Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

Telesmurfen

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 18, 2016
236
322
A couple of days ago, I bought myself a pair of AirPods max, after having used AirPods 1, 2 and AirPods Pro since they were first released.
And let me say, that I wasn’t immediately “blown away” by their sound. I guess I had just built my expectations up way too high.
But, after having spent quite a few hours with them, I start appreciating them more and more.
But, I’ve discovered an unusual problem (it seems). If I sit perfectly still, I usually get a good fit, and all is well. But, if I turn my head to the left or the right, I get a bad seal at the back of my ear - resulting in noise coming in and reduced noise cancellation. Has anybody else experienced this? I don’t wear glasses and imagine that my head shape is quite “normal” (whatever that is).
It’s especially noticeable when walking along a street with cars passing by, and when there’s no sound playing (between songs). If I turn my head, I can hear how the noise cancellation goes on and off and how all outside sounds come right through.
I’ve tried adjusting the headband, but no position seems to resolve my problem.
If I push my AirPods towards my head, my seal gets perfect and everything works as expected, so it’s obviously not a firmware/hardware problem.
Quite frustrating, because when I keep my head straight forward, it’s way better than my old AirPods Pro, but as soon as I turn my head a little bit, the APPs are way better at NC.
Anybody has any tips on how to resolve this?
 

Htsi

macrumors 65816
Oct 14, 2020
1,396
1,267
I have the same experience. Haven’t found anything that fixed it.
what you can try is more headband adjustments/position or just accept this behavior. I would assume leather pads would help this to some extent but there’s nothing with real leather on sale yet
 
  • Like
Reactions: Telesmurfen

MayaTlab

macrumors 6502
Dec 12, 2007
320
302
But, I’ve discovered an unusual problem (it seems). If I sit perfectly still, I usually get a good fit, and all is well. But, if I turn my head to the left or the right, I get a bad seal at the back of my ear - resulting in noise coming in and reduced noise cancellation. Has anybody else experienced this?

I also experience that issue. In my case I believe that it's because of Apple's rather terrible decision to design the headband to join the cups at the top and compensate for the excess clamp force at the top by spring loading the cups. The problem being that the spring rate is constant and the overall headband clamp + spring becomes a massive compromise vs. a simple yoke mechanism.

One thing that works for me to a degree is to reduce the clamp force by very forcibly stretching out the headband. This reduces pressure at the top and allows the spring to more effectively push against my skull at the bottom. It doesn't eliminate the problem but reduces it.

Have you noticed that there is more clamp pressure at the top of your ear (temples) than the bottom (jaw, neck) ? Then perhaps you might be in the same situation as I am.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Telesmurfen

cheekyjeremy

macrumors 6502
Aug 20, 2009
415
152
I had this as an issue when flying. I realized that if I extend the headphone arm a little so that the headphones sit a little lower on my ears, I get a perfect seal that does not break when I turn side to side or up or down. Worked for me, your mileage my vary.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Telesmurfen
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.