Apple’s upcoming USB-C AirPods Max might be the worst update ever

Last week, a report by Bloomberg detailed the entire roadmap for the upcoming AirPods models, including the long-awaited AirPods Max update. Now, in the Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman doubled down his predictions, which could mean this will be a very boring update.

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According to Gurman, Apple will focus on adding a USB-C port and fresh colors. Interestingly, expected features, such as the H2 chip or an ultrawideband processor, might not debut on the company’s most expensive AirPods to date.

The journalist reports that “there won’t be other major changes, but it shows Apple is still committed to this product, which hasn’t been updated since 2020.” In the paid part of the newsletter, Gurman says these headphones will be so similar to the current models that Apple might keep the same generation number – which the company did with USB-C AirPods Pro.

While it’s understandable why Cupertino didn’t call AirPods Pro the third generation, softly refreshing a very expensive product released in 2020 is going to piss off several customers.

There are several complaints regarding AirPods Max, from the headphones losing audio quality over time to damaged headbands and other issues. If Apple doesn’t take the opportunity to address them properly, it will be impossible to recommend a $549 second generation.

Here’s what a second-generation AirPods Max should have

Despite USB-C, a second-generation AirPods Max should get at least all the features iOS 17 brought to AirPods Pro 2. In addition, the new H2 chip for audio and an ultrawideband processor for Precision Find are also must-have features for Apple’s premium headphones. The next AirPods Max also should get lossless support, exactly like Beats Studio Pro.

While I appreciate the premium materials of these headphones, some users complain that they’re too heavy to wear for an extended period. Apple should make it more light and redo its carrying case to something smarter and more secure.

Lastly, the company needs to prevent audio quality from fading after a few months, as many users – myself included – have suffered from this issue. Interestingly, almost a year after I bought AirPods Max, they started making a buzz. When Apple gave me new parts, not only was the problem fixed, but the audio quality was way better than what I had previously experienced. Crazy.

If the company doesn’t address these issues and bring new features, what’s the point of just updating this device with USB-C?

That said, Gurman says Apple could possibly change plans between now and the release of these new headphones in late 2024. Let’s hope for the best.


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