AirPods Max first impressions

Gruber and Matt Panzarino talked about this on The Talk Show. The AirPods Max will go to sleep without putting them into the case. The case just puts them into an even lower power mode because they don’t need to spend juice to run the sensors that tell when you’ve put them on.

I may have to revise my initial impressions on the audio quality. After seeing it posted on a Reddit thread, I tested out Headphone Accommodations in the settings and am pleasantly surprised by them.

Settings - Accessibility - Audio/Visual - Headphone Accommodations

Then go through a quick setup to adjust the EQ. I’m finding the “Balanced Tone” setting to be a good improvement so far.


Maybe I’m alone on this one, but it still seems like a better idea to put them in the case. :man_shrugging:

Why? It’s not like my iPhone, iPad, iMac, or MacBook Pro ever get turned all the way off.

We don’t know how different the power mode of the AirPods Max is compared to a sleeping MacBook Pro or iPhone.

If anything they seem to use less battery in sleep mode than other Apple devices, which makes sense considering that they aren’t doing stuff in the background the way an iOS or macOS device is.

Slightly off topic, but I am very interested on the take (by the incredible @BrianRoemmele on Twitter) that the significant thing about these is that Apple now has us wearing a computer with spatial sensing on our heads and its a small step to add a visor/display. Apple glasses!


What I’d be interested to see is some sort of Qi - like charging ability in a stand at one point in the future. You just put your headphones on some sort of cradle and the charge until the next time they are used. Granted, they already have a great 20 hour life, but this would be a neat feature.

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Well, I actually had occasion to use the case today. I had a videoconference and wanted to use by Jabra Bluetooth headset (based on some tests with voice memos I think the AirPods Max will make a good videoconference headset, but a job interview is not the place to test that out for the first time). Problem is the Jabra headset kept disconnecting with the audio switching back to the AirPods Max. I ended up having to put them in the case to get them “off” enough that the Jabra could take over.


Very nice tip!

Apparently this also works for AirPods Pro and 2nd gen as well as a few other Apple/Beats headphones!

I haven’t tried any of the others yet, but will certainly be giving it a try on my AirPods Pro.

Left to my own devices I would have every available cent invested (aka, SPENT) on tech gear!

Fortunately I have to answer to my wife who keeps me somewhat grounded! I still have more stuff than any sane human being should!

I think I may be among a few kindred spirits in this group! :slightly_smiling_face:


Lots of discussion of the AirPods Max on Connected episode 325. Federico thinks that these are the best set of wireless headphones he’s ever tried (though not as good as his $2000 wired headphones connected to a Sony Walkman playing lossless audio files).

Looks like there’s a bunch of discussion on this week’s ATP (as expected) but I haven’t had a chance to listen to that yet.

For those curious about what “off” means for the AirPods Max in and out of the stupid looking case, Apple has posted a kbase article:

  • If you set your AirPods Max down and leave them stationary for 5 minutes, they go into a low power mode to preserve battery charge. After 72 stationary hours out of the Smart Case, your AirPods Max go into a lower power mode that turns off Bluetooth and Find My to preserve battery charge further.
  • If you put your AirPods Max in the Smart Case when you’re not using them, they go into a low power mode immediately to preserve battery charge. After 18 hours in the Smart Case, your AirPods Max go into an ultralow power mode that turns off Bluetooth and Find My and maximizes battery life.

So essentially by not using the case, it will take 5 minutes longer for them to go to sleep.


It does seem as if Apple is describing three low power states (low power, lower power, and ultralow power) in that document, and that the lowest one is only activated when the 'Pods are in their case.

I really do hope for a decent travel case for these, but for around the house the purse will be fine :slight_smile:

I’m a card-carrying audiophile, so I’m approaching these from a slightly different place than most, but I have to say I’ve been impressed and frustrated in equal measure by these headphones.

I was very impressed by their sound—it exceeded any expectations I had for them. But they are so much less comfortable than any of their competitors that it feels tragic. I literally cannot keep them on my head for more than 30-45 minutes at a time without soreness, even after trying to adjust the fit and placement of the headband over the past few days.

If anyone is interested in a lengthy review of them, including some comparative notes, I hit publish on mine earlier today:


This is obviously something that varies a lot from person to person. I’ve just been listing to Marco on ATP, and while he doesn’t seem to have as many issues as @marius, he doesn’t find them to be “all day comfortable.” In contrast, I find them quite comfy and have worn them for hours at a time in the few days that I’ve had them. It’s all the size and shape of your head, I guess.

Definitely. Fit is a very individual thing, and I’m mainly annoyed because I want to be able to just enjoy these and not worry about comfort/fit/etc.

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@MacSparky’s thoughts:

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I’ve been trying to get myself excited enough all week to rationalize the purchase of a set of these for myself and I just can’t get there lol. I’m going to keep enjoying them from afar (this version, anyway).

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Great review Marius. Audio is so subjective that one truly needs to spend time with the headphones to decide if these are the right fit for them.

On a side note, you seem to be a on a returning spree with Apple. First your iPhone and now potentially AirPods Max. It’s actually good to hear others consider technology for their needs and decide not to purchase because of various reasons. I find that many people we read or hear from (podcasts etc) tend to get every Apple device which can be a form of peer pressure.

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