Apple has revealed its first pair of own-brand wireless headphones, the AirPods Max, as the tech giant enters the over-ear headphone space for the first time.
The new headphones will go on sale on Tuesday 15 December, Apple confirmed, priced at £549.
The AirPods Max feature active noise cancellation so wearers can block out background noise while they listen, and Transparency mode, which will enable users to let in some ambient sound while still listening to their audio.
The headphones also feature the Digital Crown dial first seen on the Apple Watch as a way to control volume as well as play or pause audio, skip tracks and answer phone calls.
Apple said the Max will offer battery life of up to 20 hours.
‘AirPods are the most popular headphones in the world, beloved for their effortless setup, incredible sound quality, and iconic design. With AirPods Max, we are bringing that magical AirPods experience to a stunning over-ear design with high-fidelity audio,’ Apple’s Greg Joswiak said.
‘The custom acoustic design, combined with powerful H1 chips, and advanced software enable AirPods Max to use computational audio to wirelessly deliver the ultimate personal listening experience.’
Until now, Apple’s over-ear headphone business has been driven by the Beats line of products, the audio firm co-founded by rapper Dr Dre which Apple bought in 2014.
Initial response to the AirPods Max on social media was mixed, with some criticising the price of the headphones, which some noted is £100 more than the new, next-generation PlayStation 5 video games console.
At the same time as its audio announcement, Apple also confirmed that its new fitness training subscription service, Fitness+, will launch on December 15.
The platform, which is built around the Apple Watch and its workout tracking abilities, enables users to stream fitness classes across a range of different workout types, for £9.99 a month.