The AirPods Max are $100 Off Today (But Should You Buy Them?)

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Apple’s AirPods Max may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but that doesn’t mean they’ve gotten any price reductions. In fact, not only do Apple’s premium cans still typically sell for their original $549 price tag, but sales on them are a lot less common than you’d think.

Hence, today’s news that Amazon has them on sale for $450 (a discount that’s also being matched by Best Buy) could be welcome news for those who might still be eyeballing the premium headphones. It’s the first significant discount we’ve seen in months, but it still raises the question of whether the aging AirPods Max are worth buying even at the lower price.

After all, many folks have been expecting Apple to release a new version of its over-ear headphones for a while now, which some rumors have said might gain a refined design and impressive features like lossless audio. If those are right around the corner, waiting might make more sense.

Then there’s the new Beats Studio Pro, a set of headphones that does almost everything the AirPods Max can do — and possibly even a few things they can’t. They’re arguably not as stylish as the sleek aluminum AirPods Max, but they do come with a substantially lower price tag.

What We Know about the ‘AirPods Max 2’

While there’s a good chance Apple will release a new version of the AirPods Max later this year, recent reports suggest they won’t be as revolutionary as some earlier rumors hinted. In fact, the updates may be so minor that they won’t even be considered a second-generation model.

While we’ve heard hints of a sportier version of the AirPods Max, it seems Apple handed that project over to its Beats division, which is likely what ultimately became the Beats Studio Pro. Other features like touch controls and higher-fidelity audio codecs don’t seem to be making the cut for the next-generation AirPods Max, either.

Instead, what we should be expecting to see, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, is a minor refresh that will give them the USB-C treatment and some new colors. Gurman says the high-end cans just don’t sell well enough for Apple to justify any significant research and development expenses, so it’s content to leave them mostly as-is.

The move to USB-C could potentially offer wired digital audio input, opening the door to wired lossless audio, but there’s no indication that wireless audio will improve in any meaningful way beyond the 256kbps AAC codec that’s been the norm on Apple’s AirPods.

It stands to reason that Apple may also upgrade the AirPods Max to use the same H2 chip currently used exclusively in its latest AirPods Pro. That will probably come to the entire AirPods lineup this year, delivering support for some of the new iOS 17 features like Adaptive Audio. These are arguably more of a nice-to-have feature on full-sized headphones compared to Apple’s sportier and more portable AirPods Pro.

The bottom line is that while the next set of AirPods Max may offer a few small enhancements, they’re not necessarily worth waiting for. While the current AirPods Max are still a bit pricey, even at $450, they deliver exceptional sound with excellent noise cancellation, Spatial Audio support, 20 hours of listening time on a single charge, and the same tight integration with the Apple ecosystem as the rest of the AirPods family, including “Hey Siri” and seamless switching between your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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