpods are absolutely designed to be disposable and that sucks, but they are much better than the competitors when it comes to supporting their phones and tablets. If you want a mainstream phone that'll last, you get an iPhone.

              5 votes
            2. [3]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. babypuncher
                Link Parent
                I wouldn't really count those, seeing as users have to unlock their phone's bootloader to install them and open source firmwares tend to lose features like Google Wallet tap and pay. For 99% of...

                Android phones from 2012 that get updates to this day through open source projects.

                I wouldn't really count those, seeing as users have to unlock their phone's bootloader to install them and open source firmwares tend to lose features like Google Wallet tap and pay. For 99% of users, 99% of Android phones get 0-2 years of software support.

                9 votes
              2. NoblePath
                Link Parent
                And lo, did tildes yet follow the way of reddit, and digg before it, and in the misty times before that, the usenet, and did become a land afire with mac vs pc flamewars...

                And lo, did tildes yet follow the way of reddit, and digg before it, and in the misty times before that, the usenet, and did become a land afire with mac vs pc flamewars...

            3. vegai
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              A high-end headphone should last for 10 years minimum. The Max seems interesting, but I don't think it can pull that off. But then again, these cost like 1/2-1/4 of actual high-end headphones and...

              A high-end headphone should last for 10 years minimum. The Max seems interesting, but I don't think it can pull that off.

              But then again, these cost like 1/2-1/4 of actual high-end headphones and Apple's recycling program is apparently pretty good. I'm waiting reviews myself.

              2 votes
            4. [9]
              Akir
              Link Parent
              Your argument is misleading. I'm talking about Apple as a whole, and iPhones are a single product segment. And it's one that they may be better than a majority of the competition on, but it's one...

              Your argument is misleading. I'm talking about Apple as a whole, and iPhones are a single product segment. And it's one that they may be better than a majority of the competition on, but it's one where the industry as a whole is bad.

              But if you want to know what segment they are terrible at, it's their accessories. They make products that have very finite shelf lives that are not reparable, and in effect they are disposable. AirPods are actually a really good example; their batteries will generally last for the duration of the warranty period, but not much longer, and after that you have no choice but to replace them. The same could be said of their Apple Pencils. Likewise, they have had a bunch of issues with their bluetooth keyboards; I bought one a few years back and it went kaput after a year, and no part of it was repairable because the entire thing was basically encased in glue.

              But that's really not what I was getting at. Their computers were where I actually saw the biggest problem. The company I work with has a couple of Mac Minis that would be perfectly fine for people to use if they could get modern versions of MacOS to work on it. But now I couldn't even pay them to support those computers. The only way I can get them running is to try to install Windows on them.

              1. [3]
                babypuncher
                Link Parent
                Those Mac Minis must be coming up on a decade old at this point. Macs generally get 6-8 years of major OS updates and 8-10 years of security updates.

                Those Mac Minis must be coming up on a decade old at this point. Macs generally get 6-8 years of major OS updates and 8-10 years of security updates.

                1 vote
                1. [2]
                  Akir
                  Link Parent
                  I don't know the specific details on these machines, but I can tell you that they are new enough that there has not been a significant increase in CPU performance and they run with zero hardware...

                  I don't know the specific details on these machines, but I can tell you that they are new enough that there has not been a significant increase in CPU performance and they run with zero hardware faults. They aren't really obsolete in any way. The only real problem with them is that Apple has decided they are not going to supply software updates and so some newer software will not run on them unless the operating system is replaced with an alternative.

                  1. Weldawadyathink
                    Link Parent
                    Based on this, they are 2012 Mac mini’s. They are still supported by Catalina, just not Big Sur. I am not aware of any software that only supports Big Sur. And, as someone else said, Catalina will...

                    Based on this, they are 2012 Mac mini’s. They are still supported by Catalina, just not Big Sur. I am not aware of any software that only supports Big Sur. And, as someone else said, Catalina will get security updates for another few years.

                    1 vote
              2. [5]
                NaraVara
                Link Parent
                Aside from the keyboard, almost all the accessories you're talking about are, like, 98% battery by volume. So if the concern is landfill space then replacing the battery is appreciably not any...

                They make products that have very finite shelf lives that are not reparable, and in effect they are disposable. AirPods are actually a really good example; their batteries will generally last for the duration of the warranty period, but not much longer, and after that you have no choice but to replace them.

                Aside from the keyboard, almost all the accessories you're talking about are, like, 98% battery by volume. So if the concern is landfill space then replacing the battery is appreciably not any more disposable than replacing the entire unit. If you use their recycling program, everything that is salvageable in them gets salvaged. What you're left with is just some very thin bits of plastic, and even that ends up being less waste than the packaging your replacement batteries and the tools to do the replacement would come in.

                I get that it feels bad intuitively to have to throw something away when there is just one minor, seemingly fixable, thing wrong with it. But in terms of aggregate effect on waste it doesn't actually make that much of a difference. If anything, the trade-offs they would make to make these things more user-serviceable might actually end up generating more waste since the devices would get bulkier and have more accessible latches or screws to access. Since the number of people who actually self-repair broken devices are basically a rounding error in the grand scheme of things, it just means more material ends up being thrown away.

                Their computers were where I actually saw the biggest problem. The company I work with has a couple of Mac Minis that would be perfectly fine for people to use if they could get modern versions of MacOS to work on it.

                The newest Mac Mini on Apple's "obsolete" list from 2010. That's a decade old! You're lucky the computer still works at all. It seems like what's underneath your complaint is that Apple built a machine to last. What hardware manufacturer is going to continue providing support for something that old? Dell considers things to be "end of life" after 4 or 5 years.

                Also 2010 was when they started transitioning to 64 bit chips. So the reason it's EOL from their perspective is because they're retiring 32 bit support from the OS. This was forecasted for some time and you can still run the 32 bit version of the OS without issue. How long do you expect them to have to keep supporting legacy systems really? At some point the use case just becomes so niche that you're better off doing something more customized to run it.

                1 vote
                1. [3]
                  Comment deleted by author
                  Link Parent
                  1. [2]
                    NaraVara
                    (edited )
                    Link Parent
                    10 year old machines are obsolete. It's only within the past couple of decades or so where we got 10 year old cars to where they could pass a proper emissions test without needing to get the...

                    I think it's awful that we consider 10 years a long time in terms of software support.

                    10 year old machines are obsolete. It's only within the past couple of decades or so where we got 10 year old cars to where they could pass a proper emissions test without needing to get the engine basically overhauled. And that's century old technology at this point. In the past you were lucky to have a hard-drive that lasted you more than 3 or 4 years before going kaput. Logic boards would routinely fry and people were investing in expensive power-conditioners on critical machines.

                    It's really only commercial software that does this kind of thing

                    Yes. Because commercial software is designed for doing things other than spending all your time maintaining legacy workflows. The amount of time and material burned on never upgrading old stuff is responsible for way more waste (and general sloppiness in terms of documentation and maintainability) than just getting a new one does. Do you think the tooling and manufacturing infrastructure to continue making and distributing replacement parts for obsolete devices comes without an environmental cost?

                    This is some of the most intricate mental gymnastics I've seen in a while.

                    Cut the flamebait. Just because you don't want to think about any second order effects outside of what you can immediately touch doesn't make it "mental gymnastics." Supply chains and logistics aren't "gymnastics" they're a hard fact about the world.

                    Yes, the number of people who self-repair devices is small (I wonder why that might be?)

                    It might be because the technology improves dramatically enough after 3 or 4 years that most people see their device breaking as an excuse to upgrade rather than something they want to be repairing forever.

                    but repairable devices means cheaper commercial repairs, and it means that donating old devices is feasible;

                    Who do you think wants your old, earwax encrusted AirPods? Again, swapping out the battery in a set of AirPods is functionally not any cheaper than just getting new ones. The things are basically all battery. I don't think you understand the amount of progress that's been made in miniaturization or the efficiencies of scale that are possible with modern manufacturing.

                    Those products go straight to the dump

                    Or just use the recycling program so the material can be used for something other than collecting dust in a closet because it's slower and shittier than a $50 Raspberry Pi.

                    and passed around among those who can't afford a $999 laptop just to check their e-mail.

                    If all they're doing is checking their email, I would question why they would have ever wanted a $999 laptop in the first place when a $199 Chromebook will do. This is judging a fish by its ability to ride a bicycle. Use the right tool for the job.

                    2 votes
                    1. [2]
                      Comment deleted by author
                      Link Parent
                      1. NaraVara
                        (edited )
                        Link Parent
                        I don't think they matter for the perspective of a commercial software/hardware vendor because they're an insignificant sample of the population. There are plenty of open source options if they...

                        I'm really not sure what you mean. Do you disagree that people can and do fruitfully use 10-year-old computers? Or do you just think those people don't matter? Why?

                        I don't think they matter for the perspective of a commercial software/hardware vendor because they're an insignificant sample of the population. There are plenty of open source options if they want to keep running old shit forever for whatever reason, but I don't get how it's Apple's problem if that's what they want to do.

                        I don't know who spends "all their time" maintaining legacy workflows in open source other than the people who need those workflows.

                        I work in Enterprise IT for the government. You would be irate if you knew the amount of taxpayer money being blown on making sure old, slow, and insecure shit can continue limping along just because old farts are too lazy to learn new tricks or because pennywise and pound-foolish accountants don't understand what "technical debt" means.

                        It's reasonably power-efficient and I'm pretty sure the impact of a few sticks of RAM and an SSD is less than buying two or three whole new computers, which is what we'd be on at the rate you suggest.

                        If their computing needs are minor enough that they're getting by on 10 year old machines with nothing but a hard-drive and RAM replacement, then they never needed a modern Mac in the first place. And also, bear in mind, the obsolete Mac Mini you're complaining about still works. It just doesn't get new software upgrades. They can still browse the internet with an old browser and check their email. And if you want to stretch it out even longer, nobody is stopping you from putting a newer 32 bit Linux distro on it. You just seem to be complaining that Apple isn't in the business of doing work for you for free to keep your obsolete machine running long after it's expected service life. I'm still using a 7 year old iPad that's been on Apple's obsolete list for years. If I replaced the battery it would probably last me another 5. The only thing that drags it down is that websites keep getting cruftier. Obsolete just means it's not practical for Apple to continue providing parts to service them which is just the reality of how supply chains work. It's more expensive to repair than to replace after a point.

                        An economics essay complete with S/D matrices?

                        You don't need to write an essay. You just need to not dismiss economic facts when explained to you as "mental gymnastics" because it's inconvenient to your conclusions.

                        Are we talking about AirPods, or computers? Don't jump from one subject to another, then back when I engage with the second one.

                        The thread started in a discussion of accessories. You flipped it to computers. The logic actually still holds for their laptops as well. Just replace the thin sheet of plastic with a sheet of aluminum as the thing discarded.

                        An X200 and a Raspberry Pi aren't really comparable. One is a laptop with a screen, a lovely keyboard, an input device, and standard audio I/O and the other is an SBC that doesn't have any of that stuff.

                        By your logic the X200 is terrible then, because you can't easily replace any of that stuff while, with a Pi, you can plug in whatever you want with a few doodads.

                        You can't have it both ways; either it's good that Apple charges way too much for their laptops because they last a long time

                        They do last a long time. They're supporting Macs that are 10+ years old and still retain a ton of resale value over anything else in the industry. You're the one complaining that 10+ years isn't long enough because of some hyper-specific needs that are so niche that it's not actually profitable for anyone to support AND that isn't really saving anyone appreciable amounts of money or providing any meaningful environmental benefits in the long run.

                        2 votes
                2. [2]
                  Akir
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  My issue with apples accessories is less to do with waste and more to do with utility and value. Airpods are terribly convenient, sure, but if it has a set shelf life, you are essentially paying a...

                  My issue with apples accessories is less to do with waste and more to do with utility and value. Airpods are terribly convenient, sure, but if it has a set shelf life, you are essentially paying a very expensive subscription.

                  You know what? I'm tired of arguing about this. Seeing everyone having to counter my oppinion is exhausting and it feels like I'm being ganged up on. I can't win anyways since I don't use those computers and therefore don't have a full picture about what the current level of support apple gives on them. All I know for sure at this point is that we have software providers who have alerted us that they no longer support the version of MacOS those computers are allowed to run. I'm fairly sure they are 64 bit computers as well, but I'm not interested in finding out since I don't think it will conclude this argument.

                  If you want to know what my actual oppinion is on this without being stuck on this detail, see tindall's response.

                  1 vote
                  1. NaraVara
                    Link Parent
                    I don't think your complaint here is with Apple then. It seems to be about the limitations of battery technology. They're consumable goods, they're destined to expire. Even newer electric cars are...

                    Airpods are terribly convenient, sure, but if it has a set shelf life, you are essentially paying a very expensive subscription.

                    I don't think your complaint here is with Apple then. It seems to be about the limitations of battery technology. They're consumable goods, they're destined to expire.

                    Even newer electric cars are basically just giant skateboards made of battery with seats, a computer, and a reinforced enclosure with airbags stuck on top of it. There just isn't very much to replace if you're replacing the battery. You're better off sending it back to a facility where there are some efficiencies of scale in reclaiming the parts and materials for reuse.

                    2 votes
          2. [3]
            babypuncher
            Link Parent
            I find this assessment interesting, seeing as they have a strong reputation for supporting their products far longer than most other manufacturers. For example, the iPhone 5 got new versions of...

            there is a feeling that they want their products to be disposable.

            I find this assessment interesting, seeing as they have a strong reputation for supporting their products far longer than most other manufacturers. For example, the iPhone 5 got new versions of iOS up until 2017, a full five years after it launched, and today it still gets security updates.

            They are perfectly fine with their products lasting a long time. They just want to make sure that when it needs a battery replacement or other repair, you pay them to do it.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. [2]
                NaraVara
                Link Parent
                That lawsuit was nonsense ruled by technically illiterate judges. They extended the lifetime of the device by throttling it when the battery got too weak so the power-draw wouldn't make it crash....

                That lawsuit was nonsense ruled by technically illiterate judges. They extended the lifetime of the device by throttling it when the battery got too weak so the power-draw wouldn't make it crash. If they had just said "Oop, your battery's fucked. Tough shit" it would, ironically, have passed muster. Whatever legal standard they used was bass-ackwards.

                4 votes
                1. [2]
                  Comment deleted by author
                  Link Parent
                  1. NaraVara
                    Link Parent
                    They could just go to a repair center and pay exactly $80 to have the Genius Bar replace it. Or they could go on iFixIt, buy the tools to replace the battery, buy the battery from Sony for $50,...

                    They could just go to a repair center and pay exactly $80 to have the Genius Bar replace it.

                    Or they could go on iFixIt, buy the tools to replace the battery, buy the battery from Sony for $50, and do it themselves.

                    3 votes
      2. Whom
        Link Parent
        These at least have the extra value of being fashion products that the HomePod doesn't have just due to the device category. I imagine these'll do at least decently well, but I wonder if they'll...

        These at least have the extra value of being fashion products that the HomePod doesn't have just due to the device category. I imagine these'll do at least decently well, but I wonder if they'll court people who care about audio like the Airpod Pros did. True wireless earphones were (and honestly still are) a pretty young and underdeveloped space, but I have to imagine wireless headphones are much more mature, not having the same battery problem and being around forever.

        1 vote
    2. nacho
      Link Parent
      This is exactly the type of thing I could see my employer buy and give to everyone who works in an open landscape, or who has to work at home due to covid, or who flies substantially for work. If...

      This is exactly the type of thing I could see my employer buy and give to everyone who works in an open landscape, or who has to work at home due to covid, or who flies substantially for work.

      If they get 5 hours of added productivity, either directly or from buy goodwill with a "high-end" gift like this for $550, they're in the green.

      It's exactly this type of calculation I'm sure is the reason why we can choose to get macs for thousands of dollars, or high end gaming pc and peripherals for work that we personally get to keep if we're still employed with them a year after purchase. Compared to getting the same gain from doling out cash compensation, this must be cheaper or they wouldn't do it.

      7 votes
    3. nothis
      Link Parent
      I did a spit take when I first read the price but it's gotta be said: Audio hardware is incredibly high (over?) priced in general. There's absolutely $500, $1000 and $5000 headphones out there....

      I did a spit take when I first read the price but it's gotta be said: Audio hardware is incredibly high (over?) priced in general. There's absolutely $500, $1000 and $5000 headphones out there. This is probably relatively good value for money. Unless you consider that 99% of people couldn't tell apart the sound of a good $200 headphone from a $2000 one.

      3 votes
  2. [9]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    I anyone else rolling their eyes at the name here? I get that “AirPods” is Apple’s established brand name for wireless audio products, but it seems lazy to reuse it for headphones.

    I anyone else rolling their eyes at the name here? I get that “AirPods” is Apple’s established brand name for wireless audio products, but it seems lazy to reuse it for headphones.

    13 votes
    1. [7]
      emdash
      Link Parent
      Yeah, it's boring, which is so quintessentially Tim Cook-era Apple that it doesn't surprise me one bit. It's like the new M1 MacBook being branded "MacBook Air" instead of taking a risk and seeing...

      Yeah, it's boring, which is so quintessentially Tim Cook-era Apple that it doesn't surprise me one bit. It's like the new M1 MacBook being branded "MacBook Air" instead of taking a risk and seeing it as an opportunity to redesign and rebrand it as just a no-suffix "MacBook". Tim Cook picked the former, Steve Jobs probably wouldn't have accepted anything less than a re-imagining of the entire product when they added their own SoC to the device.

      When you let a boring supply-chain focused executive run a company, you end up with boring, supply-chain-driven products. He's great at what he does, but I still think him being CEO was the wrong decision.

      12 votes
      1. NaraVara
        Link Parent
        When Apple did the switch to Intel under Jobs the first generation of computers they made were done just like this, with the exact same enclosures and product lines as before just holding a...

        Steve Jobs probably wouldn't have accepted anything less than a re-imagining of the entire product when they added their own SoC to the device.

        When Apple did the switch to Intel under Jobs the first generation of computers they made were done just like this, with the exact same enclosures and product lines as before just holding a different chipset inside. It wasn't until they were basically through with the transition that they started redesigning the things to match.

        1 vote
      2. novov
        Link Parent
        Jobs-era Apple came up with the iPod Hi-Fi, which is IMO an even more tangential name.

        Jobs-era Apple came up with the iPod Hi-Fi, which is IMO an even more tangential name.

        1 vote
      3. [4]
        Muffin
        Link Parent
        Didn't they already call a product just "MacBook" in like 2014? The slim aluminum body "air"?

        Didn't they already call a product just "MacBook" in like 2014? The slim aluminum body "air"?

        1. [3]
          emdash
          Link Parent
          They tried that, yup. It didn't sell because it was hampered by only a single port, a very low power Intel processor, and was really quite expensive. Instead, they ditched that attempt and just...

          They tried that, yup. It didn't sell because it was hampered by only a single port, a very low power Intel processor, and was really quite expensive. Instead, they ditched that attempt and just doubled down on the MacBook Air—which has always begged the question of "where is the no-suffix MacBook in their lineup" or "why don't they rebrand the Air as at the MacBook", which I can only presume is because at this point the Air is their most popular laptop, has such established name recognition and a history of customers that love it, that they don't want to deal with the complexity of communicating that change.

          The M1 MacBook Air is really what the 2014-era MacBook aspired to be. Thin, light, ahead of its time, but without any of the compromises like a slow CPU or a short battery life. If they were going to do a MBA rebrand to just a plain old no-suffix "MaxBook", I presume this year would've been the time.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            It seems like their laptops being either “Air” or “Pro” is pretty easy to understand, though? It doesn’t seem like naming schemes need to be exciting, so calling it boring isn’t much of a criticism.

            It seems like their laptops being either “Air” or “Pro” is pretty easy to understand, though? It doesn’t seem like naming schemes need to be exciting, so calling it boring isn’t much of a criticism.

            1 vote
            1. emdash
              Link Parent
              Well, these are the sorts of questions you spend time pondering if you happen to listen to Apple-centric podcasts while working in an Apple centric-ecosystem while being an Apple-enthused person....

              Well, these are the sorts of questions you spend time pondering if you happen to listen to Apple-centric podcasts while working in an Apple centric-ecosystem while being an Apple-enthused person.

              It's fruit all the way down.

              4 votes
    2. AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      It is, but what are the alternatives? Headphones + air = AirHeads or AirPhones While I would love the former to somehow get past all their marketing and product departments, it probably wasn't...

      It is, but what are the alternatives?

      Headphones + air = AirHeads or AirPhones

      While I would love the former to somehow get past all their marketing and product departments, it probably wasn't going to be anything other than AirPods something.

      7 votes
  3. [2]
    Ember
    Link
    Lightning charging port is the most disappointing thing to me. It's an aging port that Apple's been moving away from with iPad and their charging bricks... and yet they put it in a brand new...

    Lightning charging port is the most disappointing thing to me. It's an aging port that Apple's been moving away from with iPad and their charging bricks... and yet they put it in a brand new US$550 product.

    I wonder if these can even be used off battery power, just plugged directly in to a mac. Lack of a 3.5mm jack makes me doubtful.

    12 votes
    1. jackson
      Link Parent
      You're able to connect to 3.5mm via lightning, if you're willing to pay the price for an adapter.

      You're able to connect to 3.5mm via lightning, if you're willing to pay the price for an adapter.

      1 vote
  4. [12]
    Akir
    Link
    Oh My God. It's the Trashcan Mac, but in headphone form. And they somehow managed to turn Bose's QC35II and Sony's WH-1000XM3 into "budget picks" in spite of the fact that they likely have about...

    Oh My God. It's the Trashcan Mac, but in headphone form. And they somehow managed to turn Bose's QC35II and Sony's WH-1000XM3 into "budget picks" in spite of the fact that they likely have about the same audio quality if not better.

    I mean, really; it's more expensive than the current audiophile choice for bluetooth headphones, the Drop/THX Panda.

    There is only one thing that makes this product interesting to me, and that's the fact that it does 'spacial audio'. It's surprising to me because it doesn't make any sense. The only reason spacial audio worth calculating live is if you are going to be moving your head, and the only reason why you should be moving your head is if there is something to look at. I'm talking about VR. But if this is really meant for VR, what is the benefit of doing these calculations on the headset, where there are going to be hard limits on these kinds of computations, versus on the device that's in charge of rendering the scene to begin with?

    9 votes
    1. [6]
      TheJorro
      Link Parent
      It's something that's already available on the AirPods right now, and it doesn't seem like that calculation happens on the headphones. The use case right now is more to make it seem like you're...

      It's something that's already available on the AirPods right now, and it doesn't seem like that calculation happens on the headphones. The use case right now is more to make it seem like you're watching it as a TV, so the sound fields like it's originating from the screen as opposed to being disassociated from it entirely.

      2 votes
      1. [5]
        psi
        Link Parent
        Maybe someone who uses this feature can chime it, but it just seems so... gimmicky? Why would someone want to emulate a soundstage where they're in the corner of the room? Isn't the soundstage...

        Maybe someone who uses this feature can chime it, but it just seems so... gimmicky? Why would someone want to emulate a soundstage where they're in the corner of the room? Isn't the soundstage always being centered ideal, which is exactly what you'd get if you disabled the feature altogether?

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          Weldawadyathink
          Link Parent
          I have used the feature every so often. When I am focused only on the content, it is really good and adds a lot to the experience. When I am having to look back and forth between different...

          I have used the feature every so often. When I am focused only on the content, it is really good and adds a lot to the experience. When I am having to look back and forth between different screens, and watching the content ‘in the background’ it is distracting. I keep it turned on almost all the time, although I don’t watch many things that support it. The worst part is no Apple TV support.

          5 votes
          1. jackson
            Link Parent
            No apple tv support? That's rather odd, as this most closely replicates watching something on a screen.

            No apple tv support? That's rather odd, as this most closely replicates watching something on a screen.

        2. TheJorro
          Link Parent
          The use case is certainly... specific. The technology and effect are super cool but Akir is right that VR really is the main place this would be most useful. All I can think is that Apple is...

          The use case is certainly... specific. The technology and effect are super cool but Akir is right that VR really is the main place this would be most useful. All I can think is that Apple is trying to give users the impression that they are still in the world, as if they're not wearing headphones, but with all the sound of the device as if it's playing off of its own speakers.

          I'm not sure why but the method to accomplish that really is fascinating.

          2 votes
        3. streblo
          Link Parent
          It sounds like it’s Apple’s response to Dolby Atmos for headphones and whatever Microsoft’s equivalent is. I am not an audio engineer but have used Dolby Atmos quite a bit. It’s great in supported...

          It sounds like it’s Apple’s response to Dolby Atmos for headphones and whatever Microsoft’s equivalent is. I am not an audio engineer but have used Dolby Atmos quite a bit. It’s great in supported games and media where the audio engine can attach spatial coordinates to each piece of audio for the HRTF or Atmos setup to properly place the audio. Otherwise it’s doing it’s best to guess and the results are middling.

          1 vote
    2. [2]
      vegai
      Link Parent
      Here's the thing I don't understand about this. Why is everyone assuming the Max's audio quality when no reviews are in yet? The Homepod beat every competitor in its area when it came out, so it's...

      in spite of the fact that they likely have about the same audio quality if not better.

      Here's the thing I don't understand about this. Why is everyone assuming the Max's audio quality when no reviews are in yet? The Homepod beat every competitor in its area when it came out, so it's not absurd to guess that these might too.

      1 vote
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        True, they might. But given most people are familiar with Airpods and not homepods, and those are meh at best, that's not a great track record. Especially since Apple has continuously exaggerated...

        True, they might. But given most people are familiar with Airpods and not homepods, and those are meh at best, that's not a great track record. Especially since Apple has continuously exaggerated how good their audio quality is.

        Even though I am not personally confident in Apple's ability to make a quality sounding headset, I wouldn't be too surprised if they manage to pull it off. The one thing that would really surprise me is if it can get anywhere near as good as alternatives in that price range.

        3 votes
    3. [3]
      zod000
      Link Parent
      You are mirroring my thoughts on these precisely, especially with regards to the spacial audio. I keep hearing people remarking how cool these are with "never before seen spacial audio tech"....

      You are mirroring my thoughts on these precisely, especially with regards to the spacial audio. I keep hearing people remarking how cool these are with "never before seen spacial audio tech". There is a reason no headphones have done it before, it makes no sense for headphones to do it. I suppose this does lean towards Apple developing a VR product, but I still don't think it makes sense to have the sensors in the headphones as opposed to whatever would be driving the display due to latency.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        Apple's not the only one doing it though. My Sony ones have some kind of 360 audio settings, and the Playstation 5 is touting a "3D Audio" feature that sounds a lot like what Apple is talking...

        There is a reason no headphones have done it before, it makes no sense for headphones to do it.

        Apple's not the only one doing it though. My Sony ones have some kind of 360 audio settings, and the Playstation 5 is touting a "3D Audio" feature that sounds a lot like what Apple is talking about. It does seem like it would be handy if you're watching something on a screen and using your headphones while moving around. The utility of having it on the headphones is that that's where all the motion sensors and accelerometers are. To do it from the screen the screen itself would have to have some kind of eye-tracking going on like the Microsoft Kinect.

        1. Akir
          Link Parent
          I can't tell you about your particular headset, but the 3D audio they are talking about for the PS5 is just traditional positional audio with HRTF, which is something that we have been capable of...

          I can't tell you about your particular headset, but the 3D audio they are talking about for the PS5 is just traditional positional audio with HRTF, which is something that we have been capable of doing in realtime for decades.

          I haven't seen anything that mentions that Sony is also going to do head tracking, but if you know of something I don't, let me know. I'm genuinely interested.

          2 votes
  5. [5]
    sjvn
    Link
    I grew up around high-end audio equipment. My first job was selling high-end audio equipment. I would not pay this much money for this gear. It's also worth noticing if you're getting it to watch...

    I grew up around high-end audio equipment. My first job was selling high-end audio equipment. I would not pay this much money for this gear. It's also worth noticing if you're getting it to watch TV with, the only streaming device it works with is--surprise!--Apple TV.

    6 votes
    1. Muffin
      Link Parent
      The regular AirPods and the Pros work with any bluetooth device. I frequently pair mine to our LG tv.

      The regular AirPods and the Pros work with any bluetooth device. I frequently pair mine to our LG tv.

      3 votes
    2. [3]
      Weldawadyathink
      Link Parent
      Why wouldn’t it work with any streaming device that does Bluetooth audio?

      Why wouldn’t it work with any streaming device that does Bluetooth audio?

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        sjvn
        Link Parent
        Good question. I'm just reporting what Apple says. Historically, Apple makes money by offering luxury goods, which lock you into their hardware/software ecosystem.

        Good question. I'm just reporting what Apple says. Historically, Apple makes money by offering luxury goods, which lock you into their hardware/software ecosystem.

        1. Weldawadyathink
          Link Parent
          From what I have seen, this is inaccurate. They offer mid-range to pseudo-luxury products. They work fine with other devices, but work better with their own devices. The only lock in they have is...

          From what I have seen, this is inaccurate. They offer mid-range to pseudo-luxury products. They work fine with other devices, but work better with their own devices. The only lock in they have is from added features that come from controlling all parts of hardware and software.

          If you look at just the iPhone and disregard other Apple products, there isn’t much to lock someone in. You might lose App Store purchases, but that is also true on android. You lose iMessage, but I would argue that is also about the ecosystem.

          If you look at just AirPods, with no other Apple devices, there is absolutely nothing locking you in. Linus from Linus Tech Tips uses AirPods Pro and loves them. He doesn’t use many other Apple devices.

          If you look at macOS, again with no other Apple products, there isn’t much lock in. There are lost purchases and changed workflows, but, again, the same is true on windows.

          The one product segment where owning one Apple device requires another is the watch. They have recently made advancements in this category with family setup, although it still isn’t ideal.

          Almost all of the complaints of lock in come from interactions with other devices. There are valid technical reasons why these interactions only take place between Apple devices. The main reason is development time. Why should Apple develop these features for other devices?

          These types of interactions either don’t exist with other device manufacturers, or exhibit a similar type of lock in. Galaxy buds support a custom Samsung codec that only works with Samsung phones. Showing the pop up on your phone when you open the case also only works on Samsung phones. Sometimes you get cross-manufacturer interoperability, but this is usually limited to 2 manufacturers. The best example is Microsoft your phone and Samsung phones. “Your phone” either doesn’t work as well or at all on other phones where it isn’t built into android.

          2 votes
  6. [18]
    stu2b50
    Link
    $550 is a steep price, but I've been very impressed with the AirPods Pro, so I'll reserve judgement for when people have the products in their hands. Since I don't have more to say on it, other...

    $550 is a steep price, but I've been very impressed with the AirPods Pro, so I'll reserve judgement for when people have the products in their hands.

    Since I don't have more to say on it, other than it looks gigantic, to go into the AirPods Pro, I was an early skeptic, but seriously Apple nails the important part of wireless headphones. I went from WF-1000XM3 (the Sony ones) and they're not bad, but they have some serious flaws in comparison. For one, they're just buggy. I constantly have situations where one bud will be connected to bluetooth and the other won't. Secondly, they're bulky. Especially the charging case. This is a big deal for something you're supposed to put in your pocket - it's massive. Third, the microphone sucks incredible ass. And it does matter, apparently I am completely unintelligible when I make calls with the Sony's, so I have to remove the earpiece and put the phone to my ear to make calls.

    So eventually I shelled out more money for airpods pro and they're solid. Small, longish battery life, by far the best mics, actual ANC (very important to me at least), wireless charging, and good enough sound quality. I would recommend, even on android/PC.

    The reality, at least for $200ish headphones, is that a lot of the wearing and user experience honestly matters more than the sound for most people, and I use the airpods way more than my ATH-50MX's, despite the latter (supposedly, imo it's mostly the soundstaging is far better, but maybe my ears are just broken) sounding way better.

    I think at $550, you're reaching into territory where it's not enough to just nail all the minutia, you need to sound like $500 headphones, or at least $300 headphones, but can't say whether that's true or not yet.

    4 votes
    1. [17]
      Greg
      Link Parent
      I just bought the Bluetooth version of the ATH-50MX a few weeks ago, and given the pricing on the AirPods Max I don't have any regrets about that decision. It seems like a lot of the UX you...

      I just bought the Bluetooth version of the ATH-50MX a few weeks ago, and given the pricing on the AirPods Max I don't have any regrets about that decision.

      It seems like a lot of the UX you mention is down to the form factor, which the Max obviously don't benefit from, so I think they're fighting an uphill battle to justify the price point they've chosen. If both the ANC and transparency mode are amazing I can see that as a definite selling point, but even then I'm not sure it'd be enough.

      3 votes
      1. [16]
        stu2b50
        Link Parent
        To be fair, the ANC is an important feature. I think you have to start the price comparison at its contemporaries, which are the WH-4000MX4/Bose equivalent, which starts at $280. So that's still...

        To be fair, the ANC is an important feature. I think you have to start the price comparison at its contemporaries, which are the WH-4000MX4/Bose equivalent, which starts at $280. So that's still $270 left to make up, but it's not as extreme.

        ANC doesn't perfectly mask out everyday life, but what it does do is make it so that even music on low means you completely tune out the world, whereas even if you play on a higher volume with normal headphones you still hear the peaks of people's voices and other sharp noises.

        And it's a game changer for flights, although not very useful right now, eventually people will fly and travel again.

        But yeah, I think this is the standard Apple price scaling happening again. The AirPods and AirPods Pro are the consumer and slightly prosumer products, which are price competitive and I'd have no issue recommending to people, while this is for so called "apple enthusiasts".

        3 votes
        1. [15]
          psi
          Link Parent
          Exactly. What extra features are Apple are offering here that could justify paying nearly twice as much? In my view, any benefits are offset by drawbacks: Lack of codec support (AAC and SBC...

          I think you have to start the price comparison at its contemporaries, which are the WH-4000MX4/Bose equivalent, which starts at $280.

          Exactly. What extra features are Apple are offering here that could justify paying nearly twice as much? In my view, any benefits are offset by drawbacks:

          1. Lack of codec support (AAC and SBC support only. In contrast, the Sony XM3 support SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD and LDAC).
          2. Lightning port instead of usb-c.
          3. Poorer compatibility with non-Apple products (even though I own an iPhone, I still use my headphones daily with my non-Apple desktop).
          6 votes
          1. [14]
            emdash
            Link Parent
            I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you here, point 2 is very valid, but if you're looking at codec support and getting yourself into acronyms, you're already on the wrong wavelength with how...

            I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you here, point 2 is very valid, but if you're looking at codec support and getting yourself into acronyms, you're already on the wrong wavelength with how Apple approaches and markets products. Where, in any of their devices, do they surface what codec your devices are using?

            You might be able to find out technical metadata for specific songs buried in the Apple Music app on Mac under a modal window that's four clicks deep. That's it. Apart from that, they're advertising "it just works" functionality wth the rest of their device lineup—codecs be damned—and presumably most other devices too.

            4 votes
            1. [11]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. [10]
                emdash
                Link Parent
                It's clearly not targeting the audiophile market.

                It's clearly not targeting the audiophile market.

                3 votes
                1. [2]
                  Comment deleted by author
                  Link Parent
                  1. skybrian
                    Link Parent
                    I am reminded of how cars and TV's and many luxury products are advertised. There is often a trademarked technobabble in the brochure whose purpose is to convince you that it's really good and you...

                    I am reminded of how cars and TV's and many luxury products are advertised. There is often a trademarked technobabble in the brochure whose purpose is to convince you that it's really good and you should buy it, without explaining how it works. To really explain it, you'd need a separate paper about each thing they did. I have often tried to drill down to find out what this term in the brochure means, and often there is nothing. It might be a trade secret? (Hearing aids are especially bad this way.)

                    What the heck is a "hybrid synergy drive?" It's whatever Toyota uses in its cars. How it works isn't the point. Explaining to technically competent people how it works isn't the point. (You can find explanations of hybrid engines, but they're not in the brochure.)

                    So, possibly, descriptions of magnet chemistry aren't intended for people who actually know what it means? The people who do know what it means probably also know that magnet chemistry doesn't tell you whether it's good or not. It's for people who have a vague idea to get excited over it.

                    I guess that's sort of the audiophile market though? At least, it's the less rational part of it. You might say, the luxury market. There's a lot of bullshit in the luxury market. Apple is very into affordable luxury; that's how they market everything.

                    The real test of quality comes from trying it. Probably, some reviewers will chime in?

                    4 votes
                2. [8]
                  Akir
                  Link Parent
                  That sounds like audiophile wording to me.

                  AirPods Max feature a 40-mm Apple-designed dynamic driver that provides rich, deep bass, accurate mid-ranges, and crisp, clean high-frequency extension so every note can be heard. A unique dual neodymium ring magnet motor allows AirPods Max to maintain total harmonic distortion of less than 1 percent across the entire audible range, even at maximum volume.

                  That sounds like audiophile wording to me.

                  1. [7]
                    emdash
                    Link Parent
                    All quotes taken from the AirPods Pro marketing page, which are... earbuds. You can find the exact same spiel on the iPhone 12 Pro pages about the camera system, but they're not exactly asking...

                    Powerful bass is delivered by a custom-built high-excursion, low-distortion speaker driver.

                    An inward-facing microphone hears sound as you do. AirPods Pro then fine-tune the audio by adjusting the mid and low frequencies.

                    The amplifier powers the speaker driver to remove background noise and works with the H1 chip to control listening levels.

                    A remarkably efficient high-dynamic-range amplifier produces pure, incredibly clear sound while also extending battery life.

                    All quotes taken from the AirPods Pro marketing page, which are... earbuds. You can find the exact same spiel on the iPhone 12 Pro pages about the camera system, but they're not exactly asking photographers to drop their mirrorless full-frame Sony camera either.

                    I don't think that indicates a target audience of audiophiles at all. I think it's just Apple flexing their marketing muscles on what sort of technology they've got packed inside.

                    6 votes
                    1. [2]
                      Whom
                      Link Parent
                      Airpods Pro are an audiophile product within the niche of true wireless earphones. If you look into that space even on audiophile forums and shit, they're almost universally listed as the best...

                      Airpods Pro are an audiophile product within the niche of true wireless earphones. If you look into that space even on audiophile forums and shit, they're almost universally listed as the best option alongside the high end Sonys.

                      Normal Airpods don't cater to the audiophile market, but Pros absolutely do.

                      3 votes
                      1. emdash
                        Link Parent
                        That's kind of the point I make in my comment here. They're not targeted towards audiophiles. They were built as a consumer, mass-market product, with Apple's design aesthetics and technical...

                        That's kind of the point I make in my comment here. They're not targeted towards audiophiles. They were built as a consumer, mass-market product, with Apple's design aesthetics and technical prowess making them approach/reach other "audiophile-grade products".

                        It's a bit unfair to complain that a product designed for Apple's typical audience—consumers interested in high quality electronics—doesn't match the expectations of what audiophiles want. There's a good reason for that: because it wasn't designed for audiophiles.

                        The fact it can please some audiophiles is just what happens when you build products of such quality that they reach into particular niches. if it doesn't discuss the codecs it supports, that's on you, and the reason it doesn't discuss that sort of technical minutiae is because it's not designed to target those people.

                        2 votes
                    2. [4]
                      Akir
                      Link Parent
                      Yes, but Apple markets AirPods Pro as an audiophile product as well. It doesn't mean that it's actually good at filling that niche, just that they intend it to. And yes, Apple wants people to...

                      Yes, but Apple markets AirPods Pro as an audiophile product as well. It doesn't mean that it's actually good at filling that niche, just that they intend it to.

                      And yes, Apple wants people to think that professionals are throwing away their cameras in exchange for using their iPhones. Just look at their Shot on iPhone campaign. I know of at least one full-length feature film with a commercial release that was filmed entirely on an iPhone.

                      1. [3]
                        emdash
                        Link Parent
                        Yeah, but conscious overlap with a market demographic isn't "targeting". They're not actively marketing their iPhones are full frame replacements, nor are they actively marketing AirPods—of any...

                        Yeah, but conscious overlap with a market demographic isn't "targeting". They're not actively marketing their iPhones are full frame replacements, nor are they actively marketing AirPods—of any suffix—as audiophile products. That—in my view, would indicate a specific targeting of a demographic. That's not Apple's MO. They don't target hyperspecialised groups beyond their core products—desktop and laptop computers. They build products that can rival the best-in-class while still appealing to a wide consumer audience.

                        AirPods Maximum may have audiophile-grade sound, and may have some audiophile-grade qualities, but they're not targeting audiophiles. They're making audiophile-adjacent technology seem more accessible, appealing, and available to a wider demographic, with a seamless experience across their other devices.

                        This is the cycle that repeats endlessly. A product Apple releases approaches or reaches best-in-class territory that a specific niche is interested in. That niche then complains it doesn't match their usual specifications-driven focus, while regular consumers interested in high-grade products, without a focus on the niche buy it anyway, and the cycle repeats.

                        This loops back to why I'm saying asking about codecs is just totally on the wrong page. It's not a product designed for audiophiles, so expecting codec discussion is pointless and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what makes Apple appealing to so many people.

                        3 votes
                        1. psi
                          Link Parent
                          To be fair, my reason for bringing up the lack of codec support wasn't to rag on Apple for not being "audiophile grade" (the XM4/Bose 700 aren't either). My particular concern is the latency -- in...

                          This loops back to why I'm saying asking about codecs is just totally on the wrong page. It's not a product designed for audiophiles, so expecting codec discussion is pointless and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what makes Apple appealing to so many people.

                          To be fair, my reason for bringing up the lack of codec support wasn't to rag on Apple for not being "audiophile grade" (the XM4/Bose 700 aren't either). My particular concern is the latency -- in my experience, AAC via Airpods is perceptibly laggier than aptX over my XM3.

                          1 vote
                        2. Akir
                          Link Parent
                          I'm not going to argue with you because it feels like it's about as productive as arguing about the shape of the earth. The last thing I am going to say about it is that I can't see how marketing...

                          I'm not going to argue with you because it feels like it's about as productive as arguing about the shape of the earth. The last thing I am going to say about it is that I can't see how marketing using terms that only people in that specific niche would help them sell to people outside of that niche.

                          Instead, I'm more interested in who you think the target audience for this product actually is, since audiophiles are traditionally the only people interested in spending $500+ on headphones.

                          1 vote
            2. [3]
              psi
              Link Parent
              I think you probably know this, but Just to be clear, "codec" in this context doesn't refer to the filetype of the audio type being played*; it refers to how the bluetooth signal is...

              I think you probably know this, but Just to be clear, "codec" in this context doesn't refer to the filetype of the audio type being played*; it refers to how the bluetooth signal is encoded/decoded by the transmitting and receiving devices.

              I think Apple devices in general only support AAC (other than SBC), which is likely why the headphones are limited to AAC. But those other codecs have their advantages:

              1. LDAC supports much greater bitrates
              2. aptX often has a lower latency (aptX LL in particular, but that codec isn't supported by my XM3; for the AAC codec, if the source isn't AAC, that will add overhead which increases the latency).

              However, unless you're fully invested in the Apple ecosystem (Apple Music, Apple TV, etc), the lack of codec support is objectively a drawback. I suppose you could argue to what extent it matters, of course.


              * Well, sorta. AAC is a bit weird, in that AAC files don't need to be encoded when using the AAC bluetooth codec, so it should theoretically result in better quality audio.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                emdash
                Link Parent
                Sure, but 99% of consumers who just want "really good sounding" headphones care about precisely none of this. They just want to listen to music. Products like this make that happen.

                Sure, but 99% of consumers who just want "really good sounding" headphones care about precisely none of this. They just want to listen to music.

                Products like this make that happen.

                2 votes
                1. psi
                  Link Parent
                  Well yes, but 99% of consumers also aren't spending $550+ on a pair of headphones. I fail to see how this product will make that happen. "Really good sounding" wireless headphones already exist,...

                  Well yes, but 99% of consumers also aren't spending $550+ on a pair of headphones.

                  Products like this make that happen.

                  I fail to see how this product will make that happen. "Really good sounding" wireless headphones already exist, and they can be procured for nearly half the price (as /u/Akir mentioned, even the Drop/THX Panda, the "audiophile choice" for wireless headphones, are cheaper than the Airpods Max).

                  So that leaves me wondering: whom are these headphones for? Traditionally audiophiles are the niche audience for $550+ cans. I doubt Apple is targeting that market segment, and as you wrote, there's really no reason Apple should try to meet their esoteric standards. But it's hard to see how this price point could be appealing for the typical Apple consumer, especially considering the competition.

                  1 vote
  7. Elheffe
    Link
    Meh. Too expensive. Look nice though. As @Ember said- the lightning charger is crap. Can we move on to usb3/4 already?

    Meh. Too expensive. Look nice though. As @Ember said- the lightning charger is crap. Can we move on to usb3/4 already?

    4 votes
  8. TheJorro
    (edited )
    Link
    Oh, I actually like the look of these. I'll admit being vain enough about the aesthetics of AirPods being the real reason I've never considered using them so this actually opens up a whole world...

    Oh, I actually like the look of these. I'll admit being vain enough about the aesthetics of AirPods being the real reason I've never considered using them so this actually opens up a whole world of good wireless smartphone audio to me.

    Good timing, I only recently heard about the Dolby Audio support and I'm curious about the implementation described here with the gyroscope.

    2 votes
  9. Muffin
    Link
    I like my Airpods Pro, but I don't see myself spending 500 euros on wireless headphones. I'd rather invest in some really top notch studio flaps instead.

    I like my Airpods Pro, but I don't see myself spending 500 euros on wireless headphones. I'd rather invest in some really top notch studio flaps instead.

    2 votes
  10. [2]
    stu2b50
    Link
    Some reviews have finally started trickling out, although there's mainly "first looks" for now. MKBHD's review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gvvo6vUpJRc Seems like how it's shaking out is Pros:...

    Some reviews have finally started trickling out, although there's mainly "first looks" for now.

    MKBHD's review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gvvo6vUpJRc

    Seems like how it's shaking out is

    Pros:

    • Uniquely premium build - pretty much the only headphones with zero plastic

    • Sounds really really good

    • Noise cancellation basically at XM4's, i.e state of the art so far

    • Best passthrough mode

    • Great software support with iOS and MacOS (as you'd expect) i.e with pairing, multidevice sound

    • It actually stills works without battery, if you have the lightning to 3.5mm jack

    • Afaik that lightning to 3.5mm jack is also 0 latency

    Cons:

    • $550

    • An extremely stupid case, and that you have to use the case

    • Doesn't come with the lightning to 3.5mm jack - and it cost $35

    • Heavy

    Seems like what I'd expected - it's, maybe excessively so, a uniquely well built set of bluetooth headphones that sounds about as good as bluetooth is going to get right now, with the bonus of having noise cancellation, passthrough, and other "smart" features like 3D audio... that cost a ton of money.

    I'd say it's not the kind of product to fly off the shelves but last time I looked the queue on the Apple store website is like over 6 months long, so I guess they are? Maybe some leftover stimulus checks?

    1 vote
    1. emdash
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Additionally, Matt Panzarino (@panzer) made a few interesting points on the latest episode of The Talk Show with JG, about the pricing of the AirPods Maximum: The Dolby Atmos + Spatial Audio...

      Additionally, Matt Panzarino (@panzer) made a few interesting points on the latest episode of The Talk Show with JG, about the pricing of the AirPods Maximum:

      • The Dolby Atmos + Spatial Audio combination when watching a film which really makes use of good audio effects elevates your experience to 60-70% of a 5.1 or 7.1 surround home theatre system, for a fraction of the cost, and is far more useful in compromised scenarios where you might have a sleeping significant other or child you don't want to wake, or you're in an apartment.

      • Apple appears to be "democratising" audio in a way that's appealing to the mass market with features that audiophiles might scoff at, but regular people just find useful and pleasing—pointing again to the Dolby Atmos support, without requiring people who want "really good audio" to go looking into the $1-3k headphone space and make what they might perceive as lifestyle compromises (device connectivity) at the expense of "audiophile purity".

      2 votes
  11. emdash
    Link
    The design of the (frankly awful) AirPods Max case that comes with the product was discussed by its creator, Apple designer Eugene Wang here:...

    The design of the (frankly awful) AirPods Max case that comes with the product was discussed by its creator, Apple designer Eugene Wang here: https://twitter.com/SnazzyQ/status/1339681418536837120/photo/1

    The tweet originator is correct. The case is definitely a miss, despite Wang's assertions.