What you need to know
- Apple recently announced the AirPods Max headphones.
- The headphones feature H1 chips, which allows some of their features to work with Windows and Android.
- Some features, such as spatial audio, only work with Apple hardware.
Apple just announced the AirPods Max headphones. The high-end over-ear headphones have plenty of fancy features, some great color options, and will work seamlessly with Apple hardware, such as Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Unsurprisingly, some of the features of the AirPods Max will only work with Apple hardware, but that doesn't mean Windows users are left entirely in the cold. The first shipments of AirPods Max are set to arrive on December 15, 2020. You can order a pair now for $549.
As reported by Stephen Nellis from Reuters, the AirPods Max have an H1 audio processor in each ear, which allows transparency mode and noise cancellation to work on Windows and Android devices. Other features, such as spatial audio, will only work with specific Apple hardware.
AirPods Max contain one H1 custom audio processor in each ear, which means that features like transparency mode and noise cancellation work on Android/Windows. But still very much geared at Apple's existing base - other features like spatial audio & pairing need iOS. https://t.co/ihpHSiyW63AirPods Max contain one H1 custom audio processor in each ear, which means that features like transparency mode and noise cancellation work on Android/Windows. But still very much geared at Apple's existing base - other features like spatial audio & pairing need iOS. https://t.co/ihpHSiyW63— Stephen Nellis (@StephenNellis) December 8, 2020December 8, 2020
This is par for the course for Apple hardware. If you're on Apple hardware and software across the board, you'll get a seamless experience and excellent support. If you mix in hardware or software from other companies, such as a Windows 10 PC, you'll get some support but will miss out on some features.
While some of our readers are loyal to one operating system, many people have a combination of iOS, Android, and Windows devices. While it won't be the best experience for the AirPods Max, it's nice that someone who picks up the headphones for their iPhone, iPad, or other supported device can still use them to some capacity with their Windows PC or Android device.
Our sister site iMore covered the launch of the AirPods Max and will follow up with more coverage as they start shipping. Make sure to check out their coverage for all the latest on Apple's latest and greatest headphones.
Worth the wait
You can purchase a pair of AirPods Max in five different colors, space gray, silver, green, sky blue, and pink.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.