USB-C AirPods Max tipped for 2024, here’s why you should probably skip them

Apple is expected to refresh its AirPods Max headphones in 2024, but don’t expect any new features beyond a different charging port.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple’s rumored refreshed AirPods Max in 2024 will only feature a new USB-C port and new colors, disappointing those hoping for significant upgrades.
  • The lack of major changes means that buyers will miss out on advanced features like Adaptive Audio and lossless audio, available in AirPods Pro models.
  • Unless you value USB-C charging over Lightning charging, it’s unlikely that upgrading to the new AirPods Max will be worth the $550 price tag.

Apple’s AirPods Max are among some of the best wireless over-ear headphones around in terms of how they sound, but there is no denying that they are missing some features that their smaller AirPods Pro earbud counterparts have to offer. With a USB-C refresh surely in the cards, it was hoped that would change. But it seems that Apple might have different plans.

Apple is largely expected to release updated AirPods Max headphones at some point in 2024, likely towards the end of the year depending on who you listen to. But now it’s said that while USB-C is indeed going to be part of the refreshed model’s spec sheet, that’s about all buyers can look forward to. Unless you count some new colours, that is. And that’s a bad thing indeed, especially if you’ve been hoping for a reason to upgrade from your 2020 pair.

No new chips for the AirPods Max

This is all according to a report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, writing in the weekly Power On newsletter ahead of yesterday’s ‘Scary Fast’ Mac unveiling. According to him, the late-2024 AirPods Max will get a new USB-C port as expected as well as an updated array of colour options. However, he also says that “there won’t be other major changes” before clarifying that “Apple is still committed to this product.” It sure does have a funny way of showing it.

The lack of meaningful upgrades means that future AirPods Max buyers can wave goodbye to some of the more advanced features that earbuds like the AirPods Pro have to offer. Those features include Adaptive Audio, Conversational Awareness, and Personalized Volume which are all made possible by Apple’s upgraded H2 chip – the AirPods Max currently have the older H1 and will apparently still have that silicon after this refresh. It also means that lossless audio will be missing, despite the USB-C AirPods Pro 2 and Vision Pro headset supporting it.

The upshot of all of this? Unless you really want to be able to charge your new headphones using a USB-C cable rather than a Lightning one, you can probably already start planning on spending your $550 on something other than a new pair of headphones next year. The upgrade just isn’t going to be worth it.

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