AirPods Max: 8 things new owners need to know

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5 min read
fairly easy
If you picked up a pair of Apple's swanky new over-ear noise-canceling headphones -- or are thinking about it -- here are some answers to frequently asked questions.
David Carnoy/CNET

We have a full review of the AirPods Max that's chock-full of info for people contemplating dropping $549 on Apple's high-end noise-canceling wireless headphones. But not everybody wants to unpack a few thousand words to find the answers to a few vital questions you might have about the AirPods Max, especially if you already own a pair. That's why I've rounded up some of the most-asked questions about the AirPods Max with answers to go along with them.

In some cases, the answers may change as Apple updates the headphones' firmware. If it does -- and perhaps adds new features -- I'll provide updates. Feel free to ask any questions or provide any AirPods Max insights in comments section, and they may just turn up in a future update.

Read more: Full review of Apple AirPods Max

Can I connect wirelessly to Android and other non-Apple devices? Yes, the AirPods Max are Bluetooth headphones and should connect to any Bluetooth-enabled audio device. However, you lose some extra features, like hands-free Siri (for voice commands) and Apple's new spatial-audio surround-sound feature, which is pretty cool and only works with iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. To connect, you simply hold down the noise control button (the button that allows you to toggle between noise canceling and transparency modes) to make the headphones discoverable as a Bluetooth device. You then find it in the Bluetooth settings menu on your other device. The AirPods Max currently stream only AAC and not aptX, aptX HD or Sony's LDAC codecs, which are compatible mostly with Android devices. It's possible that support for additional codecs -- and additional features -- could be added in the future with a firmware upgrade, but for now there's just AAC. That's just fine for owners of Apple's devices, which these headphones are optimized for. Although Android devices support AAC streaming, there have been reports that they don't handle it as well as iOS devices. I do not recommend that…
David Carnoy
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