Comprehensive Guide to AirPods Max Microphone

AirPods Max, Apple's high-end over-ear headphones, are equipped with advanced features, including a sophisticated microphone system. This guide provides a detailed look at the microphone aspect of the AirPods Max, evaluating its performance, technology, and suitability for different types of users.

Microphone Configuration

  • Number of Microphones: AirPods Max features a total of eight microphones. Three are located on the outside, and one on the inside of each ear cup.
  • Purpose: These microphones serve dual functions - for Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and for voice pickup during calls.

Performance in Phone Calls

  • General Quality: The built-in microphones are designed to deliver clear audio for phone calls. They are adequate for casual conversations but might fall short in business or professional settings, particularly in noisy environments.
  • Comparison with Boom Microphones: When compared to headsets with boom microphones, the AirPods Max's microphone performance is noted to be less effective, both in terms of noise cancellation and voice clarity during calls.

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)

  • Functionality: The ANC on AirPods Max is designed to block external noise, providing an immersive listening experience. This feature aids in reducing background noise during calls.
  • Effectiveness: While ANC helps the user focus on the call, it may not effectively prevent the microphone from picking up ambient sounds, impacting the voice clarity for the person on the other end.

User Feedback and Professional Reviews

  • Criticisms: Common criticisms include the price point, the weight making them less comfortable for extended wear, and the microphone's performance in noisy settings.
  • Professional Opinions: Experts generally agree that while the AirPods Max offer high-quality audio playback, they may not be ideal for professional settings where microphone quality is critical.

AirPods Max Advantages

  • Superior Sound Quality: Known for excellent sound quality, enhancing the call experience.
  • Comfort and Design: Comfortable for prolonged use, with premium materials.
  • Integration with Apple Devices: Easy pairing and automatic switching between devices.
  • Advanced Features for iOS: Includes spatial audio and Siri access.

AirPods Max Limitations

  • Microphone Quality: May not match the clarity of dedicated headsets in noisy environments.
  • Weight and Comfort: Could be uncomfortable during extended use due to weight.
  • Cost: Higher price point compared to other headsets with similar functionalities.
  • Battery Dependency: Cannot be used while charging; limited battery life may be a constraint.
  • Limited Noise Cancellation for Microphone: ANC is more effective for the listener than for the microphone.


The AirPods Max, while boasting exceptional sound quality and user-friendly features, have limitations in their microphone performance, especially in professional and noisy settings. They are well-suited for casual use and for Apple device users seeking high-quality audio and seamless device integration. However, for scenarios demanding superior microphone quality, such as professional calls in noisy environments, users might consider alternatives better tailored to these specific needs.

Back to blog