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Thread: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

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    Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    These $/£549 over-ear headphones feature computational audio and 20 hours battery life.
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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    At that price are they lined with gold pressed latinum and give me Oo-mox?

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    Beyond ridiculous! And guess how repairable they will be?! But they will keep doing this until we stop buying it. In my book, it's time to say enough is enough.

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    So they have finally absorbed "beats" into the Apple brand. Likely to be the same average quality, but with the apple tax on top.

    Lets put that side though and assume they sound as good or better than the current best in class options....then you get onto the looks. The headphones themselves are strikingly ugly, and then the case they include is..well..i honestly cannot think of the right words to describe how awful that looks.

    It does rather imply their target market is the type of person who likes to carry around a small handbag though!

    The thing is, they did the same trick with AirPods - take a mediocre at best set of earphones, make them look ridiculous, and double the price. People wear them, they look absolutely ridiculous, but regardless Apple proceed to sell millions of the things.

    I just don't get Apple anymore, or why people still give them their money. Mind you, I don't get fashion or art either, so I guess its for the same reason!

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    These have been criticised by everybody - even the Apple die hards. Overpriced, underperforming and as one put it - that bag is saying steal me!
    Old puter - still good enuff till I save some pennies!

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    Not for £549. Not when there are so many competitors with high credentials for far less than that.

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    "Computational audio" sounds like a buzzword for X-Fi, fake surround type stuff. Or generally using compression and smart EQ to compensate for poor hardware / provide dynamic and punchy sound. It's probably going to be impressive to people used to bog standard hardware but I'm sure to people who use even half decent stuff to listen to music as intended, it'll sound as if it has been screwed with too much.

    For me, I keep the fancy effects on when I'm playing a game or something. But if I actually want to enjoy music, they all get turned off. Someone has been paid a fortune and spent ages getting it to sound just-so, and they want to just screw with all that.

    £549 could buy you some very good kit by people who have been making sound equipment for decades or more. Not Apple who make computing devices and, around a decade ago, were being told off for including earphones so bad they were damaging hearing at normal volumes.

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    For me, I keep the fancy effects on when I'm playing a game or something. But if I actually want to enjoy music, they all get turned off. Someone has been paid a fortune and spent ages getting it to sound just-so, and they want to just screw with all that.
    Thing is though, this is a bluetooth headset - so you are never going to get high quality sound out of it, and it will be useless for gaming due to latency. Sure AptX etc help, but you'll never get audiophile level sound over bluetooth with current technologies.

    Which makes a £549 bluetooth headset even more ridiculous

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    I'm probably better qualified than many to judge on these, having owned Stax Electrostatic "earspeakers" pretty much my entire adult life. And unless Stax have gone downmarket, the prices of these Apple cans don't even hit entry level for Stax. And Stax are by no means the only, or even anywhere near the most expensive "audiophile" headphones.

    I also have a relatively good (well over £100) set of 'normal' Sennheiser corded headphones for 'standard' use. And on top of that, just (few months ago) bought a £340 set of Sennheiser blootooth Momentum 3 'cordless' headphones, having considered several other alternatives, including Sony, Bose, and even Marshall, etc.

    I like my headphones. And I'm exactly the type of buyer these are aimed at.

    So, would I buy these?

    The only honest answer I can give is .... maybe. Well, not now, having bought those Momentums. But if these had been available a few months ago, they'd have been on the shortlist.

    What would not have influenced, or even impressed me, is appearance. Or Apple branding. But conversely, price would not have stopped me .... provided they were good enough to justify it. But given that they're a clear couple of hundred quid north, in price, of the Momentums, they would have needed to be significantly better.

    But it has been the case, for a very long time, that with audio gear, of any type, once you get above "mass market" level, where pricing is generally pretty competitive, you start to get to the point where each incremental improvement in performance gets increasingly expensive. For instance, top Stax units would see you put a "3" on the front of the price of those Apple units, and still not have enough.

    They're edging into a fairly specialised and very selective market segment.

    My issue, in the price point they are at is that there are a LOT of very strong competitors, with very strong histories and reputations. So unless Apple expect to sell them on styling and branding (which, let's face it, they often do) they have their work cut out for them.

    Back to the crunch question .... would I buy them? Not without firstly, listening to them, and secondly, being convinced they were good enough to justify the premium over the Sennheisers. But if they were, well, yeah.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    My issue, in the price point they are at is that there are a LOT of very strong competitors, with very strong histories and reputations. So unless Apple expect to sell them on styling and branding (which, let's face it, they often do) they have their work cut out for them.
    I think the Apple strategy is to target those who have money but have never really cared about good sound. They might look at some £500 headphones and go "whaaa?" but they probably have never even considered their existance.

    I own a couple of pairs of decent headphones (Grados and Sennheisers) with a great big ugly wire coming from each. Each purchase was made with a lot of consideration and trialing. Which one I use depends on my mood.

    My suspicion is that the Apple strategy will be to snare people in the store who are clearly minted (having just been upsold to a £2K macbook pro for emails and browsing) and have telltale white earbuds in. They will then show them these thing with their dynamic, bastardised sound and they'll say "WOW! I didn't know music could sound so good". And they'll lay down £549 having been blown away by music sounding punchy and loud. They'll have trialled it in the worst possible environment and will have never sat in a dimly lit back room in a hi-fi shop, listening for subtleties.

    They are going to make a mint.

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    I'll stick with my wired Sony MDR-V150's thanks!, £30 and sound great!

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    I'm probably better qualified than many to judge on these, having owned Stax Electrostatic "earspeakers" pretty much my entire adult life. And unless Stax have gone downmarket, the prices of these Apple cans don't even hit entry level for Stax. And Stax are by no means the only, or even anywhere near the most expensive "audiophile" headphones.

    I also have a relatively good (well over £100) set of 'normal' Sennheiser corded headphones for 'standard' use. And on top of that, just (few months ago) bought a £340 set of Sennheiser blootooth Momentum 3 'cordless' headphones, having considered several other alternatives, including Sony, Bose, and even Marshall, etc.

    I like my headphones. And I'm exactly the type of buyer these are aimed at.

    So, would I buy these?

    The only honest answer I can give is .... maybe. Well, not now, having bought those Momentums. But if these had been available a few months ago, they'd have been on the shortlist.

    What would not have influenced, or even impressed me, is appearance. Or Apple branding. But conversely, price would not have stopped me .... provided they were good enough to justify it. But given that they're a clear couple of hundred quid north, in price, of the Momentums, they would have needed to be significantly better.

    But it has been the case, for a very long time, that with audio gear, of any type, once you get above "mass market" level, where pricing is generally pretty competitive, you start to get to the point where each incremental improvement in performance gets increasingly expensive. For instance, top Stax units would see you put a "3" on the front of the price of those Apple units, and still not have enough.

    They're edging into a fairly specialised and very selective market segment.

    My issue, in the price point they are at is that there are a LOT of very strong competitors, with very strong histories and reputations. So unless Apple expect to sell them on styling and branding (which, let's face it, they often do) they have their work cut out for them.

    Back to the crunch question .... would I buy them? Not without firstly, listening to them, and secondly, being convinced they were good enough to justify the premium over the Sennheisers. But if they were, well, yeah.
    They're beats cans - you wouldn't buy them after hearing them. Debate closed
    Old puter - still good enuff till I save some pennies!

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    Quote Originally Posted by 3dcandy View Post
    They're beats cans - you wouldn't buy them after hearing them. Debate closed
    I wanna know if they come with bits of scrap metal in to make them heavier?

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    I'm probably better qualified than many to judge on these, having owned Stax Electrostatic "earspeakers" pretty much my entire adult life. And unless Stax have gone downmarket, the prices of these Apple cans don't even hit entry level for Stax. And Stax are by no means the only, or even anywhere near the most expensive "audiophile" headphones.

    I also have a relatively good (well over £100) set of 'normal' Sennheiser corded headphones for 'standard' use. And on top of that, just (few months ago) bought a £340 set of Sennheiser blootooth Momentum 3 'cordless' headphones, having considered several other alternatives, including Sony, Bose, and even Marshall, etc.

    I like my headphones. And I'm exactly the type of buyer these are aimed at.

    So, would I buy these?

    The only honest answer I can give is .... maybe. Well, not now, having bought those Momentums. But if these had been available a few months ago, they'd have been on the shortlist.

    What would not have influenced, or even impressed me, is appearance. Or Apple branding. But conversely, price would not have stopped me .... provided they were good enough to justify it. But given that they're a clear couple of hundred quid north, in price, of the Momentums, they would have needed to be significantly better.

    But it has been the case, for a very long time, that with audio gear, of any type, once you get above "mass market" level, where pricing is generally pretty competitive, you start to get to the point where each incremental improvement in performance gets increasingly expensive. For instance, top Stax units would see you put a "3" on the front of the price of those Apple units, and still not have enough.

    They're edging into a fairly specialised and very selective market segment.

    My issue, in the price point they are at is that there are a LOT of very strong competitors, with very strong histories and reputations. So unless Apple expect to sell them on styling and branding (which, let's face it, they often do) they have their work cut out for them.

    Back to the crunch question .... would I buy them? Not without firstly, listening to them, and secondly, being convinced they were good enough to justify the premium over the Sennheisers. But if they were, well, yeah.
    The problem is even in the Apple price range there is massive competition from several newer boutique brands,and after going to a few shows and listening to them,I seriously can't see Apple beating them. Anyone who cares a bit about sound quality,has so many choices nowadays - far more than say 20 years ago,and even 15 years ago you could get a pair of Sennheiser HD600 headphones for £100~£200,or a Grado SR225,etc.

    Then you have newer companies as Hifiman,Meze and Audeze too,which use planar magnetic drivers and/or hybrid arrays and sound amazing. Not the same kind of sound as an electrostatic,but honestly I think even a £200 pair of Hifiman headphones would sound much better than these Apple ones.

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    I wanna know if they come with bits of scrap metal in to make them heavier?
    Yes. Yes they do!
    Old puter - still good enuff till I save some pennies!

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    Re: Apple AirPods Max wireless headphones launched

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    They're edging into a fairly specialised and very selective market segment.

    My issue, in the price point they are at is that there are a LOT of very strong competitors, with very strong histories and reputations. So unless Apple expect to sell them on styling and branding (which, let's face it, they often do) they have their work cut out for them.
    Honestly for the market segment they're aiming at, I'd either opt for Bowers & Wilkins or Sony WH-1000XM4, likely the former if purely for music.

    I think headphones are also highly subjective to the user in question, everyone has different preferences for sound production and the nuances that are layered within any given piece of music. One size really doesn't fit all very well, especially if you don't actually test these in an environment that is suited for that purpose.

    I think there will be a lot of disappointed customers who buy these, either that or they'll be missing out on the subtleties of music.

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