Loving AirPods Max After Using Them For a Year

The AirPods Max headphones were met with quite a lot of skepticism when they were first released, thanks largely to the US$549.00 price point. Over on iMore, Joe Wituschek explains why he loves his, a year after getting them.

After using AirPods Max for about a year now, I can say that the experience of these headphones is phenomenal. If you love good audio and are in the Apple ecosystem, it’s tough to find a better pair of over-the-ear headphones. Not only are they integrated with Find My and Apple’s quick pairing and switching between devices features, but they sound incredible. Now, sound quality can be subjective in a lot of ways – everyone has a different preference of what they want to hear. More bass, more treble, more detail, and a host of other preferences can make some headphones better for certain people. However, it is easy to recognize for most when you are wearing a pair of quality headphones. You can hear the difference. You hear more at higher volumes with more clarity and less distortion. And these headphones nail all of those things. You truly get immersed in what you are listening to.

AirPods Market Share Dropped From 41 Percent to 29 Percent

Mashable‘s Alex Perry writes how AirPods revolutionized the wireless earbud space but is currently falling behind.

AirPods market share dropped from 41 percent at the end of 2019 to 29 percent at the end of 2020, according to research firm Counterpoint. That’s still a substantial lead over everyone else, but it does point to what happened in the more than two years since the last AirPods update: Other companies made cheaper and better entry-level wireless earbuds, and consumers took notice.

Photo by Lala Azizli on Unsplash

Apple Music Lossless Audio Doesn't Work on AirPods, Not Even Wired AirPods Max

It turns out that no AirPods will be able to play lossless audio when the feature arrives on Apple Music.  This includes the US$549 AirPods Max, even when they are using a wired connection, The Verge reported.

“Lossless audio is not supported on AirPods, any model,” an Apple spokesperson said by email. “AirPods Max wired listening mode accepts analog output sources only. AirPods Max currently does not support digital audio formats in wired mode.” It makes complete sense that the AirPods and AirPods Pro have no way of playing lossless audio. They’re totally wireless, and Apple supports the AAC codec over Bluetooth. AAC sounds plenty good, but it’s nowhere near the bit rate of CD-quality or high-resolution tracks. To do any better, Apple would need to come up with some new wireless codec — its own version of Sony’s LDAC, sort of — or make these things play music over Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth. None of that is happening today or by June when Apple Music will start offering lossless. Things are a little more complicated with the AirPods Max, which can be plugged into audio sources with a cable. However, it turns out that even if you have Apple’s $35 Lightning-to-3.5mm cable plugged into a device that’s streaming lossless Apple Music tracks, you’re not going to hear the full audio fidelity of the source.