AirPods Max 2: Release Details, Features, Color & Pricing

AirPods Max 2


Apple is set to launch the AirPods Max 2, the eagerly awaited second iteration of its only over-ear headphones, later this year. Speculation has been building over the past year and gained momentum after Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported a potential late 2024 release.

Although Apple hasn’t officially released details about the headphones, Techbonafide has compiled insights from news, documents and other sources about the AirPods Max 2. The new headphones are likely to feature a USB-C charging port and come in various colors.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple has not officially commented on the AirPods Max 2.
  • Research and sources point to probable updates like new colors and a USB-C charging port.
  • Patents suggest a possible replacement of the “Crown Dial” with new hand-gesture and touch-surface technology.
  • Speculation favors keeping the current H1 chip over upgrading to an H2 chip.
  • An upgrade to the chip could enhance features and performance in the new AirPods Max 2.

When are the AirPods Max 2 Coming Out?

The release of the AirPods Max 2 is anticipated to occur between the second half of 2024 & the first half of 2025, although Apple has not officially confirmed this timing. The expectation is that Apple will unveil the AirPods Max 2 alongside other new AirPods products during this period.

Analysts Ming-Chi Kuo and Jeff Pu both forecast that global shipments of the new AirPods Max could start in the late 2024 to early 2025 timeframe. Pu highlights that the introduction of a USB-C port is a significant new feature of the upcoming model.

Ming-Chi Kuo and Jeff Pu both forecast on the global shipments of new AirPods Max

Manufacturing will be handled by Luxshare ICT and Hon Teng in China, two companies that are integral to Apple’s supply chain and have previously assembled products like the iPhone, Apple Watch and the new Vision Pro.

Current global supply chain issues, especially shortages in key components such as chips, might push the release date to 2025.

When queried about the release at an Apple store, an employee mentioned:

“We’ve heard the rumors about a new model but we don’t have any official information yet.”

What first-generation issues do the AirPods Max 2 aim to fix?

The AirPods Max 2 aim to resolve several issues that users have encountered with the first-generation model. Marketed as premium headphones with a price tag of $549, the first-gen AirPods Max came with a subpar carrying case that offered limited protection and did not cover the headband, leaving users looking for more practical alternatives without having to resort to pricey aftermarket products.

Moreover, the lack of a standard audio cable (Aux Cord) for wired listening, especially on long flights, has been another point of frustration. Additionally, the original AirPods Max headphones are notably heavy, becoming uncomfortable to wear for extended periods.

Lastly, the use of Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector rather than the more universal USB-C connector has made the first model seem outdated. Techbonafide have mentioned the clear areas for potential improvement in the AirPods Max 2, which could significantly enhance the user experience.

Feature AirPods Max AirPods Max 2 (Anticipated)
Price $549 Expected to range from $449 to $549
Release Date December 2020 Anticipated between the second half of 2024 and the first half of 2025
Chip Dual H1 chips Potential upgrade to H2 chip
Battery Life 20 hours Expected to improve, particularly if upgraded to H2 chip
Charging Port Lightning connector USB-C to comply with new EU regulations
Color Options Multiple colors available New colors likely to be introduced
Case Design Minimal protection, does not cover headband Potential redesign for enhanced protection and functionality
Sound Features High-fidelity audio, Active Noise Cancellation, Spatial Audio Enhanced features possible, especially with H2 chip integration
Control Interface Digital Crown Potential introduction of touch-surface and gesture controls
Water and Dust Resistance Not specified Possible introduction based on market trends and user feedback
Special Features Adaptive EQ, Transparency mode Advanced features like Adaptive Noise Control, Personalized Volume, and Conversational Awareness (if H2 chip is integrated)

Please note that the details regarding the AirPods Max 2 are based on speculation and unconfirmed reports until Apple make an official announcement.

AirPods Max 2 Tech, Specs & Features

USB-C Connector Requirement

Under new European Union regulations, the upcoming AirPods Max 2 will feature a USB-C connector. This change ensures that all mobile devices in Europe can use a single charger type, specifically the USB Type-C port.

Potential Replacement of the Crown Dial

The first and only model of the AirPods Max, released in December 2020, featured a ‘Digital Crown’ for controlling various functions like playing music, taking calls and adjusting volume. This control method, borrowed from the Apple Watch, might see a significant redesign in the AirPods Max 2.

According to a patent filed by Apple (patent application number 20220038820), there’s a possibility that the Digital Crown could be replaced by advanced touch and gesture controls. The patent outlines a system combining touch-sensitive surfaces and gesture-processing components, which could allow users to perform actions such as adjusting volume, skipping tracks or summoning Siri with simple gestures or taps.

“An increasing number of iOS users are using AI-powered apps to succeed in business, education and programming. However, the App Store is flooded with AI apps because of the AI revolution, particularly after ChatGPT entered the market. Learn about the top five AI apps for iPhone.”

Uncertainty of New Features

While the patent suggests exciting new technology, it’s still uncertain whether these features will be included in the AirPods Max 2. Given that the patent was filed in 2022, Apple has had time to incorporate this technology into their upcoming products but no official confirmation has been made regarding these features.

H2 Chip Prospects for AirPods Max 2

H2 Chip for AirPods Max 2The current AirPods Max is equipped with dual H1 chips, each located in an ear cup, contrasting with the newer H2 chip used in the second-generation AirPods Pro. The H2 chip is celebrated for significantly enhancing audio processing, energy efficiency and performance.

As the launch draws near, there’s ongoing speculation about whether the AirPods Max 2 will include the H2 chip. While many tech experts predict its absence, some argue that skipping this update could be a misstep, potentially missing out on elevating the user experience and performance.

Advantages of the H2 Chip

Incorporating the H2 chip into the AirPods Max 2 would bring several advantages, aligning the headphones with the technological advances seen in Apple’s other audio products. This would not only make the headphones more consistent with the AirPods Pro but also add several cutting-edge features:

Apple Airpod Pro

  • Adaptive Noise Control: This blends Active Noise Cancellation with Transparency mode, allowing users to enjoy music while staying aware of their surroundings.
  • Personalized Volume: Enabled by the H2 chip, this feature adjusts the media volume based on environmental conditions and personal preferences. The technology can learn from a user’s habits to fine-tune audio settings dynamically.
  • Conversational Awareness: This feature detects when the user is speaking with someone and automatically lowers the music volume while enhancing external voices. Once the conversation ends, it resumes the previous audio settings.

The inclusion of these features, along with improvements to existing ones like Spatial Audio, which uses gyroscopes and sensors for dynamic head-tracking sound adaptation, would significantly enhance the AirPods Max 2.

Important: Despite the potential benefits, Apple has not yet revealed its plans officially regarding the chip upgrade in the AirPods Max 2.

Analysis of Apple’s ‘New Color’ Strategy for the AirPods Max 2

Introducing new colors is a cost-effective strategy for launching new tech models, requiring no changes to the engineering or components inside the product. This approach has proven popular among consumers and can significantly boost sales. Apple has frequently used this strategy, notably with the iPhone 15 & 15 Plus, iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, the Apple Watch, and Mac computers.

Given Apple’s history of rolling out new colors to rejuvenate interest and attract buyers, it’s highly likely that the AirPods Max 2 will also debut with a variety of new color options and possibly new colors for accessories. This strategy not only refreshes the product’s appearance but also helps to maintain consumer excitement and market momentum.

New AirPods Max 2 Case

The case for the original AirPods Max has drawn criticism from users for its design, which does not fully enclose the headphones, leaving them vulnerable and inadequately protected. Additionally, there have been concerns about its battery charging functionality.

Apple Airpods Pro with case

In contrast, fans of the AirPods Pro appreciate that both the earbuds and their case are resistant to dust, sweat and water. Unfortunately, the AirPods Max 2 has not extended these protective features to its design.

Redesigning the Max 2 to be water and dust-resistant would involve substantial and expensive changes. However, if Apple has taken user feedback into account, updating the case to more closely resemble the well-regarded classic AirPods Case would be a welcome improvement for many users.

What will the AirPods Max 2 battery life be?

The battery life of the original AirPods Max, at 20 hours, doesn’t quite measure up to the 30 hours offered by the 3rd generation of AirPods or the 24 hours provided by the 2nd generation. This discrepancy is partly because the AirPods Max uses two H1 chips, which do not deliver the same battery efficiency as the newer H2 chip. The H2 chip utilizes advanced computational algorithms to enhance battery performance.

If the upcoming AirPods Max 2 includes the H2 chip, we could see a significant increase in battery life. However, Apple could also improve battery life in other ways with the next generation of products, such as by increasing the battery size if needed.

Price of AirPods Max 2

  • Estimated price: $449 to $549

Currently, Apple offers the AirPods Max at $549, significantly more than the $169 price tag of the AirPods 3rd generation. Due to the sophisticated components and larger size, the AirPods Max 2 will also command a premium price. However, there is potential for a price reduction. Over the years, Apple has introduced more affordable versions of its iconic products to capture new customers and markets successfully. For instance, Bloomberg noted in September 2023 that Apple’s lower-priced iPhone 15 model saw high demand.

Promotional Pricing Trends

Apple has occasionally reduced the price of AirPods Max to $449 during promotions, as reported by Yahoo in 2022 and Variety in 2023. This consistent strategy suggests that the AirPods Max 2 could debut at a lower price than its predecessor. Despite this, the original AirPods Max maintained strong sales at $549. Sound Guys noted that since Apple kept the pricing for the first and second-generation AirPods Pro the same, it’s likely the AirPods Max will follow this pattern, although future promotional pricing campaigns are still possible.

Managing Expectations for the AirPods Max 2

As excitement builds around the AirPods Max 2, it’s wise to temper expectations. Some predict the AirPods Max 2 might launch alongside the iPhone 16 in September. While the shift to a USB-C port is a significant update for compatibility, major technological advances like Adaptive Audio may not be included.

There’s a strong belief that the AirPods Max 2 will retain the H1 chip, suggesting that features like Adaptive Audio, which adjusts sound based on external noise, will remain exclusive to the second-generation AirPods Pro. The lack of this feature could be seen as a missed opportunity but it appears Apple is prioritizing consistency and satisfaction with the existing model’s features, opting for a more conservative update.

While some might hope for more advanced features like Adaptive Audio, Apple’s strategy indicates a satisfaction with the current performance and market position of the AirPods Max. The introduction of new colors and a new port type shows a nod to consumer desires but the core experience of the AirPods Max is likely to stay the same.


Are AirPods Max 2 coming out?

Yes, the AirPods Max 2 is on its way. Expect its release sometime between the second half of 2024 and the first half of 2025.

Should I buy the AirPods Max or wait for the AirPods Max 2?

Deciding whether to buy the current AirPods Max or wait for the next generation depends on your needs. It’s important to remember that Apple does not offer an upgrade or exchange program for AirPods. If you need headphones soon for work, travel or other reasons, the current AirPods Max will serve you well, delivering high-quality performance. While the AirPods Max 2 will likely offer improvements like enhanced sound quality and a USB-C connection, the first generation remains a solid choice.

Is it worth buying the AirPods Max?

The AirPods Max provides a premium over-ear listening experience that’s ideal for professional audio producers, video editors, engineers and music enthusiasts who value immersive sound and effective noise cancellation. Despite the competitive market for over-ear headphones, the AirPods Max stands out as one of the top options available. They are worth purchasing if you’re looking for top-tier over-ear headphones.

How do I use the AirPods Max 2?

The AirPods Max 2 will connect seamlessly to your device via Bluetooth. They use a case for charging and protection when not in use. Currently, the main interface is the digital crown, which controls various functions. However, if Apple introduces the rumored touch-surface and gesture technology, it could transform how users interact with their headphones, offering a more innovative control method and enhancing the overall user experience. This could be a significant shift, encouraging Apple users to adopt a new way of managing audio interactions.

Final Bite

Apple is known for its tight-lipped approach to product development and the AirPods Max 2 is no exception. Only the team directly involved knows precisely what the new headphones will feature and look like. What’s developed in Apple’s Cupertino HQ tends to remain a well-guarded secret.

Despite the secrecy, several updates seem likely. We can expect to see a USB-C charger, consistent pricing strategies and new color options for accessories.

Should Apple decide to upgrade from the H1 to the H2 chips, the AirPods Max 2 could see significant improvements. These might include a longer battery life and advanced features already popular among AirPods users, such as Adaptive Noise Control, Personalized Volume and Conversational Awareness.

It remains uncertain whether Apple will redesign the AirPods Max case, but any improvement here would likely be a welcomed change by its users.

Apple could also unveil groundbreaking technology with the new Max 2, particularly innovations involving gesture and touch surface controls.

The final details on these upgrades will only be confirmed when Apple officially launches the AirPods Max 2. Until then, Apple enthusiasts and potential buyers will just have to wait and see what comes next.

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