AirPods Max review: The price hurts but these headphones are excellent

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They’re hefty, big and expensive, but Apple’s AirPods Max impress with their sound quality, noise canceling and the same extra features found in the AirPods Pro.

When Apple first revealed its new AirPods Max noise-canceling headphones, many people naturally balked at their $549 price tag (they’re £549 in the UK and AU$899 in Australia) — and their oddly shaped Smart Case. Personally, I wasn’t surprised by their high price tag — and yes, for most folks, it is high.

That’s because back in January I’d heard through a reliable source that over the years the engineers and designers working on Apple’s long-running over-ear noise-canceling headphone project had produced some “spectacular looking” prototypes that were too expensive to manufacture without charging upwards of $1,000. So I kind of shrugged when I heard they were $549, figuring plenty of people would buy them anyway. And so they have: The first batch of AirPods Max sold out in all five color options, with online wait times stretching out to three months or more.

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