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AirPods Max: 8 Things You Should Know If You Buy Apple’s New Headphones


David Carnoy / CNET

We have a full review of the AirPods Max that’s packed with information for folks considering dropping $ 549 on Apple̵

7;s high-end noise-canceling wireless headphones. But not everyone wants to extract a few thousand words to find the answers to a few essential questions you may have about the AirPods Max, especially if you already own some. That’s why I’ve rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions about the AirPods Max with the corresponding answers.

In some cases, the answers may change when Apple updates the headphones firmware. If so – and maybe add new features – I’ll provide updates. Feel free to ask questions or provide AirPods Max insights in the comments section, and they may appear in a future update.

read more: Full review of Apple AirPods Max

Can I connect wirelessly to Android and other non-Apple devices?

Yes, the AirPods Max is a Bluetooth headphone and must connect to any Bluetooth audio device. You will lose some extra features though, like hands-free Siri (for voice commands) and Apple’s new spatial audio surround sound feature, which is pretty cool and only works with iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad.

To connect, simply press and hold the noise canceling button (the button that toggles between noise canceling and transparency modes) to make the headphones discoverable as a Bluetooth device. You will then find it in the Bluetooth settings menu on your other device.

The AirPods Max currently only stream AAC and not aptX, aptX HD or Sony’s LDAC codecs, which are usually compatible with Android devices. It’s possible that support for additional codecs – and additional features – could be added in the future with a firmware upgrade, but for now, there’s only AAC. That’s fine for owners of Apple devices, for which these headphones are optimized. While Android devices support AAC streaming, there are reports that they don’t handle it as well as iOS devices.

I don’t recommend Android owners to buy the AirPods Max at this point, especially considering the high price.

How do I listen in wired mode?

Unfortunately, Apple didn’t include a cable for wired listening, which would come in handy if you wanted to connect to an onboard entertainment system on an airplane (most still needed a wired connection). That’s pretty absurd when you consider the cost of the AirPods Max, even if Apple is concerned about the unused – or lightly used – accessories ending up in landfills.

The USB-C to Lightning cable supplied with the headphones is only for charging the AirPods Max and your other Apple mobile devices with a Lightning port (you still need a power adapter, but you can also use a standard USB-A Lightning cable to charge the headphones). You can’t plug that cable into your computer’s USB-C port and get no sound. Plus, you can’t use the tiny Lightning headphone adapter that used to come with iPhones to plug in a 3.5mm auxiliary cable and plug it into the headphone port of an audio device. You also don’t get any sound with that setup.

The only way to be wired is to buy Apple’s Lighting to 3.5mm audio cable, which costs $ 35. I propose to buy it. I use it more than I thought I would and the sound is a little but noticeably better going the wired route (and you can listen to lossless FLAC files on your computer if you have a supply of uncompressed digital music files).

read more: Best noise canceling headphones

Can I still get sound from the headphones if the battery is empty?

No – and that also applies to wired listening. This is different from some competing headphones such as the Sony WH-1000XM4, which have a so-called passive mode available when connected to an audio source. That said, I don’t think the absence of that feature on the AirPods Max is a big deal: you can get 1.5 hours of playtime with a short 5 minute charge, and battery life is estimated at a respectable 20 hours with noise cancellation at 50% volume.

The extra cable costs $ 35. It’s too pricey, but it’s nice to have.

David Carnoy / CNET

How do I turn them off?

Some people have complained that the AirPods Max cannot be turned off manually. However, as Apple points out, if you put your AirPods Max down and let them idle for 5 minutes, they will go into a power-saving mode to conserve battery. They do this immediately when you put them in their ‘Smart’ case, which has gotten quite negative comments (on the design), but I don’t like it nearly as much as others.

In addition, after 72 hours of inactivity from the Smart Case or 18 hours in it, your AirPods Max switches to a power-saving mode that turns off Bluetooth and Find My to further conserve battery power.

Apple did not clarify this properly at launch. But after posting my first review, I was directed to a web page with detailed information on “How to Charge Your AirPods Max and Learn About Battery Life.” Had Apple communicated this information earlier, fewer people would have complained that they couldn’t turn them off manually.

Are the AirPods Max leaking sound?

While the AirPods Max sit comfortably on your head and have a tight seal that helps suppress noise, when you play your music at higher volumes, some sound will leak out, allowing people in the immediate vicinity to hear what you’re listening to. what can be annoying to them.

The ear pads are made of more breathable material than the kind covered in real or faux leather, so that may be part of the reason that some sound leaks out. If you wear glasses, the problem may be more pronounced.

The ear pads attach magnetically.

David Carnoy / CNET

Is the battery replaceable?

Presumably, although you have to let Apple do it and the company hasn’t said how much it will cost yet. Since the headphones cost so much, it’s good that the battery can be replaced, as all rechargeable batteries run out after repeated charging. In theory, you should be able to use the headphones for years.

Are the ear pads replaceable?

The ear pads attach magnetically and are easy to remove. Apple will soon start selling replacement earbuds in various colors for $ 69 a pair, which is quite pricey ($ 49 seems more reasonable). But again, at least they are replaceable. You can mix and match colors as you like.

What does AppleCare Plus cover for AirPods Max?

The AirPods Max‌ comes with a one-year limited warranty that allows you to have the hardware repaired for free if it malfunctions and is not related to accidental damage, such as dropping it. You also get up to 90 days of free technical support.

Optional ‌‌AppleCare‌‌ Plus coverage costs $ 59 and gives you two years of 24/7 priority access to technical support via chat or phone and accidental damage coverage – up to two incidents per 12 months, each subject to a $ 29 service charge – from date of purchase. Battery maintenance cover is included.

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