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 This appears to have been replaced by the Digital Crown from the Apple Watch in the final product.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

Top Rated Comments

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

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a month after Apple released the first betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
caldigit thunderbolt 4 dock featured

CalDigit Introduces USB-C Dock With 10 Ports and Up to 94W Charging for Macs [Updated]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 9:16 am PST by
CalDigit today unveiled a new Thunderbolt 4 dock with a wide selection of connectivity options, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dock also has a Thunderbolt 4 port that allows it to be connected to a Mac with a single cable, with up to 94W of pass-through charging for the latest MacBook...