Graphic by Toby Goldfarb ’23
Apple announced the upcoming release of their newest generation of AirPods, called AirPods Max, on Dec. 8. After their anticlimactic release of the iPhone 12, I was expecting a lot from this new AirPod drop, only to discover that these so-called “AirPods” are actually only overpriced headphones.
For me, the whole point of AirPods is the convenient lack of wires, their ability to be shared with other people and a semi-reasonable price point. I purchased my first pair of AirPods when they first became available to consumers in December 2016.
My sixth grade self was so excited to have the newest technology, despite the fact that I had fully functioning headphones and earbuds. I distinctly remember my parents telling me that they would not buy me AirPods for Hanukkah because they “looked stupid.” If I wanted them, I had to buy them with my own money — so I did.
To this day, almost four years later, they are still working perfectly fine and I find myself using them more than my parents expected me to. I think that AirPods are a practical, effective investment, especially for those who do a lot of work on their computer, need to take calls in public, are music lovers and anyone in between. AirPods are practical… until they exceed $200. Let alone $500.
The new AirPods Max look like any ordinary pair of headphones. I’m not a tech junkie myself, but I strongly believe that nothing would ever convince me to buy almost $600 headphones unless they gave me superpowers. Why not buy perfectly functional, highly popular Beats for $100, or even use the complimentary earbuds that come with a new iPhone?
As I said, AirPods are an investment due to their durability, especially during the pandemic where we are all collectively using our technology more often. However, I would not endorse purchasing the new “AirPods” under the belief that they could work well on Zoom.
I have noticed that students who use AirPods during online school have awful sound quality when they try to speak. I’m sure this could be substituted for, again, Beats or the free earbuds because of their built in microphones on the wires, as opposed to the AirPods’ mics being near the ear, way too far from the mouth.
I will not be buying the AirPods Max, especially at a price point of $549, nor do I endorse these overpriced headphones. I am perfectly content with my first generation AirPods, as they work perfectly. While some tech lovers praised Apple for their innovative sound-quality, these headphones do not deserve the title of “AirPods” and they most definitely do not belong on your holiday shopping list.