AirPods Max 2: What we want to see in the new headphones

The AirPods Max are a stunning piece of hardware. Those aluminum earcups are weighty and scream quality, and that fancy headband makes them super comfortable. The digital crown is a great piece of design, and the earpads are soft and relieve stress over long listening periods. They are a serious, premium product that seem like they’re worth the price.

Only there’s one, glaring problem: I just don’t like them.

When I buy a piece of sound equipment, they have to have at least two of three things: good value, good sound, or good quality. My Sony WH1000XM4s, for example, are well made and are a good value for what I want from them, but they don’t sound that good. My Sennheiser 599SE are of excellent value, and they sound good, but they aren’t built to last. The problem I have with the AirPods Max is very simple: while they are stunningly made, the sound quality doesn’t align with the price tag, meaning, by my criteria, they’re not a good enough value. They don’t offer anything new to me, and when you’re spending upwards of $500 on a pair of headphones, that’s a problem.

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