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'For those who want to turn the price tag up to 11'

Matthew Hughes at The Register, on the new Apple AirPod Max over-ear headphones:

This launch isn’t much of a surprise. Apple has long demonstrated a desire to enter the premium audio space. Its first real foray was in 2014, when it acquired Beats Electronics, the headphones company founded by rapper Dr Dre and legendary record exec Jimmy Iovine. It followed-up in 2016 with AirPods, which need no introduction.

But AirPods Max is an entirely different kettle of fish. Whereas Beats and AirPods have always been relatively attainable, this latest effort is priced beyond what most would countenance spending on a pair of headphones. It vastly exceeds the asking-price demanded by other well-regarded cans, like Sony’s WH-1000XM4 and Bose’s QC35 II.

To point out how dear these are, for the same amount of money, you can buy two pairs of Bose’s QC35 IIs, and still have enough money left over for a pair of bog-standard second-generation AirPods. For an extra £150, you can get your hands on the entry-level Mac mini. They’re almost as expensive as a computer.

And for that matter, they're only £30 less than the iPad Air — and I'm pretty sure I'd use the Air a lot more. Better yet, I could get an iPad Mini 5 and an Apple Pencil for a bit more, and I would use that combination a heck of a lot!

(Not that I'm planning to purchase a new iPad, mind you — my current iPad Mini 4 is chugging along just fine, so I can wait and see what Apple does to update their consumer iPad line-up next year.)


As the article notes, while the specifications for these new headphones look amazing, they're not necessarily the best that you can get, and you're out of luck if you're a Windows or Android user, or own older Apple devices.

Of course, Apple will still shift a lot of them, but I suspect most of those will be going to those who have to have the latest and greatest, or those with more money than sense. Oh wait, am I repeating myself?

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