When the cable connection is used from the AirPods Max to a computer/iPad/iPhone is it using the heaphones’ DAC/AMP or source’s electronics?
- It’s usin both. The sources DAC is being used to convert the signal to analogue, of course . However the Apple cable’ has a built in ADC that converts the signal back to digital , so that it is compatible with the APM’s noise cancellation/ transparency mode. This is obligatory. And requires the APM to always have power and be switched on.
Can I use these headphones cabled with my stand alone DAC/Amp. Is it safe?
- yes you can , as long as the volume is not too high. But to be on the safe side , I suggest it’s best not to use equipment that drives high impedance headphones ! I suggest using the Apple lightning to 3.5mm adapter with iOS devices and the Apple Music service. The Apple adapter has a high quality DAC , in my opinion. And my obvsevation is that the Apple 3.5mm to lightning cable also has a high quality ADC.
Will it sound better and support lossless assuming the music is lossless?
-use the Apple cable , although it is not strictly lossless , it will sound way better than wireless AAC codec. But you have to run that cable in for about an hour before it starts to shine. In my opinion , it sounds excellent.
In fact , I have started using that cable with my Beats Studio 3. To me ,it sounds like a clear cut upgrade in audio quality , despite the DAC , then ADC conversion. The only disadvantage is that you will be having to use a cable. It’s a bit of a flimsy cable and will need to be treated with TLC. But it’s worth the price in view of the high quality ADC, in my opinion.