On Tuesday, December 8, 2020, Apple announced the over-ear headphones "AirPods Max". It will be on sale from Tuesday, December 15th. The price is 61,800 yen, which is over 60,000 yen. Since it does not include tax, the headphones will cost 67,980 yen including tax, which is close to 70,000 yen.
What Apple has dared to challenge in this high-priced range is ... maybe it's differentiating it from his Beats headphone product, which Apple bought for $ 3 billion in 2014?
The on-ear type "Beats Solo Pro" equipped with the same "Apple H1 chip" as Apple is priced at 29,800 yen, and the over-ear "Beats Stusio3" is available in the price range of 34,800 yen. Even if you compare the specs, you can only see the difference in " abstract specs ".
■ I was surprised at the naming of "AirPods Max" ...
It was rumored to be "AirPods Studio" in advance, but this time it was released as "AirPods Max".
In the first place, "Max" means a size-up version of the same category that appeared from "iPhone XS Max" before iPhone 11. In the "iPhone 6-8" era, it was advocated as "Plus".
However, these "AirPods" and "Max" are products in different categories of the same genre, earphones and headphones. So to speak, there will be a difference between the iPhone and the iPad. It's not a "Pod" product, but it's probably positioned as the largest model in the "AirPods" series, "Max."
■ A line that aims to enhance high-priced products?
Recently, Apple has positioned high-priced models in the "Pro" series of lineups. "MacPro", "iMac Pro", "Pro Display XDR" and so on. The MacBook Pro and others have become very difficult to differentiate from the MacBook Air, but this time AirPods Max will definitely be on the Pro line.
The difference with "Beats" is probably the price difference.
■ For some reason, "AirPods Max" has a lot of "abstract specs"
For now, as long as you check the specs, you can't understand how much the product is "differentiated" from the over-ear type "Beats Stusio3".
The feature of "AirPods Max" is
1. Sound faithful to the original sound
Had to re-learn how to buy movie tickets online this morning.— Theron Bretz Wed Jul 14 15:08:56 +0000 2021
2. Adaptive equalization
3. Active noise canceling
4. Spatial audio
It means "computational (design method incorporating advanced mathematical method and computer simulation) audio" including ... etc.
After all ...
"(Left and right) Computational audio that utilizes 10 audio cores that can process 9 billion operations per second of each H1 chip, such as adaptive equalization, active noise canceling, external sound capture mode, and spatial audio. "We have achieved an epoch-making sound experience." Even if it is said in "Abstract Specs", this is the only thing I can confirm with my own ears.
When it comes to high-end headphones and high-end speakers, the price-performance ratio tends to be infinitely small.
It seems that it is necessary to have " ears that can understand the difference in sound quality " and " reference of a reasonable sound source " for headphones over 60,000 yen.
Even if you look at the video, it seems better to listen with "sensitivity".
When you watch a movie such as "AppleTV +", you can see that the sound field moves according to the position of your head.
But how many people will shake their heads left and right with the head tracking feature while watching a movie or TV? Rather, it is easy to imagine the usage scene in the part where the 360-degree "sound field" movement can be utilized, such as "game" and "live music".
What is worrisome is that the AirPods Max itself weighs 384.8g, weighs the equivalent of a 355mm can of beer, and is charged with a Lightning-USB-C cable.
Already, the spread of USB-C and the advantages of Lightning cables are not so great. It's no longer possible to adopt Lightning for Apple's license revenue reasons.
Apple has taken on the challenge of a new genre called "wireless headphones."
This "pricing" is somewhat like Apple's unsold smart speaker "HomePod". Even if "HomePod mini" comes out, it's still a long time ago.
First of all, I think it's not too late to check the value of the price with your own ears at the Apple Store.