Warranty Replacements for AirPods Max Don't Include New Ear Cushions
If you run into trouble with your AirPods Max and need to get a replacement pair under warranty, it looks like the new set will be delivered without a refreshed set of ear cushions.
A 9to5Mac reader sent in a pair of AirPods Max for repair due to an issue with the Digital Crown, and the replacement set that he received back did not include ear cushions.
Apple instead expects users to keep the ear cushions from the damaged set of AirPods Max to use them with the replacement pair, unless of course the ear cushions themselves have also experienced damage. Given the modular design of the AirPods Max, it is possible for Apple to ship just the headphones or just the ear cushions for replacement purposes.
Apple's instructions for mailing in the AirPods Max include a diagram that instructs users to remove the ear cushions before shipping the AirPods Max in a repair box.
With replacement AirPods Pro models, Apple does provide new ear tips, but ear tips for the AirPods Pro are priced at $8 rather than $69 like the AirPods Max ear cushions, so it's no surprise these are delivered separately.
At the current time, Apple is not selling ear cushions on a standalone basis, but they will presumably be available when stock improves. AirPods Max purchases from Apple continue to have March delivery dates at the current time.