When the second-generation AirPods Pro were released, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple’s lineup. Introducing several new features such as Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best guidance yet on what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max.
Almost two years later, rumors of a successor to the original AirPods Max are thin on the ground. The last time we heard about the next-gen AirPods Max was a report from Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman in May 2021, which explained that Apple was considering releasing new color options for the device. Along with the new color options and revised audio hardware, there are at least ten potential AirPods Pro features that could make their way to the second version of the AirPods Max.
The second-generation AirPods Pro are the first device to contain the H2 chip, Apple’s custom silicone chip designed specifically for headphones and earphones.
The H2 chip enables enhanced compute audio to improve sound quality on the AirPods Pro and improves battery life with better power efficiency. As the AirPods Max are Apple’s highest-end AirPods, it seems almost certain that the next version will pack an H2 chip in each earbud. The chips are likely to be at the heart of any improvement to the device’s audio hardware.
Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity
In addition to the H2 chip, the new AirPods Pro feature Bluetooth 5.3, a specification that also applies to the entire iPhone 14 line as well as the Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra. As such, it’s inevitable that the second-generation AirPods Max will similarly feature the latest Bluetooth standard. Bluetooth 5.3 offers significant improvements in reliability, connection performance and power consumption.
Enhanced Active Noise Cancellation
Thanks to the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro feature improved Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) that’s up to twice as effective at blocking out unwanted noise.
The outward-facing microphones pick up external sound so AirPods can analyze ambient noise, while the inward-facing microphone listens for sound coming toward the ear. The new AirPods Pro then adapts the sound signal reaching the ears 48,000 times per second to eliminate external noise.
The second-generation AirPods Pro also feature a new driver and improved acoustic algorithms to reduce additional unwanted noise. As the only other AirPods to offer ANC, it seems inevitable that along with the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Max will also offer improved ANC.
The second-generation AirPods Pro feature an all-new Adaptive Transparency mode that allows for significant environmental noise like speech, while dramatically reducing unwanted environmental noise like a passing vehicle siren, construction tools, or even loud noises. speakers at a concert.
The feature is designed “for more comfortable everyday listening,” according to Apple. Along with the ANC improvements facilitated by the H2 chip, it seems very likely that the second-generation AirPods Max will also feature Adaptive Transparency.
It’s also possible that the AirPods Max could also benefit from Conversation Boost, a feature so far exclusive to the AirPods Pro.
Designed to help people with mild hearing issues hear conversations better, Conversation Boost uses the beamforming microphones on the AirPods Pro to boost the volume of someone speaking directly in front of you, making it easier to talk. listen to what she says.
Skin detection sensors
Apple’s skin detection sensor technology was first introduced on the third-generation AirPods and recently extended to the AirPods Pro, leaving the AirPods Max as the only current-generation AirPods product without this feature. The current AirPods Max still use optical infrared sensors to detect when they are placed on a user’s ears.
While the skin detection sensors aren’t as useful on the AirPods Max because playback is unlikely to be triggered on a surface or in a pocket, they could help playback stop and resume faster and with more precision. The skin detection sensors are also more efficient and offer better battery life – something the AirPods Max could also benefit from.
Longer battery life
Apple is touting improved battery life for the third-generation AirPods and second-generation AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods Max could gain similar battery life using the efficiencies of the H2 chip, Bluetooth 5.3, and skin-detect sensors, provided Apple doesn’t reduce the size of the device. the internal battery.
Sweat and water resistance
The third-generation AirPods and second-generation AirPods Pro feature IPX4-rated sweat- and water-resistant headphones and charging cases. This is an area that Apple has improved over time on its various headphones, but the first-generation AirPods Max don’t feature any sweat or water resistance ratings.
Some kind of sweat and water resistance rating for the second-generation model seems plausible, especially given Apple’s growing focus on health and fitness. Apple Fitness+ launched just a day before the first-gen AirPods Max was released in 2020, so it’s not out of the question that the second-gen model will focus more on fitness by being sweat-resistant.
U1 chip and precision research
The second-generation AirPods Pro MagSafe charging case includes an Apple U1 chip for precision searching in the Find My app, much like AirTag item trackers.
The current AirPods Max offer basic Find My support, but a U1 chip in the second-gen version could allow for a much more precise way of locating the earbuds when they’re nearby.
The second-generation AirPods Pro case added the ability to charge using an Apple Watch charger, adding to the plethora of charging options that already included MagSafe, Qi wireless charging, and Lightning.
It’s too early to tell if the second-generation AirPods Max will feature a new way of charging, such as via MagSafe, but such a change would require deeper design changes to the AirPods Max. Still, the fact that Apple now offers four different ways to charge the AirPods Pro might indicate that it’s aware of the benefits of multiple ways of charging and might want to extend that to its most premium earbuds somehow. ‘another one.