AirPods Max 2 could launch at Apple event — 3 upgrades I need to see

Apple AirPods Max in blue
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple will have its work cut out for itself when it comes time to launch the AirPods Max 2. The current AirPods Max, which debuted in 2020, are undoubtedly still some of the best wireless headphones even if the $549 price tag sets them apart from rivals.

That being said, they aren’t flawless. There’s definitely some space for improvement and now that there are rumors Apple is launching new AirPods with USB-C at the Apple event, we could possible see the AirPods Max 2 sooner than later.  

Here are the three major improvements Apple needs to make for the AirPods Max 2.

Lossless streaming over Wi-Fi 

It’s a shame that, for Apple Music users, there’s no way to get lossless audio to play wirelessly through the AirPods Max — only if you connect them via USB-C to a computer. Unfortunately, because the only wireless protocol the Max supports is Bluetooth, everything you’re hearing when connected wirelessly to the headset is compressed. 

But it doesn’t need to be that way. 

The AirPods Max 2 could utilize a Wi-Fi solution that would allow the headphones to connect to a network instead of another device. It’s a strange-sounding fix, I know, but that’s exactly how Sonos devices can deliver 24-bit music at 48kHz, way above the audio quality that Bluetooth can deliver. 

It’s not an easy wish to grant but, I’m hoping that the AirPods Max 2 will wirelessly deliver the pristine audio quality I’ve been craving.

It’s not an easy wish to grant but, with enough time to hammer out all the kinks, I’m hoping that the AirPods Max 2 will one day wirelessly deliver the pristine audio quality I’ve been craving.

Sweat resistance  

While sound quality improvements are at the top of my list for the Max 2, Apple’s next flagship wireless headphones also need to make some major design overhauls — like the inclusion of IPX4 sweat resistance.

The lack of an IPX4 rating — and the damage that came as a result of not having it — has been a matter of concern for owners since the launch of the first AirPods Max. According to some users, condensation occurs on the inside of the earcups which has led to damage to the drivers and other electronics causing some AirPods Max to break. For $500 headphones, that shouldn't be happening.

If Apple wants its flagship headphones to be fit for workouts at the gym, it's going to need to step up its design game to bring water resistance to the AirPods Max 2.

A USB-C port for charging


(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The first two improvements on this list feel like they could be asking for too much, but swapping the AirPods Max’s Lightning port for a USB-C port on the AirPods Max 2? That just seems like common sense at this point.

Switching from Apple’s proprietary port to the more universal USB-C means that we wouldn’t have to carry a separate charger for the AirPods Max — we could use the same one we use for all of our devices including our laptops.

The good news is that we aren’t the only ones who want Apple to make the switch — it’s something that will actually be required by the European Union starting in 2024 following a proposal that was ratified back in 2022. 

To summarize the article: All mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port starting in 2024. Then, starting in Spring 2026, that rule will extend to laptops as well. 

This not only makes it easier on folks, but it reduces the amount of electronic waste we produce by switching back and forth between different charging cords. Apple reportedly has new AirPods on the way with USB-C charging that will debut at the Apple September event, but we don't know which models. 

Bonus: A lower price 

I get that the $549 AirPods Max are designed to be premium, but they're still significantly more expensive than their closest competitors: the Sony WH-1000XM5 ($399) and Bose 700 ($379). 

There’s no telling how much Apple will charge for the AirPods Max 2, but there’s always a chance that a cheaper price point is in the cards. Here’s hoping we’ll get all the aforementioned features with that lower price, too.

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Nick Pino
Managing Editor, TV and AV

Nick Pino heads up the TV and AV verticals at Tom's Guide and covers everything from OLED TVs to the latest wireless headphones. He was formerly the Senior Editor, TV and AV at TechRadar (Tom's Guide's sister site) and has previously written for GamesRadar, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade. Not sure which TV you should buy? Drop him an email or tweet him on Twitter and he can help you out.