AirPods Max concept takes design cues from Vision Pro to imagine a second-gen revamp

AirPods Max concept takes design cues from Vision Pro to imagine a second-gen revamp
Written by Techbot

AirPods Max are just over two and a half years old and starting to show their age, especially in terms of new software features. A new concept from our friend Parker Ortolani imagines what revamped second-generation AirPods Max might look like, taking design cues from the just-announced Vision Pro.

In Parker’s concept, he’s replaced the existing AirPods Max band with something similar to the Head Band from the Vision Pro, including a dedicated dial for adjusting the fit. This would make for a more comfortable and breathable design. When I tried out the Vision Pro at WWDC, I was very impressed with how comfortable the Head Band felt.

Using the Vision Pro’s Head Band could also make the AirPods Max design foldable, unlike the first-generation model. This would address one of the most controversial aspects of the AirPods Max design. It could also pave the way for a revamped charging case.

The similarities to Vision Pro continue with a new MagSafe-style connector on the right ear cup, which Parker imagines could be used for charging and lossless audio playback. I’d still prefer USB-C, but I’d be a fan of just about anything that enabled lossless playback.

And finally: new colors. Parker’s concept shows off AirPods Max in midnight, silver, starlight, and space gray.

9to5Mac’s Take

As I wrote earlier this month, AirPods Max are overdue for a refresh. The design was controversial when it was introduced in December 2020, and Apple hasn’t done anything to address those complaints.

The software-side of things is even worse. Apple announced a number of new features for AirPods at WWDC this year, none of which are coming to AirPods Max.

Despite my complaints, I’m still a huge fan of AirPods Max. I criticize out of love and out of hope that Apple is planning a revision that will come sooner rather than later. There have been rumors of a new version being in the works, but nothing concrete as of right now.

Next generation AirPods Max concept. A refined design featuring Vision Pro elements to improve comfort. H2 and U1 to offer new software functionality like adaptive audio. And gorgeous new finishes to give them a more modern look that matches the rest of your Apple devices.

— Parker Ortolani (@ParkerOrtolani) June 17, 2023

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