Apple AirPods Max 2: Release Date, Price, Specs, Rumors and More

AirPods Max 2 rumors and predictions.
AirPods Max 2 rumors and predictions.

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Here’s a summary of all predictions for the possibly upcoming Apple AirPods Max 2.

The AirPods Max came out in 2020, and the first batch sold out quickly despite the steep price tag. The next generation of Apple over-ear headphones should be even better.

Yet, there’s no news on when the upgraded model will hit the market, with Apple keeping mum about a potential launch date.

Even so, the rumor mill is in full swing. We’ve gathered all the information available about the AirPods Max 2 for easy access. Let’s dive in!

When Is the AirPods Max 2 Release Date?

Apple hasn’t confirmed the release date for the AirPods Max 2, but industry experts estimate that the new model should arrive in mid-2024 or early 2025.

While Apple’s earbuds seem to be on a two or three-year upgrade cycle, we can’t really give an estimate for the AirPods Max. Only the original version is available, which was announced on December 8, 2020, and began shipping a week later.

What Will the AirPods Max 2 Look Like?

The AirPods Max are sleek and comfortable, so the next generation of Apple headphones should follow suit. That said, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for much-needed updates.

USB-C port

The AirPods Max 2 design will probably feature a USB-C port. The Beats Studio Pro, which came out earlier in 2023, have a USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Additionally, the iPhone 15 boasts a USB-C port, and the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are officially switching to a charging case with USB-C. All in all, the USB-C port is nothing short of a guarantee for the AirPods Max 2.

Apple is transitioning from Lightning to USB-C ports due to European regulations.

Revamped headband

Apple is coming out with the Vision Pro in 2024, the company’s first spatial computer. According to the company, the gadget’s design features a headband that is “three-dimensionally knitted as a single piece to provide cushioning, breathability, and stretch.”

The headband also has a dedicated dial for adjusting the fit. Based on reactions from early testers, these adjustments make it snug and comfortable. We might see something similar on the new AirPods Max 2, especially as the mesh on the original model can deteriorate after about two years of use.

A new case

The Smart Case has been a common complaint among users since their launch because it feels flimsy and barely protects the headphones. At the time, Apple executives explained that they didn’t want it to be bulky.

Hopefully, the AirPods Max 2 will have a case that offers extra protection (and doesn’t look ridiculous). An Apple patent showcases an upgraded Smart Case that entirely fits the AirPods Max and closes with a magnetic clasp.

However, a more flexible headband might allow the AirPods Max 2 to be foldable, so we can’t tell for sure how the updated case will look. We’re just hoping it’s better than the original.

More colors

More color options for AirPods Max 2.
More color options for AirPods Max 2.

The AirPods Max sell in five colors: Silver, Green, Space Gray, Sky Blue, Pink, and Green. The color palette might expand with the launch of AirPods Max 2.

What Features Can We Expect From the AirPods Max 2?

The AirPods Max 2 will come with all current AirPods Max features, including Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Personalized Spatial Audio, and Transparency mode, to name only a few. On top of those, we expect major enhancements.

AirPods features available with iOS 17

The launch of iOS 17 brings new AirPods Pro (2nd generation) features:

  • Adaptive Audio: A listening mode that combines Transparency and Active Noise Cancellation.
  • Personalized Volume: A feature that automatically fine-tunes the media experience based on environmental conditions and the user’s preferences.
  • Conversation Awareness: A feature that lowers the volume and enhances the voices in front of the user during conversations.

Unfortunately, these won’t be available for AirPods Max. But perhaps they will work for the AirPods Max 2?

H2 and U1 chips

The AirPods Max have an H1 chip in each ear cup. AirPods Pro (2nd generation), meanwhile, feature the company’s H2 chip. The chip offers sound quality improvements, including more effective ANC and Bluetooth 5.3 support.

We suspect the same chip will be used in the AirPods Max 2 – unless Apple develops an H3 chip in the meantime.

Furthermore, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) come equipped with a U1 chip for improved Ultra Wideband technology. The AirPods Max have Find My capabilities but don’t feature the chip. That will likely change with the launch of the next generation of over-ear headphones, providing more precise localization.

Lossless audio

AirPods Max owners can use a Lightning to 3.5 mm Audio Cable to connect the headphones to devices playing lossless recordings. However, the analog-to-digital conversion in the cable means the playback isn’t 100% lossless.

Adding a USB-C port would mean that AirPods Max 2 users might only need a USB-C cable to enjoy lossless digital audio, like with Beats Studio Pro.

Apple also announced that the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with the USB-C charging case will support lossless audio when used with the Apple Vision Pro thanks to the H2 chip in both devices and a new wireless audio protocol. We could see similar upgrades in the new AirPods Max 2, ensuring wireless lossless audio.

Bluetooth connections don’t support lossless audio.

Longer battery life

The AirPods Max last up to 20 hours with the ANC turned on, which isn’t too shabby. That said, more recent models of headphones last considerably longer.

For instance, the Beats Studio Pro offer up to 40 hours of battery life. It’s safe to assume that the AirPods Max 2 will deliver more playback time on one charge.

Sweat resistance

The AirPods Max are built from quality materials, but they’re not water-resistant. It’s not a good idea to wear them during workouts, for instance, as condensation can cause issues.

Meanwhile, AirPods (3rd generation) and AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are sweat and water-resistant. We expect the AirPods Max 2 to follow suit.

Touch controls

Another Apple patent features a prototype for potential touch controls, which would likely replace the AirPods Max Digital Crown button. Instead, users would swipe on a touchpad integrated into one of the ear cups to give commands.

The same patent states that the gestures would work whether the headband is worn on the head or around the neck. While these changes might be years away, Apple is known for innovation. We can’t dismiss any potential improvements right off the bat.

What Do Users Want From the AirPods Max 2?

If you scour forums and social media, you’ll notice that the most common wants among AirPods Max users are a USB-C port, a better case, and lossless playback. While those are probably coming, they have unique demands as well:

  • Music storage: Some users want to store music directly on the headphones, so they’re not dependent on another device. While that seems unlikely, you never know.
  • Power button: Many users would like the AirPods Max 2 to feature a Power button, so you don’t have to place them in the case to power them down.

How Much Will the AirPods Max 2 Cost?

The AirPods Max launched at a retail price of $549, which some consumers argued was too steep. We expect the AirPods Max 2 to come out at the same price, though a significant upgrade might warrant the investment this time around.

AirPods Max sales have become more frequent, with the headphones occasionally available for as low as $449.

Despite the price tag, the AirPods Max were met with high demand, so there’s no need for Apple to price the next model lower. Knowing the enthusiasm and loyalty of the company’s fanbase, we’re sure the next generation of over-ear headphones will perform either way.

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