The current AirPods Max headphones have not been revised since their introduction in December 2020, whereas AirPods Pro have seen multiple updates in hardware and software.
Bloomberg has previously reported that Apple will update AirPods Max with USB-C and new color options later next year. We had assumed this would also be the time to bring them up to speed with the AirPods Pro feature set. But apparently, that won’t be the case …
In the latest edition of Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter, he reports that Apple is not planning a significant update for AirPods Max. In fact, it is currently set to be so minor that the generation number won’t even change. Gurman does hedge that Apple’s plans could ‘possibly’ change.
Nevertheless, it seems right now the driving motivation for the hardware refresh will be to merely comply with the European Commission regulations that mandate the use of USB-C for charging accessories like headphones. Right now, AirPods Max feature Apple’s proprietary Lightning port.
And … that will be it. Gurman compares the forthcoming update to the USB-C AirPods Max revision that Apple introduced in September, which featured the same internal chipset as the 2nd-gen Lightning AirPods Pro.
If true, this means AirPods Max would continue to be powered by the H1, not H2, chip. This means they will still not be able to support advanced software features that AirPods Pro received this year with iOS 17, including Adaptive Audio, Conversational Awareness, Personalized Volume, and support for the ‘Siri’ wake word.
Customers hoping for other improvements to Apple’s $550 headphones will also seemingly be left disappointed, with no changes coming to the design of the charging case, lack of U1 chip for Precision Finding, and more.
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