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New AirPods Max coming next year, without H2 chip

Expect the AirPods Max (USB-C) to come with minor updates.

Airpods max headphones on table
Image: Matthew Hughes / KnowTechie

AirPods Max launched in December 2020 and hasn’t received many updates. In contrast, the AirPods Pro, another premium audio product from the company, has seen multiple upgrades, both software and hardware. 

So, among all the audio devices in Apple’s lineup, AirPods Max is in dire need of an upgrade. 

When Bloomberg previously reported Apple is planning to update AirPods Max with a USB-C port and new colors, we assumed the company would add a few additional features the headset is currently lacking. 

Unfortunately, it looks like that won’t be happening.

Apple’s $550 AirPods Max to only gain USB-C

Airpods max on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Renowned Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, has reported that while Apple is planning an update for AirPods Max, it won’t be a significant one. 

So, we are looking at an upgrade so minor that Apple won’t even change the generation number. 

However, Gurman has also stated that Apple’s plans could change going forward.

Either way, Apple’s driving motivation behind the all-around hardware change is to comply with the European Commission regulations that mandate USB-C, even for charging accessories like headphones. 

Currently, AirPods Max sports Apple’s proprietary Lightning port so the company may replace it with a USB-C port. 

It is similar to what Apple did in September with AirPods Pro–no cosmetic or hardware changes, just the port.

If this is true, it also means that even after the modification, the AirPods Max will still feature the older H1 chip under the hood.

So, no advanced software support for features like Adaptive Audio, Conversational Awareness, Personalized Volume, and support for ‘Siri’ wake word.

It will ultimately leave customers disappointed, who were hoping for improvements to Apple’s $550 headphones. Maybe it’s worth holding out for the next generation.

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Saurav loves writing and tech. So, after engineering, he didn't look back and embarked on a journey to become a tech writer. Saurav has worked for various tech websites across the globe. Saurav has recently joined Know Techie and is proud to be a part of it.

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