AirPods Max 2: Everything We Know One Year After the High-End Headphones Launched

A year ago today, Apple launched the AirPods Max, marking the company’s first push into the market for advanced over-ear headphones under its own brand. A year later, rumors of a successor are thin on the ground, but there have been some indications as to what customers can expect from ‌AirPods Max‌ 2.

A report from BloombergMark Gurman’s Mark Gurman said that ‌AirPods Max‌, then thought to be called “AirPods Studio”, had suffered from several development challenges, such as problems with the headband being too tight, leading to more delays and downscaling of functionality.

It was originally thought that the ‌AirPods Max‌ would offer unique customization with interchangeable headbands and ear cups, repeating the concept behind the Apple Watch straps. In the midst of these delays and development problems, Bloomberg predicted that Apple would drop the concept with a replaceable headband to speed up production.

Evidence of this concept can be seen in the final ‌AirPods Max‌ design. Users can easily remove the headband from the AirPods Max without any separation of the headphones. To do this, users simply remove the magnetic ear pads, fold the ear cups flat and insert a SIM card release tool into a small hole above the speaker.

Once the ear cups are removed, the spokes on each side of the headband reveal a small Lightning connector to transfer power and potential data between the ear cups. It is possible that this headband removal system is a remnant of the original, more modular approach to ‌AirPods Max‌.

In addition, it was thought that ‌AirPods Max‌ would have left and right ear detection so that users could reverse the orientation of the headphones, as well as touchpads on the ear cups for controls. This appears to have been replaced by Digital Crown from Apple Watch in the final product. It seems plausible that some of these features, including major customization, could get to the second iteration of ‌AirPods Max‌.

Rumors also suggested that the ‌AirPods Max‌ would be available in two variants, including a more affordable sports-oriented model. Mixed record-breaker Jon Prosser repeatedly said that the irAirPods Max‌ would come in a “sports-like variant” for $ 350 and a “luxury variant” for $ 599. While Prosser’s $ 599 was not far from the final $ 549 PAirPods Max‌ price tag, the cheaper $ 350 “sports variant” has yet to emerge. Apple may still launch this lower version of the AirPods Max at some point in the future.

airpods max colorsIrAirPods Max‌ in silver, room gray, pink, green and blue

The last thing we heard about the next generation of AirPods Max was a report from Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman in May this year, who explained that Apple was not actively working on a new model, but had considered launching new colors.

As ‌AirPods Max‌ is now a year old, Apple could choose to update the device with new color options. The company has chosen to do this with other products, such as the iPhone 12 and HomePod mini, and it would now be particularly appropriate for ‌AirPods Max‌ given the general clutter in Apple’s current range of colors across its devices.


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