AirPods Max Don't Contain U1 Chip for Ultra Wideband

Apple's new AirPods Max headphones are not equipped with a U1 chip for Ultra Wideband, according to Apple's tech specs, and confirmed by MacRumors. (This chip is not to be confused with the H1 audio chip in each of the AirPod Max's ear cups.)

airpods max internals 1
First introduced in iPhone 11 models last year, the U1 chip enables improved spatial awareness. The distance between two devices that support Ultra Wideband can be measured precisely by calculating the time that it takes for a radio wave to pass between them, with much more accuracy than Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi.

Apple's rollout of the U1 chip has been inconsistent, with all iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models, Apple Watch Series 6 models, and the HomePod mini equipped with the chip, but not the second-generation iPhone SE, Apple Watch SE, or the latest iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Pro models. Apple has also yet to release a Mac with Ultra Wideband support.

Apple's use of Ultra Wideband technology has been limited so far, such as a directional AirDrop feature in iOS 13 and later, but the company has promised more exciting use cases in the future. One of those use cases will likely be its long-rumored AirTags items trackers, which analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said will support Ultra Wideband, which should allow users to locate their lost items with greater accuracy.

Multiple leakers had suggested the AirPods Max (which were dubbed AirPods Studio in rumors) would be equipped with the U1 chip, including Jon Prosser.

Related Roundup: AirPods Max
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Max (Buy Now)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

canyonblue737 Avatar
15 months ago

I don't see why it should.
i think the idea is that apple is using the U1 as the future direction of all apple products to be able to be "located" in space both on a macro scale (like "find my" even away from wifi) as well as in the micro (where in the room are they buried). moving forward many expected nearly all apple devices to have it and then the future "AirTags" would allow you to expand the functionality to non-Apple products. to have a $550 headset without it just seems strange...
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
totom_ Avatar
15 months ago
It was probably not possible to include it given the cheap price these headphones are sold for. Apple needs to make a profit after all.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SamGabbay Avatar
15 months ago
Thats it. I'm returning it.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pakaku Avatar
15 months ago
Maybe it contains a new U2 chip, not to be confused with a new U2 album
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TracesOfArsenic Avatar
15 months ago
That'll be in v2 next year when you pony up again.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ouimetnick Avatar
15 months ago
Can’t lose them if you don’t have them?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

AirPods Max In Stock Silver

AirPods Max in Silver Now Available to Ship on Amazon

Thursday March 18, 2021 6:36 am PDT by
Following stock for the Pink AirPods Max last week, today we're seeing refreshed stock for the AirPods Max in Silver at Amazon for a price of $549.00. Silver and Space Gray AirPods Max are the most popular versions of the headphones to appear in stock at places like Verizon, Amazon, and B&H Photo. The other three colors have been available as well at certain retailers. $549Silver AirPods ...
AirPods Max 17 off Feature

Deals: Get Apple's Silver and Space Gray AirPods Max for $532.32 on Amazon ($17 Off)

Thursday April 29, 2021 11:03 am PDT by
Amazon today is offering Apple's AirPods Max for $532.32, down from $549.00. While not a particularly steep discount, this is among the best prices we've now tracked for the AirPods Max. Both the Silver and Space Gray colors are available at this price and ready to ship today directly from Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and...
f1600190370

Apple Watch Series 6 Features U1 Chip for Ultra Wideband

Tuesday September 15, 2020 1:58 pm PDT by
Apple Watch Series 6 models are equipped with a U1 chip for Ultra Wideband support, according to tech specs on Apple's website. Introduced in iPhone 11 models last year, the U1 chip enables improved spatial awareness. The distance between two devices that support Ultra Wideband can be measured precisely by calculating the time that it takes for a radio wave to pass between the two devices,...
homepod mini homepod

HomePod and HomePod mini to Gain Support For Apple Music Lossless Audio in Future Software Update

Friday May 21, 2021 11:20 pm PDT by
The HomePod and HomePod mini will gain support for playing back Apple Music Lossless audio in a future software update, according to a newly published Apple Support document. At launch, the HomePod and HomePod mini will not support Apple Music Lossless but will instead feature support for Dolby Atmos for Apple Music. Dolby Atmos, otherwise known as Spatial Audio, creates an immersive...
airpods max colors

AirPods Max Available in Silver on Amazon [Updated: More Colors and Retailers]

Wednesday January 27, 2021 9:04 am PST by
Amazon has Apple's AirPods Max available to ship in 1-2 business days right now, only in the Silver color option. AirPods Max are priced at $549.00, and as of yet we haven't seen any noticeable discounts on the Bluetooth headphones. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
airpods max ear cushions

Apple Now Selling Standalone Ear Cushions for AirPods Max

Wednesday January 27, 2021 11:08 am PST by
Apple is now selling standalone ear cushions designed for the AirPods Max, allowing AirPods Max owners to purchase cushions in different colors. The ear cushions are available in all of the AirPods Max colors - silver, black, red, sky blue, and green - and are priced at $69. AirPods Max ear cushions attach to the ear cups magnetically and can be popped right off, so making a swap to a new...
find my lost mode

Third-Party Accessory Makers Can Access U1 Chip in iPhones for Find My

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:54 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which lets third-party accessories integrate with the Find My app. Initial Find My accessories from VanMoof, Belkin, and Chipolo will work with Find My using Bluetooth, but Apple is developing a U1 specification for chipset makers that will let third-party devices take advantage of the U1 Ultra Wideband chip built...
airpods max blue

Gurman: Apple Not Working on Second-Generation AirPods Max, But Has Considered New Colors

Friday May 28, 2021 6:11 am PDT by
In a report focused on upcoming third-generation AirPods and second-generation AirPods Pro, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman added that Apple has yet to start working on second-generation AirPods Max, although he said the company has discussed launching additional color variations for the over-ear headphones in the future. The relevant bit from the report:The last AirPods-related hardware...

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Review: M1 Max MacBook Pro After Three Months

Wednesday January 19, 2022 11:30 am PST by
It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube ...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
iphone se 2020 top

New iPhone SE Likely to Launch in April Based on Production Timeframe

Wednesday January 19, 2022 6:44 am PST by
Apple suppliers will begin producing display panels for the third-generation iPhone SE this month, with final assembly of the device likely to start in March, according to information shared by display industry consultant Ross Young. Based on this production timeframe, Young believes the third-generation iPhone SE is likely to launch in the second half of April, or perhaps in early May at...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
appleeducation

Apple's US Education Store Now Requires Institution Verification to Buy Discounted Products

Wednesday January 19, 2022 2:22 am PST by
Apple is now requiring that customers in the United States verify that they're active students, teachers, or staff members at an educational institution in order to access education discounts on products. Previously, little verification was needed for customers to purchase products through Apple's education store in the United States. Apple's education stores offer models of the iPad and Mac ...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
appleprivacyad cleaned

iOS 15 Patched Security Hole That Potentially Exposed Users' Private Apple ID Information to Third-Party Apps

Thursday January 20, 2022 3:32 am PST by
Apple patched two significant security vulnerabilities when it released iOS 15 that could have potentially exposed users' private Apple ID information and in-app search history to malicious third-party apps and allowed apps to override user Privacy preferences, Apple has revealed in a recent support document update. With most iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS updates, Apple provides a list of...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...