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AirPods Max Unboxing Videos: 'More Than Good Enough to Compete With Other High-End Headphones' – MacRumors

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Earlier this week, Apple introduced new wireless over-ear headphones called AirPods Max, and first impressions and unboxing videos have now surfaced from various media outlets and YouTube channels. Priced at $549, the AirPods Max launch December 15.

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A first real-life look at AirPods Max via CNET

AirPods Max feature a 40-mm Apple-designed dynamic driver that is said to provide “rich, deep bass, accurate mid-ranges, and crisp, clean high-frequency extension.” Each ear cup is equipped with Apple’s H1 chip for “computational audio” to deliver the “highest quality listening experience possible,” according to Apple.

While more time is needed for in-depth reviews, The Verge‘s Nilay Patel said AirPods Max sound “more than good enough to compete with other high-end headphones”:

Sound-wise, I’ve had fun listening to the AirPods Max for a few hours — they’re crisp and bright, with a pleasingly wider soundstage than my Sony headphones, and no distortion at all, even at max volume. We’ll have a full review of these soon, including tests of spatial audio and Apple’s claim of Atmos surround sound support, so stay tuned for that. But for now, rest assured the AirPods Max sound more than good enough to compete with other high-end headphones.

Apple says the AirPods Max feature a “breathable knit mesh” spanning the headband that distributes weight to reduce on-head pressure, but this might be more marketing speak than anything, as Patel said he “can’t say it feels very much different than my Sony WH-1000XM2s, but it’s possible I just have a very large head.”

Patel says that it takes two hours to charge AirPods Max to their full, advertised 20-hour battery life using Apple’s small 5W charger, with no option for fast charging, even if you use a Lightning to USB-C cable. That said, if you forget to charge the AirPods Max overnight, a five-minute charge provides enough juice for 1.5 hours of listening time.

CNET‘s David Carnoy believes the AirPods Max “raise the noise-canceling bar,” edging out both Sony’s WH-1000XM4 and Bose’s Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, two of the most popular over-ear headphone models on the market:

On top of that, their noise canceling is arguably the best I’ve experienced, slightly edging out the noise canceling on both Sony’s WH-1000XM4 and Bose’s Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. (I haven’t yet compared them closely to Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds, which offer the best noise-canceling for true-wireless earphones.) They don’t completely silence the world around you, but I was out on the streets of New York, and they did a bang-up job of muffling noise — I could barely hear the traffic around me. Finally, they work quite well as a headset for making calls and are particularly good at reducing wind noise.

Carnoy also said the AirPods Max have “impressive” build quality, although he noted that the headphones are quite heavy:

For heavy headphones they are comfortable, but not necessarily super comfy. It’d be nice if they were 20% lighter, but the way the headband is designed, with its mesh canopy, it takes a good amount of pressure off the top of your head. They might look and feel a little big for people with smaller heads, but they do seem to fit a good range of head types.

AirPods Max come with a carrying case called the “Smart Case,” which puts the headphones in an ultra-low power state to preserve battery charge when not in use, according to Apple. The case has already become the butt of a joke on social media, and many of the first impressions shared so far agree that the case looks rather peculiar.

airpods max smart case hands on

airpods max smart case hands on

Smart Case for AirPods Max via CNET

CNBC‘s Todd Haselton found the AirPods Max to be “super comfortable” with extended use, and he also praised the precise volume control offered by the Digital Crown, a feature adapted from the Apple Watch:

I wore the AirPods Max for several hours Wednesday and they felt super comfortable. There’s a breathable mesh band on the top that felt light on my head and didn’t get sweaty or hot. I also love the ear cups, which are spacious and fit around my ears instead of sitting on them.

There are a lot of high-end touches, like aluminum cups and a steel frame, instead of plastic parts you might find in competing headsets. I also dig the Digital Crown that Apple brought over from the Apple Watch. It feels solid and turns easily to adjust the volume. A lot of competing high-end headphones use touch controls for volume, which isn’t as accurate as a physical control.

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Annual drinking water sampling and analysis campaign by Ville de Montréal

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The City of Pointe-Claire invites residents to participate in the annual drinking water sampling and analysis campaign, conducted by the Service de l’eau de la Ville de Montréal, in order to measure the presence or absence of lead, in response to the requirements of the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP).

To participate in the sampling campaign, your property must meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Lead water service line suspected or confirmed;
  • Property built before 1970 (for which the water service line has not been rebuilt);
  • Residential property with fewer than eight housing units;
  • Establishment offering services to children 6 years of age and younger.

If you wish to participate in this simple, quick and free sampling procedure, you must contact the City of Pointe-Claire Engineering Department before Wednesday, July 12 at 514-630-1208 or ingenierie@pointe-claire.ca. An appointment will be assigned to you between July 31 and August 9, 2023.

At the date and time of the appointment, a member of the Ville de Montréal’s personnel will visit your address and collect a small quantity of water, which will then be analyzed. The appointment should last about 45 minutes:

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  • 10 minutes in the home to take the water sample;
  • Stagnation period (30 minutes). The technician will wait in his or her vehicle;
  • 5 to 10 minutes in the home for sampling after stagnation.

Please note that 20 properties are analyzed each year. If all the spots are filled for 2023, your name will be put on the list for 2024.

The sampling results will be communicated to the participating residents in fall 2023.

Sampling has been done for several years to analyze whether or not lead is present in the water. The results to date show an absence or presence of lead below the standards of the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP), for all the addresses sampled in Pointe-Claire’s territory.

For information on lead in drinking water, we invite you to visit the MELCC website: http://www.environnement.gouv.qc.ca/Eau/potable/plomb/index.htm

Thank you for your cooperation.

Information:  514-630-1208, ingenierie@pointe-claire.ca

 

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Major Construction Sites in 2023

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Every year, the City of Pointe-Claire informs its citizens of municipal projects that will be taking place over the year through its Web page, Major construction sites. The purpose of this informative page is to keep Pointe-Claire residents up to date on investments made to the reconstruction and maintenance of the City’s infrastructure.

This year, the City continues to refurbish and improve more than a dozen municipal infrastructures to ensure that streets, sidewalks and utilities remain in good condition for the next 50 years.

The drop-down menu, Major Construction Sites in 2023, is currently available to all Pointe-Claire residents.

For more information on upcoming and ongoing projects, visit the Major Construction Sites in 2023 page on the City’s website!

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“I wore the Dyson Zone headphones on a long flight” By Kate Kozuch for Tom’s Guide

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(Image credit: Future)

One of the first things I did with Dyson Zone noise-cancelling and air-purifying headphones was pack them for a 6-hour flight from New York to California. And while I was initially excited to travel with the futuristic device, the experience wasn’t as user-friendly as I hoped.

The $949 Dyson Zone are headphones with air purification technology in the ear cups. The cups push filtered air through a magnetic visor that many have compared to the mask worn by DC super villain Bane. But concerns about looking nefarious aside, I thought that current fed to my nose and mouth through the Dyson Zone would be a major improvement to stale airplane air.

I knew that the headset wouldn’t protect me from any airborne viruses lurking among my fellow passengers. In fact, airplane air is filtered through sophisticated HEPA systems, while the Dyson Zone is only rated to filter certain pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide. In other words, there was little the Zone would offer in terms of improving the air I breathed. Instead, I hoped a constant, cool airflow could ease some of my flying anxiety. Bonus points if it fended off unsavory odors.

It’s a bulky product

When it came to packing the Dyson Zone, I had to leave behind the included purse-like carrying case. I opted for the soft drawstring bag in order to fit the headphones and visor into my backpack along with all my other tech and flight snacks.

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But in the confines of the coach section, getting the Dyson Zone system out of my bag proved a struggle. Not only is the device a hefty 1.47 pounds with the visor, but the visor doesn’t stay attached if the headset gets bumped around. Juggling my iPad, water bottle and neck pillow, the Dyson Zone certainly didn’t grant me grace.

People didn’t stare

Once I had the Dyson Zone set up for use, I sat watching passengers fill into their seats, waiting for someone to notice the contraption on my face. No one did, or at least, I didn’t catch anyone giving a curious glimpse.

I’ll admit, I didn’t really care about whether people stared. But it surprised me that people didn’t seem interested in what I was wearing. Don’t they know the Dyson Zone could be a glimpse at the type of thing everyone uses in the future? At least I could settle in for the long flight knowing everyone around me would be minding their own business.

Battery life became a problem

About two hours into my flight, a status chime in the headphones indicated a low battery life (you can also check the battery status of the headphones on your iPhone, too). My options were to a) detach the visor and enjoy a bit more time with audio only or b) spend the rest of the flight tethered to a charging cable.

My options were to a) detach the visor and enjoy a bit more time with audio only or b) spend the rest of the flight tethered to a charging cable.

As I had been enjoying the filtered air, I opted for the latter. Luckily, I could reach the outlet between the seats. But the receptacle must’ve been a bit loose, because not long later, I heard the low battery life chime in my ears again. I eventually wiggled the charger at an angle that offered consistent charging through the flight. Still, not all airplanes provide outlet access, so I could’ve had a problem. I didn’t have room to pack my Sony WH-1000XM5s as a back up, after all.

Would I wear the Dyson Zone on a flight again?

Between the bulk and battery life struggle, the Dyson Zone probably won’t be coming with me on any more flights. As much as I enjoyed the cool airflow and the sound quality sufficed for binging reality TV, they’re impractical for air travel.

Unless I had more room at my seat (or perhaps a hook to hang the headset on) and guaranteed outlet access, the Dyson Zone isn’t worth the hassle. Plus, an airplane isn’t the ideal environment to benefit from the headset’s filtering features. Instead, I’ll stick to my non-air-purifying headphones for my next trip, and give Dyson Zone a go outside in the busy city.

More from Tom’s Guide

Kate Kozuch is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering smartwatches, TVs and everything smart-home related. Kate also appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom’s Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her on an exercise bike, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.

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