AirPods Market Share Dropped From 41 Percent to 29 Percent

· Andrew Orr · Link

airpods on yellow background

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

· Charlotte Henry · Link

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.

AirPods Max Headbands Could be Interchangeable

· Andrew Orr · Link

Airpods Max teardown

iFixit published a tear down of the AirPods Max and it reveals, among other things, that the headband could be interchangeable.

It was rumored that Apple wanted to design the AirPods Max headband to be easily-swappable like its magnetic ear cups. That feature was thought to be missing from the final design, but this joint is so complex it just might have one more thing up its sleeve…despite the joint’s complexity, you can detach the entire headband from AirPods Max with just a SIM card removal tool or paperclip, without even opening the ear cup.

AirPods Spatial Audio Could Arrive on Netflix

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple Spatial Audio

As I noted last year in my AirPods Pro editorial, Spatial Audio is a great audio experience. It can be found on Apple TV+ and Disney+, but not Netflix. But a recent rumor claims Netflix is testing it.

The iPhoneSoft report doesn’t include specific information on when Netflix will roll out spatial audio report, instead only vaguely suggesting a spring release with a “limited” catalog.

Apple AirPods Max Are 'Luxury Listening'

· Charlotte Henry · Cool Stuff Found

YouTuber Marques Brownlee, better known as MKBHD, has got his hands on the new AirPods Max and given them a review. While he thinks the headphones are impressive, he’s less taken with the case.

Audiophile Gives AirPods Max ‘B-‘ Score in Detailed Review

· Andrew Orr · Link

Space gray airpods max has given a detailed review of AirPods Max. Overall, while the conclusion says don’t get the headphones if you’re expecting US$500 sound quality, the headphones do get a score of B-.

But I’ll deviate a little for the sake of the “typical usecase” for the APM. After all, one does not buy an Apple headphone purely for sound quality, much like how one does not purchase an iMac for raw horsepower. Looking at the APM’s immediate competition, we have the two biggest ones: the Bose 700 ($350) and the Sony WH-1000XM4 (also $350). Effectively, the APM is a $200 premium over the two, so begs the question: can that be justified?

AirPods Max, Irish Streaming Law, Replacing iPhone Camera Lenses, with Jeff Gamet - ACM 539

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Podcast Logo

Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet talk about Apple’s new AirPods Max over-the-ear headphones. They also discuss a proposed law from Ireland that would require 30% of all streaming content to be made in Europe, something that could radically affect Apple TV+. And, Jeff Gamet explains how he broke his iPhone’s camera lens cover and how he replaced it.

Apple Has Been Working on AirPods Max Since 2016

· Charlotte Henry · Link

AirPods Max

While it’s hardly a revelation that new products do not appear overnight, Apple has apparently been working on the recently unveiled AirPods Max since the first generation of AirPods shipped in 2016. That’s according to a now-deleted tweet from an ex-Apple designer, caught by Cult of Mac.

This interesting tidbit comes from a (now deleted) tweet from Dinesh Dave, currently a product designer at Facebook, but previously a Senior Interactive Designer at Apple. While no-one expects hit products to be created overnight, it gives a sense of how far out Apple’s working in its product roadmap. In a tweet Wednesday, Dave posted a picture of the AirPods Max. He noted that this was the last (previously unreleased) product he worked on at Apple covered by an NDA (non-disclosure agreement.) These standard issue forms effectively stop him from talking about products being worked on. Since the tweet was deleted, it may be safe to say that talking about them after they’ve been released is also questionable terrain.

Why Does Apple Price Products Like This?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Man wearing AirPod max

Jason Snell shares three things for Apple users to expect when they’re expecting a new product. Sometimes the price isn’t right and Apple doesn’t sell as many units as it hoped. But reports are saying the AirPods Max are already backordered until March, so it’s a good start.

Today’s Apple seems to be executing a different strategy, pricing their products a bit higher in order to provide some room for sales, deals, and other marketing efforts.

AirPods Max Announced – TMO Daily Observations 2020-12-08

· Kelly Guimont · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join host Kelly Guimont to discuss Apple’s new AirPods Max specs, pricing, and comparison to other headphones.