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Apple Shares Reason Behind AirPods Max Design

| 4 days ago


The mighty Apple AirPods Max was revealed earlier this month, and since then, the Apple verse has been buzzing about the new headphones.

Reviewers and analysts are sharing their thoughts on Apple's first over-ear headphones all across the media. One thing in particular that is discussed during reviews is the Smart Case and how it's designed.

Today, Apple is sharing the true reason behind choosing the current AirPods Max design, and it's quite an interesting reveal.

Apple Design Team Revels on AirPods Max Design


Apple's VP of industrial design, Evan Hankey, alongside the VP of product marketing, Bob Borchers, and industrial designer, Eugene Wang, reflected on the AirPods Max case design in an interview with Japanese website, Casa BRUTUS.

While the interview requires a quick translation adjustment from Japanese to English, some main points can still be gathered.

In the interview, Hankey details that the AirPods Max came after a lengthy trial and error period in which hundreds of prototypes were developed.

We only have one chance to enter a product category, so we wanted to make it the best.
Evan Hanskey
VP of Industrial Design, Apple

Choosing Aluminum for AirPods Max


Hankey recalls several issues before finally settling on a final design choice for the new AirPods Max.

Two pods (pods) and a sturdy, flexible band that connects them. This was our goal, and from there, we started looking at the final shape and material.
Evan Hanskey
VP of Industrial Design, Apple

Industrial engineer Wang adds the importance of how these ear-cups catch light ads make the colors of the AirPods Max look. He details that the design team chose aluminum keeping its oxidization process in mind while having a great understanding of the lights and shadows that it reflects.

The earcups came into that shape because they were made of aluminum. The other materials probably had different shapes. There is an inseparable relationship between the material and the shape.
Eugene Wang
Industrial Engineer, Apple

They also discuss the band material and say how the band provides comfort with a flexibility level of 285% to fit just about every head shape. The mesh surface offers an escape from stiffness and ear-rotator mechanisms to prevent airtightness.

The main take away from this portion of the interview is that the Apple design team worked long and hard to provide the AirPods Max with a balance of comfort and sound quality.

AirPods Max: A Fusion of Design & Engineering

The AirPods Max comes with a carrying smart case that has sparked a debate amongst Apple fans and reviewers.

The smart case was designed by Wang himself and only covered the ear-cups portion of the headphones, which has been the main debate point.

Wang states that he made the case this way for storage efficiency for things like travel and such and told users not to worry about the band peaking because it is built strong enough to withstand not being enclosed.

I wanted to make a good case. Our case has a structure [where] one sheet is cut out and fastened in several places to become three-dimensional. When the ear cup is rotated and inserted here, the headband is exposed. Although it is still in the state, it is judged that it is not necessary to cover it because it is made strong in the first place. [Thanks] to the exposed band, it is possible to have a function that you can easily grasp with your hand and take out of the bag.
Eugene Wang
Industrial Engineer, Apple


AirPods Max is available in five colors: Space Gray, Silver, Green, Pink, and Sky Blue, all of which express the unique Apple matte tone.

Priced at $549, AirPods are available to order off of or visit your nearest Apple Store for availability.

For more AirPods news and tech specs, visit our archived articles here:

Products Covered

allapplenews-product-AirPods Max
AirPods Max
Release Date
December 2020


• Active Noise Cancellation
• H1 Headphone Chip
• Digital Crown to Adjust Audio
• Up to 20 hours Battery
• Bluetooth 5.0 Connectivity


The next step for the AirPods line, the rumored AirPods Max will add headphones to Apple's audio and music department. Designed to have all the features of the AirPods Pro while adding some of its own new technology, the AirPods Max will provide Apple fans a headphone alternative to the world-renowned AirPods.

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