Technology

People can’t believe the price of Apple’s new headphones

Apple has finally revealed its long-rumoured smart headphones, the AirPods Max.

The new over-ear headphones bring many of the features from the smaller AirPods – easy connectivity, long battery life, quality sound and smart features such as an EQ that adapts to the surroundings – but puts it into a more traditional headphone shape that sits over the head.

But it is the price that is prompting much of the reaction. The headphones cost £549 in the UK and the same in dollars in the US.

That is compared with £159 for the original AirPods, and £249 for the AirPods Pro. The latter has all of the same feature as the AirPods Max, though in a vastly different design.

The AirPods Max also cost considerably more than comparable headphones, including those made by Apple’s own Beats brand. The top-of-the-line Beats Studio 3 – which has a slightly older wireless chip, but many of the same features, and twice the battery life – costs £300.

That led to shock about the price, with some users pointing out that it is possible to buy a car for cheaper than the price of the AirPods Max.

The price of the new headphones was likened to other recent Apple products that were unexpectedly expensive. That has included the $999 stand for its Pro Display XDR screen, and the $700 it costs to add wheels to the Mac Pro.

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The surprise over the price may have been amplified by the fact that Apple had recently seemingly been looking to make its audio products more affordable. In October it revealed the HomePod Mini, a smaller and cheaper version of its HomePod smart speaker, which was also considerably more expensive than competitors when it was launched.

In its announcement, Apple stressed that the AirPods Max have a premium design, which presumably accounts for some of their high price. That includes what it said was a “revolutionary mechanism” for connecting the ear cups to the head band, and “acoustically engineered memory foam” so that the headphones could “create an effective seal” around the ears themselves.

(Apple)

The headphones also include additional hardware when compared with the in-ear AirPods. The Max has a version of the Apple Watch’s “Digital Crown” on the side, allowing users to control volume and other features, for instance, and they have a full nine microphones built-in.

The headphones also come with their own devoted carrying case. That “Smart Case” is able to communicate with the AirPods Max and put them into an ultraslow power state that will ensure the battery does not drain while they are not in use.

Source:

www.independent.co.uk

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