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

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.

airpods max earcup left

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 This appears to have been replaced by the Digital Crown from the Apple Watch in the final product.

airpods max digital crown

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.

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

Top Rated Comments

matrix07 Avatar
44 months ago
I actually prefer physical button to touch control.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bazooka-joe Avatar
44 months ago
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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
44 months ago
They're way too expensive! Come on Apple.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
44 months ago
So basically Gurman got a rumor wrong and is spinning it as missing features.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lemon Olive Avatar
44 months ago
Gurman will say anything to avoid being wrong.

No one in their right mind could possibly think that the Digital Crown was anything but a major design preference and not something thrown in to replace touch controls.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dz5b609 Avatar
44 months ago
Wait, you really telling me it doesn't have ****ing ear/neck detection?!? The feature that literally any other headphone even the 50 dollar Chinese ones have...

WTAF
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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