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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple's newly-announced AirPods Max over-ear headphones reportedly omitted a number of features to launch after months of delays, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.


Earlier in the year, a report from Bloomberg said that AirPods Max, thought at the time to be called "AirPods Studio," had suffered several development challenges leading to multiple delays and scaling back of functionality. The product failed to appear at any of the most recent three Apple events despite a plethora of rumors about the product.

In September, the design of AirPods Max leaked in a video, indicating that the launch was likely to be soon. The headphones were meant to go into production in mid-2020, but production was pushed back due to development issues, such as problems with the headband, which was found to be too tight during testing.

It was believed that AirPods Max would offer unique customizability with interchangeable headbands and earcups, repeating the concept behind Apple Watch bands. Amid these delays and frustrations, Bloomberg correctly predicted that Apple would drop the concept of a replaceable headband to accelerate production.

In addition, it was believed that AirPods Max would have touch pads for controls on the sides of the headphones. This appears to have been replaced by the Digital Crown from the Apple Watch in the final product.


After the announcement of AirPods Max earlier today, Mark Gurman mused on the fact that Apple had dropped a large number of features to get the product released at long last.

Other rumors about Apple's over-ear headphones also failed to come to fruition. Mixed-record leaker Jon Prosser repeatedly said that AirPods Max would come in a "sport-like variant" for $350 and a "luxury variant" for $599. While Prosser's $599 was not far off the final $549 price tag, the cheaper $350 "sport variant" has yet to emerge.

9to5Mac also incorrectly claimed that AirPods Max would have a "neck detection" feature and adaptive audio channels for switching between the right and left side, allowing users to use the headphones either way around.

Last week, MacRumors correctly predicted that Apple would announce a new product today using an AppleCare-related internal memo. With AirPods Max finally announced, it is possible that Apple may look to revisit some of these rumored features for a second iteration of the product, or shelve them entirely.

Article Link: AirPods Max Missing Rumored Features: $350 'Sport' Model, Swappable Bands, Touch Controls

Lounge vibes 05

macrumors 68020
May 30, 2016
Wouldn’t be surprised to see an event in March or April with cheeper $350-399 Versions of these made out of cheaper materials, new third gen regular AirPods,a new iPad Pro with Mini LED, the A14X and 5G, a new A14X powered Apple TV, and more M1 Macs.
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macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2020
I'm glad they didn't go with the touch panels. I own the Sony MX1000 m4's and it is an incredible pain to use the touch feature to adjust volume. If you want to rapidly reduce/increase volume you end up swiping your finger like a mad man -- or you have to open the app to adjust. But, given the high price of these, I will wait for the reviews on sound quality to come out, or to try them in person. They'd better be good for $549.

James Godfrey

macrumors 68000
Oct 13, 2011
To me it seems as though they are just charging what they originally planned but stripped half of the features out of them... these should have been £299 maximum, with this other features maybe £399-£449 maximum.

Dread to think if gen 2 comes with those extra features... this is only the Max... imagine an AirPods Pro Max being priced around £799 lol, slowly pushing to the £999 mark after a few years


macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2010
For $550 I think I'd wait for all those rumored features to be included but honestly to me they look like some cheap headphones I'd expect to see in Big Lots or Dollar Store...maybe I need to see an actual pair in store. Still won't buy them though


macrumors 603
Jul 13, 2008
They're way too expensive! Come on Apple.
they are not meant for the average or the typical college kid. Just like their pro monitor. Im surprised half the people I see walking around with the 250$ in ear pro's when they sound like crap.
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Reactions: FHoff


macrumors regular
Jun 2, 2010
Maybe in the interest of profit, Apple have rushed to market to capitalise and may introduce a second generation of Max and possibly Pro next year with additional functionality. I am certainly going to wait. Too much money for not enough product.
Well. said.. Lately Apple has been just throwing stuff on the wall to see what sticks. Crazy.
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macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2013
It looks like Apple was forced to leave out great features.

I hope my Beats Studio 3 will last until the release of AirPods Max v2.
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