AirPods Max review: the good, the bad and a mic test

16 dec. 2020
259 364 Vizionare

Apple’s AirPods Max are its first noise-canceling over-ear headphones. They have a stylish design, excellent sound quality, and unique features like spatial audio. But at $550, they also come at a very premium price that’s way more expensive than competitors like Bose and Sony. Watch our whole review to see if they’re worth it for you.
Learn more:
If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy:
AirPods Max -
Like The Verge on Facebook:
Follow on Twitter:
Follow on Instagram:
Why'd You Push That Button Podcast:
The Vergecast Podcast:
More about our podcasts:
Read More:
Community guidelines:
Wallpapers from The Verge:
Subscribe to Verge Science on ROlabel, a new home base for our explorations into the future of science:

  • If you had unlimited money, which headphones would you get?

    The VergeThe VergeAcum lună
    • Not these

      Simply DazedSimply DazedAcum 21 oră
    • I'd go elsewhere .

      Gus MendezGus MendezAcum 9 Zile
    • Sony WH-1000XM4

      Joe KayaJoe KayaAcum 11 Zile
    • @Re y

      Saiful AlamSaiful AlamAcum 12 Zile
    • @Ashton Lagleva please explain to me why you would take beats, they get smoked by sony

      Fabian MayerFabian MayerAcum 17 Zile
  • I’m surprised they didn’t give these a Siri command like “hey Siri turn off my AirPods max”...

    Christopher MooreChristopher MooreAcum 3 Zile
  • Finally a detailed review on this product

    Nitish ChaudharyNitish ChaudharyAcum 5 Zile
  • This just made all headphones manufacturers angry they will be losing sales after this

    Zain UddinZain UddinAcum 17 Zile
  • These are underpriced tbf

    Zain UddinZain UddinAcum 17 Zile
  • this review are just another level! The script are so well-made and well delivered

    do nguyendo nguyenAcum 18 Zile
  • too much sibilance in this video

    Serge B.Serge B.Acum 19 Zile
  • Apple is selling this frustrating headphones for $1.275 (yes, dolar$) in Brazil, at current day rate. It's unbelievable considering the limitations and this case. Thanks for this review.

    Sérgio RossiniSérgio RossiniAcum 19 Zile
  • The worst tech channel on YT.

    Afro SageAfro SageAcum 23 Zile
    • Hater hater

      just your typical hamsterjust your typical hamsterAcum 18 Zile
  • Glad you pointed out that the light colored headbands are not such a good idea. That is what I assumed, so I ordered the AirPod max in black. Will probably buy an extra set of ear cushions in green. I learned quite a bit from your review. Thanks for being thorough.

    Mark MathosianMark MathosianAcum 26 Zile
  • the sound department is lacking. these only offer the lowest bitrate possible. better spend half and get a decent set of sony 1000mx3's that come with AptX HD and LDAC support for all your lossless high quality audio files. i expected innovation not down-vation. apple could have used their airplay API, you know, the one that lets you transmit lossless audio, UNCOMPRESSED, from your phone to any airplay device, like airport express or home theater receiver, for example. but who am i to judge a company using its fading user base to milk a product that clearly cannot be substantiated beyond the apple zealots.

    BobRooneyBobRooneyAcum 26 Zile
  • When you walk, do you hear your walk when wearing it? I have a bose quiet comfort 35, I can clearly hear my shoes making contact with ground, this is what I am saying hear your walk. Wonder does it happen with AirPods max?

    Meiqiqi CafeMeiqiqi CafeAcum 28 Zile
  • Replacement 69$ - I see what you did there Apple 😉

    yozflyyozflyAcum 28 Zile
  • Did you guys add the speaker next to the battery

    The only x 1The only x 1Acum 28 Zile
  • I don't think Apple meant for the AirPods Max to be a regular everyday use product, but it was meant as a brand setting luxury item that is intentionally too expensive to create a desire for Apple brand. If you could afford everything Apple made, then there is no longing left for the brand. So Apple has to create a product that is highly desireable but so expensive that most people cannot get it and most people is left wanting more Apple brands. I think that is the psychology of the Airpods Max. It is definately an excellent product, but not worth what they are asking for it, and meant to be just out of reach so that you are left wanting something you cannot have.

    Rob OoRob OoAcum lună
  • Ahh yeah, apple needs Johnny ive to come back

    BangARangggBangARangggAcum lună
  • This video was different not so much verge like but I absolutely loved it, not gonna lie

    Amir SohailAmir SohailAcum lună
  • The light coil lily signal because crayon perioperaively depend barring a abstracted colt. motionless, spicy aunt

    Breanna PrattBreanna PrattAcum lună
  • Beats solo pro ftw

    R SnrR SnrAcum lună
  • in audio it is a mortal sin to switch off anything except tubes.

    grim dawngrim dawnAcum lună
  • yup yup

    grim dawngrim dawnAcum lună
  • Why is everyone idiots? Lol It has to toggle a 3rd option in Bluetooth menu for using off button on the transparency button....

    ανώνυμοςανώνυμοςAcum lună
  • 1:04 Please buy a bigger mask... Otherwise a gret vid!

    Miha VušnikMiha VušnikAcum lună
  • Really great review. But two things to remember. 1) Twice the price never translates to twice the sound quality. If you’re lucky twice the price gets you a 20% improvement. The consensus amongst audiophiles, is that these headphones are a bargain, for the tech and sound quality. 2) HD Audio is meaningless compared to what Apple is doing here. Yes their AAC is low bit rate, but the true magic is the processing power of the H1 chips taking that bit rate and translating\transforming it into high fidelity sound (at a much lower power consumption rate, and far better connectivity rate than LDAC). What Apple is doing with computationally processed sound to create wider sound stage, spatial audio, and noise cancelling that doesn’t impact sound quality negatively - is unprecedented!

    davesouthafricadavesouthafricaAcum lună
    • Fire 🔥

      alida flusalida flusAcum lună
  • I like this guy. I think he deserves more of his shot and less b-rolls.

    山内淳カイル山内淳カイルAcum lună
    • Good job 👌👍

      alida flusalida flusAcum lună
  • This was a great review. The point about the lack of an Apple Music HD or LDAC or any kind of hi-fi genuinely gave me a lot to think about beyond the usual stuff everybody else has been saying. Like, I don't subscribe to Tidal or anything, but all the same, I am an Apple Music subscriber and if I'm paying $550 for these, I would like the option of higher quality audio-even if it is barely perceptible. The Sony headphones got more attractive after this review.

    Tom EllaTom EllaAcum lună
  • Sony's mics were much better.

    Fight For FreedomFight For FreedomAcum lună
  • 🏓🏸🌟🌘🌗🎌🎌⛲⛺🚿💈🌁🌖🌪🌤🎌🎌⛲⛺⛈⛅🎾 *Jesus Christ is the only true God!* *The one God who rose from the dead and lives forever.* *Jesus Christ is the only one qualified to give us eternal life.* *also heal their bodies.* (look up and ask HIM)

    Julius MadrowJulius MadrowAcum lună
  • No way it's worth the price. Go to hell apple

    Aleksandre KazarianiAleksandre KazarianiAcum lună
  • Great video!

    TimothéeTimothéeAcum lună
  • Best review I've seen so far for AirPods Max.

    Kim KohKim KohAcum lună
  • This is a fantastic review! Chris needs to cover more video reviews!

    Alma VHAlma VHAcum lună
  • wow, the AirPods Max microphone was much, much more clear...that's why they are so expensive...people need to stop complaining about the price...if you can't afford them then get something else...simple as that...i love the simplicity...the removable ear piece is awesome, once the earpieces get damaged just replace them, not the whole thing...

    CeZaR NeBuNCeZaR NeBuNAcum lună
  • 35 bucks? You spent 550, what's the big deal? - Apple mindset.

    Life of LuisLife of LuisAcum lună
  • Funny being reminded that there are people out there considering other products.

    W WW WAcum lună
  • I was doing my Homework but this seemed more important.

    alida flusalida flusAcum lună
  • 03:50 - 04:00 The sound synchronization with script is best. This the by far the best product review script I've ever seen in a video.

    Vinayak IngavaleVinayak IngavaleAcum lună
  • Can’t wear this outside .. you might get robbed .

    Issie wizzieIssie wizzieAcum lună
    • seems to be good

      alida flusalida flusAcum lună
  • I love Airpods 1 and2; Airpods pro very interesting features, but I hate (HATE) in-ear earphones, Airpods Max... Too expensive. Just too expensive. I'll stick with Airpods 2 (for running cycling and being outside in general -Is good AND NECESSARY to be aware of your soundscape when outside running or cycling... and with wire headphones with noise cancellation for quality, functionality and PRICE

    Osvaldo GilOsvaldo GilAcum lună
  • That "case" is very Gayish !

    69houstontx69houstontxAcum lună
  • Cue the reports of people snatching these headphones off of people's heads.

    A BA BAcum lună
  • Video quality- Top Notch , in almost every way

    Robin AroraRobin AroraAcum lună
  • The silly lyocell briefly help because leek preliminarily deliver astride a ceaseless restaurant. enchanting, terrific throat

    Jaemarie SuazoJaemarie SuazoAcum lună
  • Best consumer tech product review ever. Instantly my new favourite reviewer. ❤️

    Χαράλαμπος ΤοκατλίδηςΧαράλαμπος ΤοκατλίδηςAcum lună
  • Hardware designers: try to separate left and right speaker as far as possible for best sound stage. Apple: makes everything come from the front with technology. Thanks apple, we needed to make our headphone sound like a single speaker.

    thenitheniAcum lună
  • Which sounds better this or the sony wmx4(with LDAC on)

    John OsamJohn OsamAcum lună
  • they are designed like square-ish duck eggs, that's not 'top-notch' Both Sony and Bose are better in terms of design.

    thenitheniAcum lună
  • Aw man i thought they had our friend who did the google buds review

    SSAcum lună
  • 1:34 anyone noticed a cry? More audible on headphones

    kotaru keertikotaru keertiAcum lună
  • Stop bitin your nails bro

    CopperHeroinCopperHeroinAcum lună
  • XM4 still the king!

    Leslie MolinaLeslie MolinaAcum lună
  • A great review and he seems like a really nice guy but... his skin is not really suited for HD... There, I've said it. I'm not proud but it's what you're all thinking.

    FloodzieFloodzieAcum lună
  • i think how easy they are to replace the pads is kinda a good reason these might beat others. cuz are other headphones tht easy to replace or clean em?

    Abiy BattleSpellAbiy BattleSpellAcum lună
  • Thanks for pointing out that apple doesn’t have a HiFi Tier, nor does Apple Music support spatial audio....which is just weird if you’re selling that as a feature.

    Rod LittleRod LittleAcum lună
  • It’s a bra. No, it’s a purse bag!

    Eric TingkingcoEric TingkingcoAcum lună
  • That music is creepy

    Sipho tchalaSipho tchalaAcum lună
  • very nice review!

    Ankit RaiAnkit RaiAcum lună
  • Someone get this guy some proactiv

    TheReelRealTheReelRealAcum lună

    M.Poorvesh MuthramanM.Poorvesh MuthramanAcum lună
  • This is a beautiful product and everyone loves beauty. Sony and Bose are made of cheap plastic.

    AZAZAcum lună
  • I got the Sony Mx3, the earlier version, for 250$ before the Mx4s came out which I thought was expensive and I love them. Some day when I have money to burn, maybe I’ll get the max. The problem with Sony is that there is no app for the Mac, only iOS, so you can’t set the noise cancelling algorithm and the headphone can become noisy randomly.

    seattlevkkseattlevkkAcum lună
  • The case is absurd.

    Alejandro Rodríguez BasurtoAlejandro Rodríguez BasurtoAcum lună
  • Alas! Finally a review that addresses sound quality issues as well as my favourite cans: the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3. Congrats Chris for your thorough review.

    Nuno SilvaNuno SilvaAcum lună
  • So they are capable of the lossless sound, just that Apple Music doesn’t support it? (Was a bit confused on the phrasing) And I assume that’s only when plugged in, for any headphones. Not wirelessly for any brand

    Gregory AlbertGregory AlbertAcum lună
  • Somewhat 🤔⁉️

    Golden EagleGolden EagleAcum lună
  • PHENOMENAL review! Watched so many tuber reviews but this by far was the most direct, professional and comprehensive. I love them both but MKBHD and DaveLee should take notes. SUBSCRIBED!

    De ErvDe ErvAcum lună
  • AirPods max II will hopefully fix the kinks

    Tdrex820Tdrex820Acum lună
  • These headphones are ridiculous. I'll get some Sony or Sennheiser instead . And that's coming from a guy that has both the iMac, MacBook Pro, iPad, Apple TV and iPhone.

    Martin Angelo SunesenMartin Angelo SunesenAcum lună
  • For the price these should have come with USB-C (since they’re pushing it on other devices besides the Mac such as the iPad Pro), and should have done a lot more to outperform the competition at lower prices because it doesn’t even approach the highest tier in some of them. So I agree with a lot of your takes here, especially on the lack of a lossless codec on Apple’s part at this price point with no ready option to listen to CD quality material. And you nailed it on just how ridiculous that “case” is. Also, why does everyone only care about bass when talking about their SQ? Guess that speaks to low standards in general.

    E. O.E. O.Acum lună
  • Sony works with all devices so how does these compare to other brands if you're not exclusive with apple's ecosystem.

    SkeletomaniaSkeletomaniaAcum lună
  • Nice video and script. The face mask is triggering my OCD 😭

    VashmetFranzVashmetFranzAcum lună
  • Listening (or watching) this video on XM4.

    Lukas LohLukas LohAcum lună
  • Is that a Nomad case?

    Vinc TayVinc TayAcum lună
  • Thanks for the non biased review

    Nashon LibertyNashon LibertyAcum lună
  • do you shower???! lol

    Art Netic FieldArt Netic FieldAcum lună
  • I hear reviewers (including this one) mentioning that most people won't hear the difference between high fidelity and low-quality audio such the service Apple offers, but I believe if you don't have impaired hearing or a 'tin ear' almost everyone can tell the difference especially if compared back-to-back. Unfortunately for the younger generations truly good quality audio is out of reach for most people and the selection of music available is generally much reduced if one wants the best.

    Jeff HarperJeff HarperAcum lună
  • His ears are not even fully covered

    Mike ChouMike ChouAcum lună
  • Well that was a great review!

    nIlS F.nIlS F.Acum lună
  • Awesome review 🤘🏻

    buzzbatra3buzzbatra3Acum lună
  • Great review. I'm baffled by the way Apple designed the bra to carry the headphones with no regard of protecting these very expensive headphones. Furthermore I can see scuffmarks allready on the reviewers silver ones so imaging what they will look like after some months of usage. They look great and understand sound great too but the price is too high for what they offer compared to the MX4 or even my B&W PX headphones that everyone allways seem to forget they exist.... If I had unlimited money I'll probably order the black ones just because I could and than wait for a better case to carry them outside of my house.

    Olaf van der TierOlaf van der TierAcum lună
  • The do have a power button...

    JohnEnergy2012JohnEnergy2012Acum lună
  • what if the top mesh breaks?

    ZangZangAcum lună
  • Another mediocre apple thing

    Jo JoJo JoAcum lună
  • Legit comprehensive. Well reviewed 👍🏼

    Shaishav GandhiShaishav GandhiAcum lună
  • Congratulations on that review really unbiased review 👌

    Robert SpinksRobert SpinksAcum lună
  • I bought the beats studio 3 and I love them and also Powerbeats pro both sounds great

    Moped MikeMoped MikeAcum lună
  • Hope Sony is working on their own version of Spatial Audio. Would make it an instant buy for me.

    Mister DragzonMister DragzonAcum lună
  • Lmao everyones roasting that stupid case, I love it

    Simon HoonSimon HoonAcum lună
  • Am I the only one who notice that The Verge haven't make a review of Sony WH 1000XM4/3 headphones 🥴

    Naing Aung Lu LuNaing Aung Lu LuAcum lună
  • You're defending headphones costing as much as 2 pixel 4a . WOW.

    Pratik ThakarePratik ThakareAcum lună
  • Superb review. You answered questions--such as whether the fabric on the silver model gets discolored over time--that other reviewers ignore while saying things like "ooooh, shiny." Thanks for helping this consumer make an informed decision.

    uptown3636uptown3636Acum lună
  • solid review! glad I kept my xms!

    RavMan ITRavMan ITAcum lună
  • its $500 in the usa and $900 IN AUSTRALIA. australia is getting ripped off

    That Aussie GuyThat Aussie GuyAcum lună
  • I still stand by that a lo of people don't look at this as a business point of view. of course a company well known like apple is going to give the consumer everything in one product because how are they going to out do themselves the next year?

    Miguel Angel Rosado BillionarioMiguel Angel Rosado BillionarioAcum lună
  • Thanks for including the mics comparisons!

    droooshdroooshAcum lună
  • I love how he’s listening to folklore😍

    Triana FTriana FAcum lună
  • Sony's are Apple's half price on Amazon oftentimes.

    vitalisvitalisAcum lună
  • doesn't work in wired mode. what.....????? (when battery runs out)

    Carlos VigilCarlos VigilAcum lună
  • $600 . TAX

    Vanguards of KemetVanguards of KemetAcum lună
  • Wow the Verge being rational unbiased.

    Nikhilesh BagwalaNikhilesh BagwalaAcum lună