AirPods Max Review: An Audiophile's Perspective

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Are Apple's new $550 AirPods Max any good? As reluctant audiophiles, we give the most in-depth review yet!
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Buy AirPods Max -
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0:00 - Background
0:49 - Comfort/Fit
3:40 - Controls
4:45 - Case/Portability
6:46 - Battery
7:42 - Repairability/Teardown
9:40 - The Good Stuff
9:56 - Active Noise Cancelling
12:22 - Transparency Mode
13:26 - "Off" Mode
13:48 - Bluetooth Codecs
16:48 - The $35 Cable
19:09 - Objective SQ
20:08 - Subjective SQ
21:44 - Spatial Audio
22:36 - Digital Signal Processor (DSP)
23:51 - vs Sony 1000XM4
24:10 - vs B&W PX7
24:30 - AirPods vs The Competition
25:08 - The Problem with AirPods Pro
26:09 - Should You Buy Them?
Crinacle measurements:
LDAC’s problems:
Bluetooth headphone codecs:
AirPods Case design interview:
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The Apple AirPods Max have been released to much fanfare. At a colossal $550, it puts itself way above the competition like the very popular Sony WH-1000XM4, Bowers & Wilkins PX7, and the Bose 700; however, it's still a bit shy of what the hi-fi market would expect in terms of pricing. Are they good? Yes. Quite good, in fact. But are they good enough to warrant their price tag? Watch our comprehensive AirPods Max review to find out.

Snazzy Labs
  • Zork 98

    Zork 98

    2 ժամ առաջ

    660 euro... i'd rather buy any audiophile headphone and amp and walk around with the amplifier in the backpack🤣

  • Marc Marchal

    Marc Marchal

    3 ժամ առաջ

    Looking for good headphones I stumbled upon the Amiron from Beyerdynamics. Did you have any chanve to listen to those?

  • gomez3420


    18 ժամ առաջ

    First time listening to your reviews. I am impressed that you gave a thoughtful review that was balanced and cut through a lot of the BS that many plague reviewers. Well done.

  • RM 713

    RM 713

    2 օր առաջ

    I have had two of them and had to send them back. The first ones had connection problems and right ear cup noise but I could reset them. I sent them back for a replacement. I got my second AirPods max and they were even worse. A different pair in a different colour. They had the same issues but won't resett. I'm getting a refund this time and refund on the apple care also. Very disappointed that Apple put out a product that doesn't match it's high price. When they worked they were great at times but the continuous problems on and off and then finally not being able to reset them made me just want a refund. They look great and are strong. The sound quality was brilliant at times and the noise cancellation the best. Another reason I didn't go for a replacement was that they wanted to send a replacement in the same colour. I wanted to make sue I didn't get the same ones back. I DON'T THINK THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IN STEVE JOBS DAY. I also had all my devices on the latest upgrades of software and the headphones are also. Didn't make any difference to the annoying things happening at times with them. I tried everything to get them sorted.

  • Sanjjeev21


    3 օր առաջ

    Does it make sense to use the APM with an external DAC such as the AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt or a DAP such as the AK SP2000 to take advantage of the superior DAC? Does the APM in wired mode bypass the DAC inside of it? Thank you.

  • Jason Moorhees

    Jason Moorhees

    6 օր առաջ

    Can you use these to listen to vinyl with the added lightning port to 3.5 mm jack cable? Trying to kill two birds with one stone here.

  • J T

    J T

    9 օր առաջ

    If you plugged in the headphone and listen to Tidal Master music you get the high sample rate of 96 kHz or higher. Something you don't get from Android. Is that correct?

  • jeff antalik

    jeff antalik

    9 օր առաջ

    Incredibly great review

  • phin


    10 օր առաջ

    nice review bro

  • Bobby G.

    Bobby G.

    10 օր առաջ

    It must really really suck to be bothered by every little thing possible. I love this guys videos but between him and Linus they complain about small petty shit that I and many others wouldn’t even think of. It’s quite exhausting actually.

    • Snazzy Labs

      Snazzy Labs

      10 օր առաջ

      That’s the whole point of a review, my man.

  • Ms. K

    Ms. K

    11 օր առաջ

    GREAT Video and I currently just got my AirPods Max,so far I'm enjoying them.

  • D Mac

    D Mac

    12 օր առաջ

    I like that jacket dude. Where did you get that?

  • promachacker


    13 օր առաջ

    Excellent review

  • Dan Hazard

    Dan Hazard

    13 օր առաջ

    Review of the V-Moda M200's? 🤷🏻‍♀️

  • Barry James

    Barry James

    14 օր առաջ

    This is the fist time I have watched you and I am impressed so far.

    • Snazzy Labs

      Snazzy Labs

      14 օր առաջ


  • Nebular Phonics

    Nebular Phonics

    14 օր առաջ

    Can I use these to record music on Logic Pro x?

  • ABJ4


    15 օր առաջ

    I didn't buy the AirPodMax max at all

  • Warlock


    15 օր առաջ

    Anker Soundcore Q30 it is, then. :D

  • TruceEverlast


    16 օր առաջ

    I have them. The two main things I like about them are their comfort (the weight doesn’t bother me) and their transparency mode.

  • Karan Upadhyay

    Karan Upadhyay

    19 օր առաջ

    That’s all the information I ever wanted in a single airpods max review

  • Brian G

    Brian G

    19 օր առաջ

    Excellent Review. Thanks



    19 օր առաջ

    Probably the best in-depth tech reviewer on YouTube.

  • Chris Moghtaderi

    Chris Moghtaderi

    20 օր առաջ

    What a great review! I appreciated the balanced approach on this. Well done!

  • Tembrock


    21 օր առաջ

    Very much appreciated your review. I learned some things! I have a pair. I appreciate good quality headphones and I do like them. To me it's a bit like so may accessories. Sometimes the best accessory is the one that you have on hand or the one that's easiest to use. These are extremely easy to use (and more of a slam dunk in an Apple eccosystem) and sound amazing to me. They are not insignifigant in heft but pretty darn comfy for my big head overall. My other pair of headphones I almost sold (then decided I was crazy) was my Sennheiser HD 660S which I quite enjoy. Those are VERY comfy for me and quite light but of course wired only.

  • boop bwep

    boop bwep

    23 օր առաջ

    Save yourself some moneu, get a fiio, turn on ldac, get some kzs.

  • Rich Briere

    Rich Briere

    24 օր առաջ

    Fabulous point after point.

  • newfnshow031


    25 օր առաջ

    600 for medium fidelity headphones? No thanks I'll stick with the $30 earpods

  • andrew pankiw

    andrew pankiw

    25 օր առաջ

    Apple know what they’re doing cus they dabble with black maj

  • Jordan Bach

    Jordan Bach

    25 օր առաջ

    You are everything anyone could ever want in an informative YouTuber.

  • Juko


    26 օր առաջ

    great review - although criticizing lightning on this product is a little too much. i cannot see it any other way, seeing as it’s mainly an accessory to other products that use lightning.

  • Uncle Rey

    Uncle Rey

    27 օր առաջ

    Uncle Rey.

  • Precision rifle reviews

    Precision rifle reviews

    29 օր առաջ

    Fantastic review please can you tell me/ would there be an advantage to a male to male (lightning to lightning) cable to plug headphones in to phone if using say tidal for music.

  • Glock Glock

    Glock Glock

    Ամիս առաջ

    It’s called Air Pod Max for a reason

  • Martin Newman

    Martin Newman

    Ամիս առաջ

    I have a similar head to you, and the Max's have a similar fit. I got them yesterday and I don't know what I am going to do. The sound is incredible, I have to say, but when listening to Batman The Dark knight Rises, the bass was a bit overwhelming for me, although not for the headphones themselves (I'm sure we've all had headphone which couldn't handle the extreme bass from a subwoofer-type sound).
    I may keep them and pay them off from the credit card over a few months, as I think I deserve it at the moment, but I'll keep them for a week or so before I decide.
    Good, honest review though, Mr Audiophile.

  • Samuel J Booth

    Samuel J Booth

    Ամիս առաջ

    Ps i owned the apple headphones and own the Sony's v4 I sent the apple back . But if you don't need it to be Bluetooth and noice cancelling what could you get for a 300 and 500 ( usb ) DAC and headphones ?

  • Samuel J Booth

    Samuel J Booth

    Ամիս առաջ

    Sorry so the cable takes analog to digital ( the headphone ) then in the headphones back to analog . ie D-A A-D D-A?
    Normal Headphones D-A. ??? ( you are a hifi guy ? ) And its limited by the converters of the output of the source, mac or pc? would it not be better for the apple headphones to have wifi and run non compressed audio? or a apple LDAC? And iTunes to run at Tidal quality?
    Please do a thing about those old headphones of yours wold love to no more ?
    And please explain about D to A and how it makes everything in what we here.
    I know you need to pay the bills we all do .
    But this is the third video of yours pushing a product . Please let us all Know if you are sponsored or not.

  • Samuel J Booth

    Samuel J Booth

    Ամիս առաջ

    Thank you for the review . I do hope tho we never get to the point where we speak to another human in-front of us with our headphones on. God i m getting old. :-) hehe

  • Theodor Watson

    Theodor Watson

    Ամիս առաջ

    666 dislikes

  • Terreos


    Ամիս առաջ

    666 dislikes?!? Oh you’ve pissed hell off!
    I was on the fence about these. I’m not an audiophile in my eyes. But I do enjoy a good sounding set of head phones. I have my earbuds for working out, but something that integrates well with my iPhone and iPad would be nice. I watch movies and tv shows all the time on my iPad so that would be nice to have. What was stopping me is a lot of people were saying the Sony headphones were straight up better? But seeing your collection of headphones makes me feel like you’re the only one being honest about the sound quality.

  • Lorde Darius

    Lorde Darius

    Ամիս առաջ

    Case? That’s a BRA

  • Andrew Almalhi

    Andrew Almalhi

    Ամիս առաջ

    You look like a different type of phile

    • Snazzy Labs

      Snazzy Labs

      Ամիս առաջ

      I like movies but not enough to be a cinephile.

  • Blas Ontiveros

    Blas Ontiveros

    Ամիս առաջ

    Since when Bose is out of the competition?

  • rmis32


    Ամիս առաջ

    I had headphones that I thought were pretty good. Trying out the AirPods Max out of curiosity, I fell in love with them. I received my purchase today. After several hours of music listening, I'm very happy that I got them.

  • ItsMini


    Ամիս առաջ

    From another audiophiles perspective, I believe you're wrong.

  • TheJaisah


    Ամիս առաջ

    Great review. I would love a pair of Airpods Max but I cant justify the expense. I have Bose NC700's at home and my old set of QC35's at work. They will do just fine for now.

  • Andrew Vera

    Andrew Vera

    Ամիս առաջ

    How’s the sound vs the M50’s? Disregard the price tho like pure sound.

  • HarryWooldridge


    Ամիս առաջ

    Thinking of upgrading from my Bose qc35 ii
    Should I?

  • Gabriel Rossini

    Gabriel Rossini

    Ամիս առաջ

    I will officially put your road noise as my ringtone. Fucking nice touch.

  • s s

    s s

    Ամիս առաջ

    Nice review

  • Al Magcope

    Al Magcope

    Ամիս առաջ

    That dent broke my heart

  • Victor S

    Victor S

    Ամիս առաջ

    lol who the fuck uses wireless charging? long live lightning

  • Richard Cooke

    Richard Cooke

    Ամիս առաջ

    How do they compare to the V-Moda Crossfade 2?

  • What up yo

    What up yo

    Ամիս առաջ

    5:34 Uhuhuh, third party cases exist bro 🤦‍♂️

  • Ken Chen

    Ken Chen

    Ամիս առաջ

    If they broke for me mate Dankpods, they a automatic fail for me.

  • Brett Thompson

    Brett Thompson

    Ամիս առաջ

    I share your awkward head pain

  • AnakChan


    Ամիս առաջ

    At 20:27, you're saying the Airpod Max implying made by Monster? Are you sure about that?

  • Juan Hernandez

    Juan Hernandez

    Ամիս առաջ

    The plant geology additionally thank because pizza indisputably own throughout a mushy coal. laughable, goofy quill

  • O0oOo8oOo0O


    Ամիս առաջ

    This is like the best review in 2020

  • Xavier Breath

    Xavier Breath

    Ամիս առաջ

    Great review, but let's not forget that the source of the music is vital. No self-respecting audiophile would be caught dead using their iPhone as their source. Nor would they be using a heavily compressed format, a cheap cable with a DAC like the one Apple sells, or bluetooth. More likely, for headphone listening, they would be using a high end CD player (worth thousands), a specifically designed headphone amp, and WIRED headphones.

  • Reed Harston

    Reed Harston

    Ամիս առաջ

    Wow, hard to believe they've been out this long already...
    I always knew that your review would be the only one I'd need, since you care enough about audio to give the headphones a proper review, while also caring enough about the ecosystem and unique features to give them weight in your review as well.
    What your review says for me is that I'll need to try them on to see if they fit (I have a large head...) and that yes, they do add value over their competition so their price isn't that outrageous. Now the only problem is I don't know if I'd ever pay $80 for a pair of headphones, let alone $550. 😂 I got my AirPods free with the iMac I bought last year using the education discount and I absolutely love the wireless experience, but I don't know I would have ever paid full price for them, so the AirPods Max would be a hard sell for me. Maybe someday...

  • Bryan Windmark

    Bryan Windmark

    Ամիս առաջ

    Apple would have to pay ME $560 to use these headphones. Forget it!

  • Mike Broesel

    Mike Broesel

    Ամիս առաջ

    I love mine the best thing I ever did it to buy them.

  • Allen Tejada

    Allen Tejada

    Ամիս առաջ

    Can you compare the xm4 with your eq vs the airpords pls 🙏🏼

  • v1ce21


    Ամիս առաջ

    Great objective review!

  • Yair Martinez

    Yair Martinez

    Ամիս առաջ

    have the bowers and I reaaally struggle to think the air pods can sound better, just because it`s apple... guess I`ll have to give them a try

  • humor


    Ամիս առաջ

    still seems like bass heavy garbage for $500, matching of the left and right driver is poor. regarding the measurement, personally I'd like flatter bass and more emphasis around the 2k-3k region.

  • Patrick O'Neill

    Patrick O'Neill

    Ամիս առաջ

    nah the xm4's are better.... and their case isn't stupid.. and they have more functionality.. and their cheaper? airpods max are dumb

  • Richard Briggs

    Richard Briggs

    Ամիս առաջ

    Dumb case, heavy, expensive, and very lossy AAC bluetooth codec. No thanks.

  • Lucifer


    Ամիս առաջ

    Overpriced, dumb design and stupid case. Fucking ridiculous.

  • Xander Oerlemans

    Xander Oerlemans

    Ամիս առաջ

    Is there a galaxy buds pro review coming?

  • joel richards

    joel richards

    Ամիս առաջ

    Can you use the transparency and/or noise canceling while using 3.5mm cable?

  • Vladimír Petija

    Vladimír Petija

    Ամիս առաջ

    Man your review so on point. If only you had those bi neural mics

  • Pedro


    Ամիս առաջ

    By air play or connection to tv you could watch a movie from phone

  • Devvie Life

    Devvie Life

    Ամիս առաջ

    10:04 Has no one noticed the slight increase of audio when he increased the volume on his iPhone?

  • Joseph Nicholson

    Joseph Nicholson

    Ամիս առաջ

    Anyone else wildly distracted by this stunning (GS?) on wrist? Oooof those reflective hands and markers! Oh, solid review of the cans too ;) As usual, more depth and detail than any other video out there! Much appreciated!

  • superfragilisticatexpialidoshmur


    Ամիս առաջ

    Apple could've made a case identical to the Bose 700's, would've made it so much better. The Bose 700's also have a charging case available. If Apple makes that, and (or just) gives the capability to switch between iCloud and at least one non-iCloud device, I'd order them immediately. I got to try them out for a bit and I was astounded by the clarity, though I did only listen to one song. It did sound fairly flat to me in the 5 minutes I had with them, but I was able to pick out individual voices with the AirPods Max much better than I have been with other headphones I've tried. I don't have a direct comparison, but I have listened to both the Bose 700s and the XM4s, and if it weren't for the slight inconvenience (I'm assuming, since AirPods Pro have to be repaired with my laptop every time I use them) I would be much more interested in getting them. I may still be interested eventually, but I'm not entirely positive I'd get as much use out of them.

  • tono80


    Ամիս առաջ

    I found my AirPods Max kinda hissy. Anybody found the same? Also, I have a big head so there is a lot of pressure above my ears, so headaches. Thinking about returning them

    • tono80


      Ամիս առաջ

      @Greig I know. But as a Quality Engineer that used to que for Apple it would surprise me that something that big would escape.

    • Greig


      Ամիս առաջ

      @tono80 QC is not perfect. It is even listed as an important management factor in BA classes.

    • tono80


      Ամիս առաջ

      @Greig You think? It’s only on the highs. You think it’s get past Apple’s 100% QC inspection?

    • Greig


      Ամիս առաջ

      just return it the hiss mean your amp are no good.

  • Mike's Tech Talks

    Mike's Tech Talks

    Ամիս առաջ

    While they do sound great and the noise cancelling is good.
    If you have any allergies to materials... you need to be careful.
    I had a severe allergic reaction. It sucks, but if Apple had different materials in their cups, like a natural leather... I could still use them.

  • Martin Lok

    Martin Lok

    Ամիս առաջ

    Late comment, but does the $35 cable transfer mic data back to the source? Important when using discord while gaming...

  • Aaron U

    Aaron U

    2 ամիս առաջ

    Drop a link to that jacket I've been wanting something like that for a while

  • Sal Avila

    Sal Avila

    2 ամիս առաջ

    19:08 for those that only care about the sound quality

  • MzTraveling Usa

    MzTraveling Usa

    2 ամիս առաջ

    Great review. Particularly about the clamping on the head. I'm one of those that can't stand clamping pressure. I've had several over-the-head headphones be gifted to friends for this reason. Where I was about to pull the trigger on purchasing them, I'm now in HOLD mode thanks to your awesome review.

  • Tyson Gates

    Tyson Gates

    2 ամիս առաջ

    I have the PX7 and WH1000XM3 headphones but mine seem to have different sound signatures than yours. My PX7 is overly heavy and muddy in the bass with highs that roll off at low frequencies over Bluetooth (though wired with USB they don't have the same issues). My Sony is much more neutral over Bluetooth with a little extra bass but no distortion. I've also never had an issue with LDAC reliability

  • M Latief

    M Latief

    2 ամիս առաջ

    Did you say like this video,
    Love it

  • GAIN


    2 ամիս առաջ

    If you use them with the cable do you still need to charge them?

  • Dustin Quinn

    Dustin Quinn

    2 ամիս առաջ

    That’s what I call a review. Good job. Liked and subscribed ;)

  • SNKR Champagne

    SNKR Champagne

    2 ամիս առաջ

    You sayed it's supported just on IOS , was it the spatialu audio where u said " When am I going to watch a movie on my iPhone", but is it TVOS compatible...!? and nowadays when there is a little confusment in if iPad OS n iPhone OS is the same!? so is it iPad compatible?....because watching a movie on iPad is nice , specially on the 13" the questions are (sry , MR. ADHD here :):
    1. Is it just iPhone compatible they sound info you talk about in 22:30ish and if yes is there some kinda of workaround as in almost any Apple case.
    2. IF it's just iPhone OS compatible does it mean it's iPad compatible also because the OS is basically the same ?

  • brian hester

    brian hester

    2 ամիս առաջ

    Love mine. I’ve found they sound better with the eq off on my iPhone. I did buy the 35 dollar cable to see if they would sound better say through my iPod classic or MacBook. I’ve been a musician all my life but I guess I’m not a “audiophile” because I couldn’t hear much of a difference so long story short that cable is being returned tomorrow. I have a love hate relationship with apple. I love their products but they suck for nickle and diming their customers. They know people have to get the protection plan so the cans are really 610.00. It would’ve been a lot cooler if they charged $475 instead. But hey that’s just my humble subjective opinion. Great reviews by the way.

    • brian hester

      brian hester

      2 ամիս առաջ

      @Tim Gardner hey Tim that's good to know. I think I'm past the point of return but I did get the interest free for 6 months. but congrats on the good deal you got. I've always been leary of buying tech used unless its from someone I know but I know, there are some good deals out there. I just returned the cable, ill tell ya they've got a lot of nerve charging 35 bucks for probably the cheapest made cable I've ever seen.

    • Tim Gardner

      Tim Gardner

      2 ամիս առաջ

      I pretty much agree with everything you said. I actually bought a space grey pair back on launch and returned them. Couldn't justify the price. Anyway, two weeks ago I saw a Sky Blue "used-like new" pair come up on Amazon warehouse for $425 dollars. I purchased it immediately. When it arrived it looked pristine. In fact it still had the factory pull tabs on it. Anyway, I think $425-450 is the correct price for this item. I recommend to people to consider purchasing through Amazon warehouse because a lot of people are returning them nearly brand new because they cannot justify the high price. I've seen daily these go up anywhere for 425-450 on amazon warehouse. Anyway, you may want to consider amazon warehouse and return your current ones to save $100 bucks or so.

  • nternalPractice


    2 ամիս առաջ

    I bought the Airpod Maxes and quickly decided that they weren't worth more than twice what I paid for my Sony XM4s. That was before both my ears swelled up with an INSANE allergic reaction to wearing the headphones. I've never gotten an allergic reaction from a consumer product before yet, it's happened 3 times to me when buying new Apple products. I got itchy rashes from Apple Watch sport band and the sport loop but these were NOTHING compared to my ears blowing up and turning an angry red after wearing the Airpod Maxes on and off over the course of 3 days. I can't believe I'm the only one that has had this experience.

  • Kris Burke

    Kris Burke

    2 ամիս առաջ

    I can't stand wireless headsets, they just sound crap, even the good ones.

  • A B C

    A B C

    2 ամիս առաջ

    MP3 is also psychoacoustic, btw. Comparing bit rates is dangerous for other reasons :)

  • The Unplanned Life

    The Unplanned Life

    2 ամիս առաջ

    Alright. I’m going with the Sony WF 1000XM4 instead.

  • Fred Howland

    Fred Howland

    2 ամիս առաջ

    The Doug Demuro of audio!

  • Tom Krupa

    Tom Krupa

    2 ամիս առաջ

    Using them with a wire will sound better as the MacBook's DAC is a better sound quality than the AAC encode the headphones use over bluetooth!

  • Everable Med Spa Marketing

    Everable Med Spa Marketing

    2 ամիս առաջ

    Which mobile app do you use to listen music to? :)

  • Glennwulf


    2 ամիս առաջ

    okkkkk i had no idea you could adjust options in accessibility. WOW. liked and subscribed for this alone lmao

  • Adams Brew

    Adams Brew

    2 ամիս առաջ

    Senn HD600 are my benchmark for headphone audio. Anything more expensive is generally too diminishing returns to be worth my money — anything of less audio quality is not worth my time.

  • zvxcvxcz


    2 ամիս առաջ

    You're going to need to look at codecs again. Your explanation was awful and really didn't cover the major historical problems with Bluetooth codecs, not only the issues with quality, but also with latency. AptX LL is pretty much the only one worth using if you're doing anything latency sensitive (movies are not latency sensitive so much because you can code in the offset, but games would be). And don't even get me started on all the mangling caused by noise cancelling (which not only Apple is guilty of), which while perhaps nice in extremely noisy environments, is always 2nd class compared with noise isolation and is more just to be able to extract information than to experience sound. That would be a large minus if it couldn't be turned off (but it can in this case).

  • Phat Anh Duy Le

    Phat Anh Duy Le

    2 ամիս առաջ

    Funnily enough, a lot of people don't talk about how at 500$, you can get an xm4 for portable wireless listening and a good set of $200$ wired headphones for home studio and listening and beat all of the bluetooth headphones out there (hd6xx, hd58x, he5xx/4xx, akg 361, shp9600 etc.)

  • Diane M

    Diane M

    2 ամիս առաջ

    Ok, I'm officially less of an audiophile than you are.