Apple announces AirPods Max

Mine too! But then I will put them under the tree and there they will sit until Christmas morning. So, please do share your thoughts before then :slight_smile:


Great to hear. I’ll be happy to share my impressions.

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Oh come on! The least one would expect from a case for a $550 device is for it to be of high quality and to offer a basic degree of protection. Of course, one isn’t talking about extreme/rugged protection offered by niche cases here but of doing the basic, functional job of a case.

Here is what Matthew Panzarino has to say about the AirPods Max case:

Oh, and the case is just as ridiculous as it looks. Sorry. The construction here is just as dodgy as the MagSafe Duo. It feels cheap, and like it will dirty easily, not exactly what you want from a ‘travel case’. And it looks like a butt.

And John Gruber, hardly a Apple hater, calls it “weird” and “bafflingly inadequate.”


I agree that it’s pretty worthless from any sort of a serious “protective” point of view, and the fact that the market doesn’t find it acceptable is definitely a problem.

I just can’t help but think that Apple has to have designed and tested this case for some purpose, though. It almost feels like the point is to maybe guard the headphones against scratches. Or to prevent the ear cups from catching on something and de-magnetizing from the headphones. Or something that doesn’t involve “protection” in any serious way.

Their website basically says, en toto:

When stored in their soft, slim Smart Case, AirPods Max enter an ultra‑low‑power state that preserves charge.

It would be nice if they clarified their messaging a bit. :slight_smile:

What I’m wondering though is whether ruggedizing a case of the same general style (leaving the headband exposed, over the ear cups) would even be a sane option - or whether a more “rugged” case is going to basically have to be a giant square-ish case that encases everything.

Just got my shipping notice! :grin:


It is more of a fashion statement/accessory than anything else.

Agree 100%. It’s almost certainly not designed as a case to protect the device in any meaningful way. “Here, you need a way to activate the magnetic shutoff - and it might as well look cool.”

Gruber and Matt Panzarino talk a bunch about the AirPods Max on the latest episode of The Talk Show.

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I wound up snagging a pair for pickup this morning.

I’ve only had them for maybe 30 minutes, but initial impressions are good.

I do hope the headband loosens up a little so the ear cups don’t touch or risk hitting each other when storing them. Metal hitting metal is not cool.

At the moment I prefer the transparent mode, which comes astonishingly close to open back headphones. It also tames the bass a bit and makes them sound more neutral to me.

Excited to see everyone’s opinions as deliveries hit later today.


Moved to impressions thread

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The Verge is calling the case “an abomination.” I’ll stop about this now! :upside_down_face:

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I’ve had mine a couple of weeks now, and I’m well satisfied in all three areas.

Device switching works well, and makes sense. If I’m listening to on my phone, and open my MacBook Pro, it offers to switch. It’s really great, and low friction. It’s the advantage of having one company make the hardware and software.

The noise reduction is phenomenal. I can barely, barely, hear the white noise machine in my office when it’s on. Otherwise, dead quiet, and all I can hear is my heart beating. Really amazing.

The sound is amazing too. I haven’t heard $50,000 headphones connected to a tube amp set in marble with a $100,000 turntable playing rare vinyl, but, they sound great. I’ve listened to a broad range of music on them both from Apple and high-res FLAC tracks from through the Onkyo HF player on iOS. Everything’s there that you want to be there, including the nice quiet background in which to listen.

I think of the case as a sleeve, with minimal protection. (case thread)

The blue color is nice, and a nice change from the normal black/space gray/silver/rose gold palette.

5/5 stars for me.


The issue with lossy coded and mixing is a very different issue.
The issue there is that each audio stream needs to be encoded (to be recorded in the first place) decoded (to be mixed), and then re-encoded as a final mix. That is 2 encoding operations, at each one you loose some signal, that is without all the encoding decoding re-encoding operations required for audio editing and for applying fx.
You don’t need to have a super system or headphones to hear the difference between lossless and lossy codecs. But, there is a difference as long as the music is properly mixed and mastered - which it is for most of the music I care for. Is also true that some people cannot hear a difference no matter what in which case I don’t have any advice to give.

I think things are more modern than that now. Once sampled by an ADC, there’s no further need to convert to or from analog, or to encode/decode. Encoding would come as a last step, if needed.

Remember DDD cds? Same thing.

The statement was about mixing and music production, I think you come from the assumption that you start from uncompressed material. Here the premise was that you don’t want to use lossless compression at all (because it doesn’t matter <- that was the statement), in that case you would need to go through a decode-encode pretty much each time you want to manipulate the audio (it does depend in part on the operation).

Off topic, but genuinely asking - are you involved in music / audio production? If so, do you know what the “gold standard” seems to currently be for recording / archiving, both in terms of format & codec?

If space is not an issue, WAV is always going to give you a perfect copy of your source.

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FLAC. Depending of course on the quality of the source.


FLAC is the most common format, it is non-proprietary, it is lossless, but compressed (as in ZIP). Best for storage.

If you need to process the recording you are going to use an uncompressed format to lighten the load on the CPU, such as WAV and AIFF (or most serious software will do that for you in the background).

Most music is distributed at 44.1khz 16bit - even if now some providers offer 24 bit - and some offer lossless like Tidal (which uses FLAC in the background).

Home studio production is usually done at 44.100 or 48.000khz 24 bit, semi pro at 96khz and pro at 192khz (not always).

The higher up you go the better your equipment must be - and the marginal improvement can be very very slim or noticeable at all as you move up.

So most likely depending on the source you need to record 44.1khz 16 bit is good enough for archiving (eg. CDs). Obviously there is not much of a point archiving mp3 material other than in it’s format - the case may be different for some more obscure codecs which may be harder to find support for in the future.

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