Potential AirPods Max Upgrades Mounting Up, But No Sign of New Model
The AirPods Max are now over two years old, but there is no sign of a new model despite a growing number of upgrades and features that could come to the headphones.
Launched in December 2020, the AirPods Max are the oldest AirPods still in Apple's product lineup. Despite being the most expensive AirPods at $549, the AirPods Max miss out on a large number of features that came to the second-generation AirPods Pro earlier this year.
With the H2 chips, significantly improved Active Noise Cancellation, Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, Adaptive Transparency, skin-detect sensors, the U1 chip, and Precision Finding, there are a plethora of notable features that are yet to come to the AirPods Max. The headphones could also benefit from a refreshed selection of color options, MagSafe or USB-C charging, Conversation Boost, and sweat and water resistance.
In 2020, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said that the 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 seems plausible that after several more years to iterate on the aspects that did not make it into the first version of the device, the second-generation AirPods Max could introduce some of these initially scrapped features.
Beyond these rumors, the status of the next-generation AirPods Max is not entirely clear at the present time. In May 2021, Gurman said that Apple was not actively working on second-generation AirPods Max, but it is not known if this is still the case. The most recent mention of a second-generation model was the Gurman's claim in October that the next version of AirPods Max will feature USB-C and launch "by 2024." Seeing as Apple seems to launch one new AirPods product per year, the AirPods Max could logically be next up for a refresh – but this could still be several months away.