What the AirPods Max 2 need for better travel comfort

By | February 21, 2022


While many AirPods Max users would never dare to take them outside their home, Apple’s premium AirPod option sure does make for comfortable travel headphones. Between being lightweight and including active noise cancellation, the AirPods Max headphones are always with me when traveling across the country. However, the lineup could use some changes to make them better.

Folding arms for easier storage in bags

I can’t be the only one that has to get creative to fit Apple’s full-size headphones somewhere in my carry-on. While most of its competitors can fold up into more manageable sizes, Apple’s AirPods Max cannot.

Overall, the AirPods Max are slim and compact as far as headphones go. So imagine how much smaller these could get if Apple added hinges just above the ear cups on its next iteration. More room for those delicious Delta Biscoff cookies (if you know, you know).

Please, just give me a headphone jack

It wouldn’t be an AirPods Max 2 wishlist if this wasn’t discussed. The majority of the time, I never run into an issue using Bluetooth or using the lighting port for listening. However, I have forgotten to bring the lightning to 3.5 mm jack cable with me for the last several trips.

This wouldn’t be a problem if the massive markup tech store at the airport carried that cable or the lightning to aux adapter, but sadly those always seem to be nonexistent there. I travel with two headphones, however, my Maxes and a pair of Sennheiser HD 280 Pros for podcast editing. So if I require wired headphones, the Sennheisers can do the trick. I just have to miss out on the noise cancellation.

We don’t even need to discuss not being able to listen to lossless audio on Apple Music on the company’s most expensive audio product. Hopefully, Apple will have the “courage” to add the aux jack on the AirPods Max 2.

Improve comfort when wearing around the neck

Honestly, this one surprised me when I started using the Maxes. While its over-the-ear comfort is one of the best I’ve used, nothing felt right when moving them to be around my neck. No other headphones I’ve worn have been this uncomfortable to wear like that.

When rotated flat, the earcups tend to pinch down on my neck. When not turned flat, they still feel uncomfortable around the jar area. I used to travel with a pair of Astra A40s, and those earcups flared out when rotated for better comfort. A mechanism like this would be a nice addition to Apple’s next-generation Air Pods Max.

Ditch the case and add a power button

I think it’s safe to say everyone wouldn’t mind seeing the charging case go. While you could get away with leaving it at home for day-to-day life, when you are traveling for long periods, you want to be efficient with your battery life. Also, space in the seatback pocket on airplanes can be limited, and finding somewhere to put it can be annoying.

A simple on/off switch would have been nice to free us of that silicon case. Unfortunately, we will have to wait for the AirPods Max 2 in the hope of a physical button, but there’s no reason Apple couldn’t add it in software for the current version.

Maybe it can be hidden in the sound settings of Control Center or be activated by combo pressing the Digital Crown and noise control button. Most days, traveling by air should stay within the AirPods Max’s battery life. Traveling via buses, cars, or trains could last longer and depending on which, might have less access to charging solutions.

All of this is to to say that we don’t expect another version of Apple’s premium AirPods to come out this year. Bloomberg reported last May that the company still hasn’t begun work on a second-generation yet. Hopefully, we will hear this year that they have.

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