Apple is reportedly planning to launch a new version of its over-ear headphones, the AirPods Max, in late 2024. The new model will feature USB-C charging and new colors, but will not have any major changes in design or performance.
The AirPods Max are Apple’s first entry into the over-ear headphones market, which was launched in December 2020. The headphones offer high-fidelity audio, active noise cancellation, spatial audio, and seamless integration with Apple devices. They also have a distinctive design with a stainless steel frame, a mesh canopy, and magnetic ear cushions.
The AirPods Max are priced at $549, making them one of the most expensive headphones in the market. They compete with other high-end products from brands like Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser. However, some critics have pointed out the drawbacks of the AirPods Max, such as their heavy weight, lack of a power button, and the controversial Smart Case that is supposed to preserve battery life.
USB-C charging and new colors coming in 2024
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who has a reliable track record of reporting on Apple’s plans, the company is preparing to update the AirPods Max in late 2024. The only significant changes expected for the new model are the replacement of the Lightning port with USB-C and the introduction of new colors.
USB-C charging would make the AirPods Max more compatible with other devices, such as MacBooks and iPads, which have already adopted the standard. It would also allow for faster charging and data transfer. New colors would give customers more options to personalize their headphones, as the current lineup only offers five colors: silver, space gray, sky blue, green, and pink.
No H2 chip or other major improvements
However, Gurman also said that there will not be any other major changes for the new AirPods Max, such as a new design or a faster chip. The current model uses the H1 chip, which is also found in the AirPods and AirPods Pro. The H1 chip enables features like Siri voice control, automatic switching between devices, and audio sharing.
Some analysts have speculated that Apple is working on a new H2 chip that would offer better performance and battery life for its wireless headphones. However, Gurman said that the H2 chip is not expected to debut until 2025, when Apple will also update the AirPods Pro with a new design and hearing health features.
A niche product for audiophiles
The AirPods Max are not likely to see a significant boost in sales or popularity with the upcoming update in 2024. They will remain a niche product for audiophiles who are willing to pay a premium price for Apple’s quality and ecosystem. For most consumers, the AirPods and AirPods Pro will continue to be more affordable and convenient options for wireless audio.