In a move that will test even the most loyal of Apple fans, the technology company has revealed an incredibly pricey over-ear model of its popular AirPods headphone line. The AirPods Max Pros are available to preorder now for a whopping $549. If you decide you want to order a pair, you won’t have to wait long, as the AirPods Max release December 15.
The AirPods Max use the AirPods Pro as a foundation by offering many of the same features, including transparency mode, spatial surround-sound, audio sharing, active noise cancellation, and Siri functionality. Essentially, Apple has placed all of the great tech from the AirPods Pro into a traditional (though premium) over-ear design with 40mm drivers.
The cushions are made of knitted memory foam, which sure looks to be quite comfortable. It appears that swapping out the cushions will be a thing, as they connect via a magnet and can easily be removed. The headband is stainless steel and specifically designed to adapt to your head’s shape and remain comfortable and secure. On a full charge (via Lightning cable), the AirPods Max will run for 20 hours.
The AirPods Max come in five colors at launch: silver, space gray, green, sky blue, and pink. Each pair of headphones comes with a matching smart case to keep them safe when not in use.
The AirPods Max don’t sound as if they bring anything new to the table that you can’t already find in premium Sony or Bose headphones–which can be purchased for half the price or less. That said, the AirPods Pro remain quite popular today despite a relatively high price compared to other premium earbuds. It’s certainly possible the AirPods Max will gain a sizable following, but they retail for more than the price of a PS5 or Xbox Series X.