AirPods Max cost more than an iPhone: why they could be worth it


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  • Apple’s new over-ear headphones are called the AirPods Max, and they’re available to preorder now for $549.  
  • For that money, you can buy a $400 iPhone SE and a pair of standard $129 AirPods, and you’d still have $20 left over for an iPhone case
  • The $549 AirPods Max essentially do the same thing as the $129 AirPods, but you’ll be paying more for features like noise cancellation, better sound quality, and premium materials. 
  • $549 isn’t a crazy price in the grand scheme of things — that’s the same price as high-end headphones like the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro — but Apple is making that price more “normal” because of its influence.

Apple just announced its new over-ear headphones called AirPods Max, and they come with a massive $549 price tag. They’re available to buy now in a variety of colors, including space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink.

For a similar price, you can buy a $400 iPhone SE and a pair of $129 AirPods with wired charging case, and you’d have $20 left over for an iPhone case. Which raises the question, is it really worth all that money for just a pair of wireless headphones on their own?

We’ll have to get hands-on with the AirPods Max to know for sure, but based on what we know so far there’s certainly a disparity between the price and functionality of Apple’s new headphones and a less expensive combo purchase, like an iPhone SE and a pair of AirPods.

The AirPods Max cost more than an iPhone and AirPods combo

An iPhone SE runs your apps, communicates with satellites in space to help you navigate, takes great photos and video, streams video and music, and lets you browse the web — it’s a platform that lets you communicate with anyone in the world. And the AirPods can deliver the sound from that iPhone SE to your ears, and they can deliver your voice to anyone in the world via the iPhone. 

Not to diminish them, but the AirPods Max essentially do the same thing as the normal AirPods. The difference is that they’ll likely do that job a lot better. Plus, they have active noise cancellation, “Active EQ”…