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AirPods Max update tipped — what’s changing and when to expect it

AirPods Max headphones in pink surround by cases
Airpods Max was launched in 5 different colors in 2020 (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The AirPods Max created quite a splash with its pop of colors when the wireless headphones arrived in December 2020. And it sounds like a sequel could be in the works that introduces new colors into the mix.

That's the word from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who included a mention of the AirPods Max in his weekly newsletter (opens in new tab). The report, which also forecasts a fall release for the AirPods 2 wireless earbuds, claims that the AirPods Max will arrive at the same time.

Unfortunately, apart from the fresh set of colors, there's no talk of other potential features coming to the AirPods Max. So it's unclear if this is another version of just an update to the headphones that are already out there.

AirPods Max are luxury headphones with some note-worthy features like Apple’s spatial audio for creating a surround-sound-style experience for headphones. Other AirPods Max capabilities include active noise cancellation and a built-in Siri assistant.

Prior to Gurman's report, we saw a patent filing earlier this year that touted a way to process gestures on a touch-sensitive surface — which did make us believe that the AirPods Max 2 (if it’s called that) could skip the digital crown controls in favor of touchpad gestures.

Also look out for an AirPods Max refresh with new colors (and, we hope, a price drop—$550 is absurd for those headphones).

Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The current AirPods Max come in five colors: Space gray, silver, sky blue, green and pink. The pink version — really more of a bright coral color with rose gold cans — garnered a lot attention in particular.

While we don’t know which colors we might see this year, we assume it could be on lines of the popping Pantone colors. Gurman in his Power On newsletter mentions that the colors are still being worked on. 

We liked the AirPods Max when we tested them, though we thought the headphones should have come with a power button. And as crisp as the sound is, the $549 asking price is hard for anyone but the most hardcore audiophiles to justify. Whatever's coming this fall, we hope it's available for less than the current model.

Sanjana Prakash
News Editor

Sanjana loves all things tech. From the latest phones, to quirky gadgets and the best deals, she's in sync with it all. Based in Atlanta, she is the news editor at Tom's Guide. Previously, she produced India's top technology show for NDTV and has been a tech news reporter on TV. Outside work, you can find her on a tennis court or sipping her favorite latte in instagrammable coffee shops in the city. Her work has appeared on NDTV Gadgets 360 and CNBC.