AirPods Max 2: Everything We Know One Year After the High-End Headphones Launched

A year ago today, Apple's AirPods Max launched, marking the company's first push into the high-end over-ear headphones market under its own brand name. One year later, rumors about a successor are thin on the ground, but there have been some indications about what customers can expect from ‌AirPods Max‌ 2.

AirPods Max new feature
A report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said that ‌AirPods Max‌, thought at the time to be called "AirPods Studio," had suffered from several development challenges, such as problems with the headband being too tight, leading to multiple delays and scaling back of functionality.

It was initially believed that ‌AirPods Max‌ would offer unique customizability with interchangeable headbands and earcups, repeating the concept behind Apple Watch bands. Amid these delays and development issues, Bloomberg predicted that Apple would drop the concept of a replaceable headband to accelerate production.

Evidence of this concept can be seen in the final ‌AirPods Max‌ design. Users can easily remove the headband from AirPods Max without any disassembly of the headphones. To do this, users simply need to remove the magnetic ear cushions, fold the earcups flat, and insert a SIM card ejector tool into a small hole above the speaker.

airpods max sim ejectorImage via Prelook

Once the earcups are removed, the spokes on either side of the headband reveal a small Lightning-style connector for transferring power, and potentially data, between the earcups. It is possible that this system for removing the headband is a remnant of the original, more modular approach to ‌AirPods Max‌.

Moreover, it was believed that ‌AirPods Max‌ would have left and right ear detection so users could reverse the headphones' orientation, as well as touch pads on the earcups for controls. This appears to have been replaced by the Digital Crown from the Apple Watch in the final product. It seems plausible that some of these features, including greater customization, could come to the second iteration of ‌AirPods Max‌.

Rumors also suggested that the ‌AirPods Max‌ would be available in two varieties, including a more affordable sports-oriented model. 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 ‌AirPods Max‌ price tag, the cheaper $350 "sport variant" has yet to emerge. Apple could still launch this lower-end version of the ‌AirPods Max‌ at some time in the future.

airpods max colors‌AirPods Max‌ in Silver, Space Gray, Pink, Green, and Blue

The last we heard about the next-generation ‌AirPods Max‌ was a report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in May of this year, which explained that Apple was not actively working on a new model, but had considered launching new colors.

With the ‌AirPods Max‌ now being a year old, Apple could choose to refresh the device with new color options. The company has chosen to do this with other products, such as the iPhone 12 and the HomePod mini, and it would now be particularly fitting for the ‌AirPods Max‌ given the general disarray of Apple's current offering of colors across its devices.

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

Top Rated Comments

szw-mapple fan Avatar
7 months ago

Still overpriced and inferior to the Sony XM 4's.
Overpriced maybe but personally I found it to be much better than the XM4s. Sound is more balanced and not as bass heavy. Noise cancellation has been just a bit better. Transparency mode is miles ahead of anything I’ve tried. The build quality is much much better with no plastic squeaks and the ear cups are much more comfortable and breathable. The hardware buttons and iOS controls are also way better than the touch controls on the XM4 and Sony’s barely usable app. I wouldn’t buy it for the original price but I think it was definitely worth the $380 I paid on eBay.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThePrinceJayy Avatar
7 months ago

why would headphones need a notch? lol where it even go
I … I think he’s joking.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
7 months ago
As Bloomberg reported, Apple is not actively working on AirPods Max 2. But if it is in development, I would like to see:

* Apple Lossless compatibility via AirPlay 2 (meaning Wi-Fi) or analog audio passthrough via wired connection
* Leather case optional
* Lighter, more breathable materials
* MagSafe and USB-C charging
* Lower price tag
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
levitynyc Avatar
7 months ago
Still overpriced and inferior to the Sony XM 4's.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
poematik13 Avatar
7 months ago
Yeah, nobody's paying $550 for this **** again.

Drop price to $399 or kill the product. It's clearly a dud because retailers keep slashing prices on it.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KaliYoni Avatar
7 months ago
What, no notch???
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

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...
gucci airpods max case

Gucci Releases $980 Case for $549 AirPods Max

Tuesday February 1, 2022 5:36 am PST by
If you weren't a fan of Apple's Smart Case that comes with the AirPods Max, high-end luxury brand Gucci is here for you with its own case for the headphones priced at $980. Gucci's "Ophidia case for AirPods Max" is an online exclusive that brings "vintage and contemporary together through its archive-inspired design elements. Playing with the contrast between past and present, the inside of...
airpods max reaons 3

Deals: AirPods Max Hit $499.00 for the First Time ($50 Off) [Updated]

Thursday June 10, 2021 10:12 am PDT by
Today we're tracking the first $50 discount on Apple's AirPods Max headphones. You can get the Sky Blue AirPods Max for $499.00 on Amazon, B&H Photo, and Adorama, down from $549.00. Sky Blue is the only color at this price. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Adorama. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
AirPods Max Deal Feature Green

Deals: AirPods Max Available for $454.99 at Amazon and Best Buy ($94 Off)

Tuesday July 20, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
Following a $100 off deal on AirPods Max from Adorama last week, Amazon and Best Buy today are following up with a solid second-best offer on the high-end headphones. You can get the AirPods Max for $454.99, down from $549.00 ($94 off). Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
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...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
AirPods Max Deal Feature Red

Deals: AirPods Max in Pink Drop to $399.99 for Amazon Prime Members [Update: Sold Out]

Thursday January 6, 2022 6:25 am PST by
Apple's AirPods Max headphones in new condition are down to $399.99 on Woot today, from $549.00. This sale price is only available in Pink, and you'll need to log into your Amazon Prime account on Woot to see the deal. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Woot. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. This is...
AirPods Max In Stock black

Major AirPods Max Restock Includes Four Colors Available to Ship Today

Thursday April 1, 2021 10:14 am PDT by
We're tracking one of the biggest restocks of AirPods Max headphones as we enter April, available at Amazon and Verizon. This restock includes nearly all colors of the AirPods Max. Amazon has all five colors except Pink available, with Space Gray at slightly delayed 1-2 day shipping estimates. Verizon is offering free two-day shipping on the Space Gray, Green, and Sky Blue AirPods Max. A ...

Popular Stories

top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

M2 MacBook Pro Much Slower Than Previous Model

Friday July 1, 2022 2:24 am PDT by
Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip features a significantly slower SSD compared to the previous model, resulting in poorer performance in some workflows, it has been discovered. Specifically, it has been found that the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage has significantly slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the equivalent previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro....