Whenever you hear that a new product is being released by Apple, people stand up and take notice. In particular, Apple evangelists. That’s not to say those not considered Apple evangelists don’t have curiosity and interest, because they do.
After all, the Apple name and its products have a reputation for quality and design, not to mention it being an iconic brand. That alone garners attention whenever a new product launches.
In this blog, I’m going to do a review on the new Apple Airpods Max, and compare that product to another new entrant into the Bluetooth headset space, the new made in France, Orosound Tilde Pro. Both can be used for work and play.
In my review, I’ll do live microphone tests to see how they both sound in a quiet environment, one with typical office sounds, and finally, our signature, noisy blender test.
If you’d like to hear how the Apple Airpods Max sound and how they compare to the Tilde Pro under these conditions, please check out the Youtube video I did on this.
You can decide for yourself how the Apple Airpods Max sounds and compares. What may sound good to me, might not to you, so check it out, and if you do, make sure to leave a comment. We read and appreciate them all.
Our review video can be found below.
So many makes and models of headsets are coming into the market with almost alarming speed. How do you sort through them all and decide which is best for you? The first thing that comes to mind is you need to determine what your needs are, and then eliminate those that don’t meet those needs.
The Apple Airpods Max is designed for work and play. Specifically, it’s designed to allow you to take business calls, with a slanted emphasis towards the play side of things. By this I mean listening to music, watching movies etc.
Let’s take a look at what makes the Apple Airpods Max a compelling choice, and where it may be lacking. As mentioned before, I’ll also test the sound to see how it does for voice calls including those being done in noisy environments.
First, what makes these new headphones appealing?
As with other Apple products, the Airpods Max are designed elegantly, and with attention to detail that you’d expect in an Apple device. It’s easy to see that Apple used high quality materials on the outside, but according to the specifications, they didn’t skimp on the inside as well.
The Airpods Max have a clean, almost minimalist design that screams Apple when you see it.
Nice appointments abound including the unique mesh canopy headband, smooth telescoping action on the earcups, which can be adjusted individually, and of course the overall look and feel.
So, from a visual, and first impression perspective, the Apple Airpods Max scores well in the area of design as one would expect.
The Apple Airpods Max provides you with a truly immersive experience when watching movies or listening to your favorite music. The Airpods Max is utilizes technology specifically designed to minimize distortion across the entire audio spectrum.
The result is crisp highs, warm mid-ranges, and the low end that gets your foot tapping. Clearly, this is one of The strongest qualities in the Airpods Max.
The Apple Airpods Max were designed to be comfortable. The unique knit mesh wrapped around the steel frame headband, gives you a gentle rebound when worn over the head.
This is far better when compared to other headsets that have a steel or hard plastic headband that can become Uncomfortable when worn for longer periods of time.
Another comfort feature Is the mesh textile wrapped memory foam ear cushions. Not only do these cushions wrap around the ear, versus being up against them, they form an acoustical seal that passively aids in reducing unwanted background noise. In The end, you hear better while being treated to a very soft wearing experience.
Where do the Apple Airpods Max fall short?
Though these headphones are designed well, and geared to be comfortable, they are a bit on the heavy side. They tip the scale at 13.6 ounces, and when compared to the new Tilde Pro headset, which weighs 9.2 ounces, you’ll see they’re about 30% heavier. To put this in perspective, here’s a 13 ounce weight to 9 ounce weight comparison in common household terms.
The Apple Airpods Max weigh about the same as a can of soup, or a can of soda The Orosound Tilde Pro weighs about the same as 6 sheets of paper.
With this example, you can better visualize how these two wireless headsets differ in terms of weight. This isn’t to say that the Apple Airpods Max are uncomfortable, because they’re not. But, if you plan on wearing them for extended periods of time, you might find other, lighter headsets to be more comfortable by comparison.
The stated battery life on the Apple Airpods Max is 20 hours. When compared to other premium headsets in this space, 20 hours is on the low end. For example, the Orosound Tilde Pro has a 28 hour battery and the Jabra Evolve2 85 gives you up to 37 hours which is nearly twice as much as the Airpods Max.
Though 20 hours is acceptable, it’s sub-par for a premium product that carries with it a premium price. It is nice though that the Airpods Max gives you 1.5 hours of listening time when placed on the charger for a short 5 minutes.
The Apple Airpods Max can only be used as a wireless headset. If the battery is dead, you cannot use the headset while it’s recharging. Some premium brands, such as the Tilde Pro, allow you to plug in the included USB charging cable and use the headset while the battery is being refreshed. Given a choice between these two designs, I’d pick a model that allows me to use the headset when it’s being charged over one that doesn’t.
Not the best for business calls
I think most would agree that the Apple Airpods Max headphones are primarily targeted for media use rather than business applications.
Though these headphones can be used for Softphone and video conferencing calls, the audio quality, in my opinion, is lacking when compared to other available models.
For example, comparing the Airpods Max microphone quality to the Orosound Tilde Pro like in my side-by-side video comparison, the Airpods Max audio quality was lacking.
To me, it didn’t provide the level of call quality that you need in a business environment. It would be perfectly fine for personal calls and some business calls, but overall, I’d give it a pass if it was being employed as my main business headset.
When dropping in some background noise such as typical office sounds, or in a more extreme example, our blender test, the Airpods Max didn’t perform well to eliminate those sounds.
The Orosound Tilde Pro, Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC and others do a far better job to eliminate this unwanted noise. Another reason why the Apple Airpods Max aren’t your best choice for a business grade headset. And truthfully, these headphones aren’t being marketed for that as their primary purpose.
Are the new Apple Airpods Max worth the $549.00 price tag? That’s a question only you can answer. Some Apple evangelists would pay far more than $549.00 because they simply love everything that carries the Apple logo. So, if you’re a brand loyalist like this, then to you would certainly pony up the money.
For everyone else, I think it really comes down to what your intended use is.
- Do you want a new pair of headphones for your entertainment?
- Do you want them for business?
- Do you want them for both business and entertainment?
To me, if you said you want new headphones for entertainment and for use with your mobile phone for calls, then I’d have to say that the Airpods Max may be one of your better options. The sound for music and movies is spectacular and I believe you’d have a hard time finding a substitute that sounded as good.
If, on the other hand, you said you want a new headset for your office phone and video calls with periodic music, podcasts etc., then I’d side with the choice to look at another brand other than Apple. The business space isn’t where Apple headphones shine, and because of that, your better options lie elsewhere.
The Apple Airpods are truly stylish, well designed and manufactured, minimalistic in their look, and quality in their feel. They’ll blow you away when listening to music and your favorite movies, and you even have the choice of several colors; Silver, Gray, Blue, Pink and Green. That alone is unique when compared to other brands that generally come in one color only.
The Smart Case, to some, might appear to be gimmicky as it doesn’t fit the mold of other headset case designs. Though it looks different, it does have a secondary purpose besides protecting the ear speakers.
Once the headset is placed into the case, the Airpods Max enter into an ultra-low power state which in turn helps to preserve the battery life. Outside of the case, the battery would drain at a faster rate.
There are many other cool features in the Apple Airpods Max such as:
- Siri voice prompting
- Active Noise Cancellation for a more secluded listening experience
- Transparency mode for hearing your surroundings with the headphones on
- Digital Crown to control volume, tracks, access phone calls, and activate Siri
The bottom line is the new Apple Airpods Max are a quality pair of headphones that will serve your needs well for music and movies and other forms of entertainment.
Though you can use these headphones for calls successfully, they don’t perform as well as other headphones. So whether these headphones are worth the $549.00 comes down to your degree of faithfulness to the brand combined with what your specific needs are.
For some, it may not matter about needs. If it’s an Apple product, they simply want it. But, for those who spend their money more carefully, matching the right product to the need will no doubt play a larger role in making a final decision.
Do I like the Apple Airpods Max? Absolutely!
Would I personally choose them as my main, go to product for my daily use? Absolutely not. In my particular case, I use headphones mostly for business purposes, and secondarily for non-business.
With that in mind, the Apple Airpods Max wouldn’t fit my needs the best. Whether we’re talking about an Apple product or not, and brand loyalty aside, it should always come down to matching a product to your particular needs. And, if that solution costs $549.00, then so be it.