Here’s the good news: AirPods Max, Apple’s $549 luxury over-ear headphones, are seeing their first-ever discount. Right now, you can get the flagship cans for just $500 — that’s $49 off — at TigerDirect. The not-so-good news: They’re still on backorder. But while the wait is long, it’s made a little more tolerable by the knowledge that you’ve locked in a discount.
As we said in our review, the high price of the AirPods Max becomes a bit more understandable once you try them on. Apple opted for materials like stainless steel and aluminum for a higher-end design that doesn’t give us any durability fears. Take your pick of any color: silver, sky blue, green and pink are all included in the discount.
They deliver a refreshing sound that’s polished and paired with a wide soundstage. Adaptive EQ, like on AirPods Pro ($199, originally $249; amazon.com), mixes the audio in real time courtesy of algorithms, two H1 chips and microphones. You can zone out from the world around you (it’s still 2020, after all) with Active Noise Cancellation, and when you want to hear what’s happening nearby, you can easily engage in transparency mode.
AirPods Max also feature spatial audio and 20 hours of battery life. That’s a solid time frame, though it does fall behind Sony’s WH-1000XM4s ($278, originally $349; amazon.com), our top pick for best over-ear headphones. And don’t expect much from the included Smart Case. You will get a Lightning to USB-C cable in the box for charging, though.