Why the AirPods Max Is Not the It Gift for the 2021 Holidays

Revuze AirPods Max Blog Post

Apple released its AirPods Max on December 15, 2020, just in time for last-minute Christmas shoppers. The product didn’t go unnoticed, being Apple’s highest-end option in the AirPods line-up: it debuted on the market with a whopping $549.00 price tag and raised eyebrows for its peculiar design. (If you are not familiar with the product’s Smart Case, take a look here.)

Now, one year later, it’s interesting to see where the product stands as many consumers have had their chance to try the product and compare it with its main competitors, such as Sony’s WH-1000XM4 and Bose 700.

At Revuze, we use AI to index and analyze millions of online consumer opinions; our clients use our product insights for market research purposes. In our research on Apple’s AirPods Max, we analyzed consumer sentiment in relation to specific topics, such as noise cancellation and comfort, to see what consumers like and dislike about the product.

Which data we analyzed

For this study, we analyzed over 12,000 consumer opinions on wireless headphones published on Amazon US and Amazon UK throughout Q3 in 2021. The products we considered for this study were priced at a minimum of $75.00. This data helped us benchmark Apple’s AirPods Max against their product hierarchy (on-ear headphones) and individual competitors.

Are the AirPods Max worth it?

AirPods Max had a 57% sentiment score and a 3.92 average star rating, with pricing being one of the main pain points for the product. Overall, this product performed worse than the hierarchy average (59% sentiment and 4.01 star rating).

  • Pricing and value for money were the product’s main pain points, resulting in a related 38% sentiment score, as opposed to the hierarchy average of 55%.
  • AirPods Max performed poorly in relation to comfort, with consumers complaining about the product’s weight, the earpad’s material, and the overall fit. Consumer sentiment in relation to comfort was 71%, 4 points lower than the hierarchy average.

Are the AirPods Max comfortable?

In their reviews, consumers wrote about the issues of comfort, pricing, and weight.

One consumer wrote: “The weight paired with the earpad’s material makes them very uncomfortable. The ear pads kept rubbing the skin around my ears and my skin was irritated.”

Another one wrote: “I found that these headphones were good at cancelling noise and I really liked the transparency mode, however, I don’t think that they are worth the price over other high quality noise cancelling headphones. I found that they were a bit too heavy for me and became uncomfortable after a few hours and were especially uncomfortable when wearing my glasses. the battery life also wasn’t as good as I had hoped, it went from 85% to 25% in 6 hours. that is of constant use.”

Are the entry-level AirPods better than the Max?

Unlike the AirPods Max, Apple’s entry-level AirPods product remains the tried and true favorite, with a 64% consumer sentiment score (vs. 57% average for the wireless earphones category). Our data shows that the entry-level AirPods’ top strengths were audio quality and comfort.

While innovation keeps consumer products fresh, when undertaken without regard to what consumers need the enhancements may not meet the consumers’ expectations and has the potential to impact customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Revuze AirPods Max Graphic

Addressing the pain points

Revuze’s data analysis on consumer opinions sheds a spotlight on the product’s main pain points. Companies like Apple can use Revuze’s insights to identify their product’s strengths and weaknesses, see what consumers are saying about them, and ultimately address the pain points in a new version of the product.

To read Revuze’s complete report “Apple AirPods Max: One Year Later” click here.

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