My AirPod Maxs blows my AirPod Pros out of the water in my opinion. For the most part though, it is kind of comparing apples and oranges when trying to compare an in ear pair of head phones to an over the ear pair.
That's not necessarily a given in headphone audio - there are in fact in-ear monitors at the super top end that favorably compete with the best headphones... customs in the $3,000+ area. It's a different experience for sure, just like over ear headphones are different from speakers, but the fidelity, frequency response, etc, are there.
That said, I agree, there is a decent chasm between these and the Pros, I consider these in a higher tier, similar to how the Pros are in a higher tier than the regular Airpods. I've been into headphone audio for a couple decades now, have had the Pros for a year, on the 3rd day w/ the Max's.
Is it worth the extra $200-250 more though?
i think the pros audio quality will certainly always improve, but the in ear small driver type of airpods are never really going to catch up with an over the ear "can" type for sound quality with larger drivers and better frequency response. For what the pros ARE, they are really pretty great but the Max are really off the chart in the luxury listening category.I wonder if the Pro v2 will catchup to the Max in audio quality. Their portability & minimalist form factor will always place future Pros on my radar.
This matches my experience as well. The APPs simulate my outer ear sound colouration quite well, they are obviously much smaller and lighter and suitable to a lot more use cases.I own both, APP and APM. Less difference than I hoped, especially given a $550 price for a semi-disposable gadget with sealed in batteries that will eventually degrade and need replacements.
I compared them using iOS's multiple headphone support, rapidly swapping between the two listening to Apple Music across many genres of music (radiohead, oscar peterson, andy shauf, max richter, jamie xx, the list goes on) .
The sound signature is almost identical, with the exception of much stronger (sometimes annoyingly sibilant for me) treble on the APMs than the APPs and a little more bass at the very low end.
That's not to say there isn't a difference. Over-ear headphones provide more tactile sensation on your skin and allow sound to enter naturally rather than being piped into your ear canals. The APMs do sound more lively as a result, in a variety of ways.
The APPs on the other hand get remarkably close, and you can barely even tell you're wearing them. Getting the APMs made me appreciate the APPs even more for the stunning masterpieces they are.