After months of speculation, Apple finally announced the AirPods Max, an active noise-cancelling headphone that’s set to be the ultimate Zoom flex.

It comes in five different colours

AirPods Max comes in silver, space gray, green, pink and sky blue

Unlike the AirPods and AirPods Pro which only comes in one colourway, the AirPods Max is available in five colours—silver, space grey, green, pink and sky blue. Space Grey and Silver are the safest options, but if you have a Pacific Blue iPhone 12 Pro or Pro Max, then matching it would only add to the flex.

It has a 20-hour battery life

A pair of good wireless headphones need to have a decent battery life, especially if you’re going to be out and about. (Also, the endless Zoom calls these days.) The AirPods Max features 20 hours of high-fidelity audio, talk time, or movie playback with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled. When we’re allowed to fly again, the long battery life actually means you can enjoy your music and movies on a long non-stop flight from Singapore to Newark—on a single charge.

The Digital Crown provides precise volume control and the ability to play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri. The noise control button easily switches between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode.

Cool design elements

AirPods Max features a breathable knit mesh canopy, spanning the headband that’s designed to distribute weight efficiently and reduce on-head pressure. The stainless steel headband frame is sturdy but flexible enough to fit a wide variety of head shapes and sizes.

The ear cup is held magnetically to the frame for easy cleaning or replacement. It also independently pivots and rotates for a comfortable fit and effective seal. The AirPods Max also has a Digital Crown, inspired by Apple Watch, which allows you to precisely control the volume, play or pause audio, skip tracks, answer or end phone calls, and activate Siri.

The internals are great too

The AirPods Max uses a 40-mm Apple-designed dynamic driver that provides rich, deep bass, accurate mid-ranges, and crisp, clean high-frequency extension. It also uses a unique dual neodymium ring magnet motor (which is usually not used in portable audio devices), as well as the  H1 chip in each ear. Combining hardware and computational audio, the AirPods Max promises a truly immersive audio experience.

So many microphones

Each ear cup features three outward-facing microphones to detect environmental noise, while one microphone inside the ear cup monitors the sound reaching the listener’s ear. This helps the AirPods Max deliver immersive sound through Active Noise Cancellation. At the same time, the microphones also help with Transparency mode so that you can simultaneously listen to music while hearing the environment around you — ensuring everything, including your own voice, sounds natural while the audio plays perfectly.

When stored in the soft, slim Smart Case, AirPods Max enter an ultralow power state that preserves charge.

It comes with a case

The only thing we’re not sure about (besides the price), is the design of this case which reminded us of a bag to store your bras while travelling. However, it’s not just for keeping your AirPods Max safe from scratches. When stored, the headphones enter a power-saving mode to conserve the batteries until you’re ready to use them again.

The Apple AirPods Max is available for pre-order at $849 and officially released on 15 December 2020.