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 This appears to have been replaced by the Digital Crown from the Apple Watch in the final product.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

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 17 Pro Max Will Be First Model to Feature Three 48MP Cameras

Thursday July 11, 2024 12:20 am PDT by
Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his n-iphone-tetraprism-upgrade-ca62dd37e364">latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor expected to be used...
iOS 18 on iPhone Feature

Everything New in iOS 18 Beta 3

Monday July 8, 2024 12:54 pm PDT by
With the third betas of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 that Apple released today, there are additional tweaks to a number of features like Dark Mode icons, the Photos app, emoji in Messages, and more, with Apple appearing to be preparing for the launch of Apple Intelligence. Apple will continue updating iOS 18‌ over the course of the next couple of months, refining the beta prior to its launch....
iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 'Slim': Everything We Know So Far

Friday July 5, 2024 5:13 am PDT by
In 2025, Apple is expected to discontinue the iPhone "Plus" device in its iPhone 17 lineup to make way for an iPhone "Slim" – although it may not actually be called this when it debuts in the fall of next year. Even though the iPhone 16 series launch is still over two months away, when you consider that we learned about larger displays on the iPhone 16 Pro models way back in May 2023, rumors...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID

iPhone 16 Models Rumored to Have Face ID-Related Design Changes

Tuesday July 9, 2024 9:15 am PDT by
iPhone 16 models coming later this year could have some Face ID-related "design changes," supply chain publication DigiTimes said this week. The original source of this information is British newspaper The Telegraph, which six weeks ago reported that Face ID component supplier Coherent was considering selling or repurposing a manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, a small town in...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Beta Firmware With Support for iOS 18 Features

Tuesday July 9, 2024 11:46 am PDT by
Apple today released a second beta firmware for the AirPods Pro 2, including both the Lightning and USB-C versions. The updated firmware has a build number 7A5244b and it is available to developers at the current time. This is the second firmware update that Apple has released since announcing new AirPods Pro 2 features in June. There are several new features that are coming to the AirPods...
iPhone 16 Pro Front Update Blue

iPhone 16 Pro Rumored to Support 40W Fast Charging and 20W MagSafe

Wednesday July 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will support 40W wired fast charging and 20W MagSafe charging, claims a rumor currently swirling around China. Right now, iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models are capable of up to 27W peak charging speeds with an appropriate USB-C power adapter, while official MagSafe chargers from Apple and authorized third parties can wirelessly charge...

Top Rated Comments

matrix07 Avatar
47 months ago
I actually prefer physical button to touch control.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bazooka-joe Avatar
47 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
47 months ago
They're way too expensive! Come on Apple.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
47 months ago
So basically Gurman got a rumor wrong and is spinning it as missing features.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lemon Olive Avatar
47 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
47 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)