The AirPods Max is thought to be some of the best headphones because of a number of things. But we also think Apple’s AirPods Max 2, or next-generation attempt at an over-ear headset, could be better in many ways.
Since December 2020, when AirPods Max first came out, we’ve been testing them. Even though we’ve been using the Apple AirPods Max for more than a year, there are still some things we’d like to see in the future.
There haven’t been many rumors about the AirPods Max 2, but if we had to guess, we’d say that Apple will eventually release a new version of one of the best noise-canceling headphones we’ve ever used. AirPods don’t come out on the same schedule as the iPhone, but it would make sense to update the headset two years after the first version came out, in December 2022. That is just a guess, though.
1. AirPods Max 2: New case
We like the look of the AirPods Max, especially the range of fun colors that go well with the headset’s retro style. However, the case is a big problem. The “Smart Case” doesn’t protect the expensive headphones very well, leaving the headband open and vulnerable to damage. Since AirPods Max isn’t waterproof either, the case that comes with them puts the ports at risk if a water bottle leaks or if your bag gets wet.
For now, the best thing to do is to buy one of the best cases and covers for AirPods Max. Several of the cases we’ve tried are cheap and, like the Smart Case, have magnets that put the AirPods Max into a low-power mode when they’re put away.
2. AirPods Max 2: Power button
The AirPods Max has a huge quirk: there is no power button, which is different from most of our devices and even other Apple products. It’s weird that AirPods Max doesn’t have a power button. It’s something we think about almost every time we use them.
Even though the AirPods Max go into low-power mode after being still for a few minutes or when they’re in the magnetic smart case, Apple should still let you turn them off completely. There’s no reason why the Digital Crown button can’t also be used to turn the device on or off.
3. Better battery life
The 20-hour battery life of the AirPods Max is nothing to scoff at. 20 hours is enough time for a commute, a work day, or a flight. Even when AirPods Max isn’t being used, the low power mode does a good job of keeping them charged.
But some of the best wireless headphones that aren’t the AirPods Max have batteries that last longer. For example, with ANC turned on, the Sony WH-1000XM5 can last up to 30 hours. This is a big difference between the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the AirPods Max. We want the next-generation AirPods Max to last as long as the 1000XM5. Read More; Audio Pro C5 MkII Review: Casting The Net Wider
4. Greater audio format support
The AirPods Max sounds almost as good as it gets with Apple’s current wireless codec, AAC, in terms of resolution and detail. But since companies like Sony are investing in new wireless transmission codecs with faster speeds and more bandwidth, Apple might want to put on its engineering hat and come up with something new.
In order to do this, the AirPods Max 2 will need a new codec that matches or beats LDAC’s 990Kbps maximum bitrate and 24-bit depth. Right now, AAC can only handle 16-bit depth and a 96kHz sample rate, which is 264Kbps. That sounds like a CD, but it’s not Hi-Res Audio.
If Apple really wants to sell these as the best wireless headphones ever, it will have to show audiophiles that it is putting in twice as much effort as before to get the best sound quality possible.
5. Lower price
We also want some wiggle room when it comes to the price. When they first came out, the Apple AirPods Max cost $549, which was a lot for a pair of wireless headphones.
The Bose Noise-Canceling 700, which are the company’s best wireless headphones, only cost $379, while the Sony WH-1000XM4, which were the best noise-canceling headphones of the year, only cost $349. The over-ears from Apple cost $200 more. Read Also; What is Apple Spatial Audio, How Does it Work, and How to Get It?
We know that Apple’s products look and feel high-end, but many people thought it was too much to pay $200 more for a pair of wireless headphones. We don’t expect to see anything under $300, but even a $100 price cut at launch could make the higher price of the headphones easier to swallow.
Want to find the best headphones that block out noise? Check out the new Sony WH-1000XM5, the Bose Noise-Cancelling 700, and, of course, the original AirPods Max.