Tech

Here’s When You Can Get Apple’s New Noise-Canceling Headphones

The latest release can be yours for a casual $549.

Apple's dropped a holiday surprise: a pair of $549 noise-canceling headphones. After months of rumors, the AirPods Max will go on sale starting Dec. 15, the Verge reports, with preorders beginning today.

The Airpods Max have a wide assortment of features, some of which will be familiar if you own Airpods or an Apple Watch. There's adaptive technology to make music more immersive, and a watch-like Digital Crown to control volume, skip tracks, or activate Siri.

The high-tech over-ear headphones also offer a choice between transparency mode, which allows in outside noise, and noise-canceling, which shuts out all external sound.

The headphones come in five colors, including space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink. They use memory-foam ear cushions magnetically attached to a pivoting mechanism, all mounted on a mesh-and-steel headband.

Sound nerds will find the tech intriguing. Apple says the headphones' 40mm dynamic drivers and dual neodymium ring magnet motors should ensure deep, rich low notes and crisp, clear high ones, even if you're blasting at full volume.

With AirPods Max, we are bringing that magical AirPods experience to a stunning over-ear design with high-fidelity audio.

Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in an Apple press release

Apple says the headphones have 20 hours of battery life, and they come with a smart case that puts them in low-power mode for energy conservation. You charge them with Apple's Lightning connector, same as your regular AirPods.

They also has a feature called spatial audio, which means that if you watch videos on an iPhone or iPad, they'll replicate being in full, 360-degree surround sound. And you can use them to answer phone calls, too.

The price point is quite a bit higher than Apple's existing headphone offerings — regular AirPods start at just $159, while noise-canceling Beats cost $299.95 — but if you've been extra good this year, AirPods Max are on preorder now.

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