Cheaper than the upcoming eBay Weekend Promotion
Credits to scrimshaw
Original Coupon Deal
still too expensive
Hardly a hot take, but I just find it impossible to justify the cost of these. It's not like they're just a bit more expensive than the others. The XM4s which are basically the best ones are $350 from JB Hi-Fi. It's such an insane premium, for at best slight benefits in some areas, and much more significant flaws.
Even their AirPods are reasonably priced.
If you are comparing them to XM4, then you will never find it possible to justify.
What would be a better comparison? They're not professional grade, so they have to compared to consumer grade. There are more expensive consumer sets but they're just as flawed in other ways
For instance, I would take a H9i, H8, Momemtum Wireless, Master Dynamic MW65, all consumer cans, and IMO all sound significantly better than the mass market ANC cans like XM4/Bose QC35/700 etc etc.
If you think XM4 compare to the higher end cans, then you are missing out.
@onlinepred: Sane headphone enthusiasts buy the aforementioned headphones on sale. For example, I bought the Momentum 3 for $300, just got the H8i for $220 today ($195 with the LattitudePay deal), and the MW65 have been as low as $400. Given that the Airpod Max will never be discounted by that much, I still don't see how anyone but the biggest Apple fanboi/girl can justify these. Even if I had $700-$800 to spend on bluetooth headphones, I'd much rather get the MW65 at full price.
I have both, Airpod Max sounds blow XM4s out of water, only downside i found was the weight and I didnt like the "always on" feature.
I would say they are much better than XM4, but not double the price better.
However people are paying premium over the better sounds and apple ecosystem integration (switching seamlessly between macbook, ipad, iphone etc), and premium is not proportion measured, ie double the price do not mean double nicer in the sound.
It's unfortunate what Sony's done with it's audio quality, but I have to say the mass market encouraged this. They were the first to start making great sounding bluetooth headphones with massive battery life and high quality codecs (I've personally owned MDR-1RBT MkII, MDR-1ABT and h.ear on 1 and 2) but very few were buying these. Then they put emphasis on features at the expense of audio quality and the 1000X series stared flying off the shelf. The same thing happened with their bluetooth speakers - the little old SRS-X55 that I have packs audiophile quality (with an LDAC source) in a small package and sounds miles better than their current Xtra Bass series but the latter certainly sell a lot better.
And, they don't even support Apple Music Lossless.
Perhaps they'll release a 2nd-gen model in the not-too-distant future that will support it but cost more. I'm sure they never planned for this to happen.
they want you to pay more for that … Apple Airpods Max Pro Ultra ….
They dont support due to limitation of the current Bluetooth Bandwidth, Lossless audio format is simply too big to be transmitted over bluetooth reliably… hence it is still require cable (vs wireless), unfortunately people need to wait for boarder band of BT standard.
Perhaps check out APT-X HD or LDAC. More than enough bandwidth for CD quality, just that Apple want to stick with their lo-res AAC. BTW, I have an iPhone, iPad and am typing this on a Mac mini…
LDAC/APX-X HD are not lossless.
@onlinepred: Actually LDAC can be lossless. In any case either is good enough for CD quality IMHO where as AAC is not.
@mostlygordon: AAC is fine if you are on Apple and not in a soundproof room. Lossless is for soundproof room audiophile listening.
@onlinepred: So why would Apple move to lossless music if AAC is fine? It might be fine for people using Beats, but for people like me who use Sennheiser, Focal and Audeze AAC is audibly inferior. I consider LDAC/APT-X HD good enough for on the go. I use wired DAC / amps on my Apple gear, and I'm pleased Apple are upgrading their Music service to give me a better listening experience. I will give it another try, I have been using Qobuz.
@mostlygordon: If you are on the move without anc you can’t tell the difference.
@onlinepred: What Headphones and source do you have? I use Focal Elegias with a FIIO BTR5 on the go and can most certainly tell the difference. Testing Qobuz on Apple AAC Vs Android LDAC.
Hmm, reread your response. You certainly won't tell the difference with any headphones that contain ANC.
@mostlygordon: Of course the focal cans will do better with a great powered source, and they do have good isolation. For 99.9% of people though there is zero gain. If you lived in Sydney cbd for instance, the city sounds would ruin any benefits of high quality codecs even in your focal cans
@onlinepred: Ah, I see well I don't care about most people LOL, most people won't have $700+ Apple cans. So long as I can tell the difference, I'll go for the better quality. I work from home these days, but I can tell the difference in my Melbourne CBD office which would not be much different to Sydney. Trains and streets are for podcasts and audiobooks, I wouldn't personally destroy my music on them.
@mostlygordon: FYI apple cans probably already outsold audiophile cans haha. Already seeing loads around. They actually do sound pretty freaking great. I only ever use my beyers at home, at the office I need to hear people so no gain from wasting money on expensive cans for office, just use my h9i. Main gains would be comfort, compatibility, features. If you are into apple you gain many awesome features, and leave the audiophile ones for critical listening
@onlinepred: Beyers are great, I have some T1 Gen 2 600 ohm. Best imaging I have heard on any can, awesome for gamers. You're probably right on Apple cans, their watches certainly outsell all Swiss brands combined! I would buy a pair if they come close to my Eligia / BTR 5 solution. B&O's are nice, I haven't heard the H9i's but will buy a pair if I ever see them cheap.
I work late shift, so I put full sized cans on after 5PM. To hear others through the day I use Aftershokz for podcasts and Audeze iSine 10 for music. The iSines have a builtin DAC and lightning connector, so should be great for Apple lossless.
@mostlygordon: Have you actually properly blind a/b/x tested this. I doubt you can.
@ufoninja: No a/b/x, but I carry both Android and iOS and I know which I prefer listening to via Bluetooth. Via DAC iOS is better as it's bit-perfect, Android resamples everything to 48KHz. Also I have a large iTunes Match library, but since I got into decent cans and HiRes music, I can't listen to AAC now so will let it lapse this year. No real need for it with Plex Amp now. Let's hope Apple start using a HiRes Bluetooth CODEC soon as I prefer using iPhone.
@onlinepred: They are near-lossless for hi-res audio (Apple doesn't even do hi-res) but are lossless for Redbook quality (at least LDAC is). Either way the bitrate of AptX-HC and LDAC is a few times higher than the AAC that Apple is using.
@elektron: Just sucks ldac is limited so Sony headphones which negate any benefit
@onlinepred: It's actually available for other OEMs to license, just like AptX or AAC and is available on Android. They're just not to adopt it as 99% of the market doesn't care about lossless, not to mention hi-res. Apple and Bose aren't even including AptX as their target market is Apple users.
@elektron: It's mostly a gimmick on the cheaper cans like XM4/Bose 700, which is I believe Bose didn't include it. AAC on iPhone is actually good, while AAC on android is a mess. But yea, 99.9% of consumers don't care about lossless through bluetooth from their phone.
It's just a limit with wireless transmission unfortunately. Bluetooth doesn't have a standard fast enough I don't think. Of course, if they'd let you use a cable, there wouldn't be a problem……..
I got a set of these last week, absolutely love them. Have been using them for PC gaming a lot in addition to outside. Came from some old ~$300 headphones from 6 years ago and the difference is night and day. Better than anything I've heard in the ~$300-400ish range. Honestly never listened to anything else in the ~$700-1000 range though so no idea how they compare there.
What were your old $300 headphones.
Makes a big difference if your review was comparing to audiotechnica or Sennheiser vs beats.
I actually had both Beats Mixr and a set of bluetooth AT headphones (might have been the MSR7, not sure).
I have no doubt theres better sounding headphones around the price of AirPods Max.
Try starting at a quarter of the price if you're happy with a wire.
@jasswolf: I did not want a wire, and it wasn't just down to sound quality, otherwise I would have looked at others.
It's all about the ecosystem, battery/charging (when travelling), auto on/off, fashion, etc.
If it was just price and I was looking at every dollar I would have looked at others for sure. But these looked like they had what I liked, so I got them.
@jeppetto367: Even factoring in all of that, it's probably still you paying $300 for Apple to live rent-free in your brain, but I respect that you have a nuanced take.
@jasswolf: That sounds about right.
I tried these in-store last week and must say I was expecting better for the price. Also, the design is horrible.
Weird follow-up for an upvote
Have I been under a rock? When did these get released
I'm sure it was publicised on your regular sources of tech news for products that are not good value.
I almost every Apple but these look like a rip, thats basically a laptop at that price
My god these things are ugly. Looks cheap and nasty.
And I thought Beats Pro were expensive back in the day at $500