WHAT DID WE LEARN?
As a long-time owner of Bose headphones, I decided to compare the AirPods Max to the newest Bose QC 700 headphones.
Coincidentally, the testing was done the same week that "Godzilla vs Kong" was released on HBO Max. This movie has Spatial Audio, a feature that makes it possible to perceive sound all around you without the need for any specific multiple speaker setups. The AirPods Max supports Spatial Audio. The Bose 700 does not. Points for AirPods Max.
Furthermore, in the final fight scene between Godzilla and King Kong, there was heavy bass audio as the creatures stomped and pounded. The winner again was the AirPods Max.
Next, I switched to an Apple Music playlist I created using tunes with serious bass. Both headsets had good bass but the AirPods Max picked up base notes that the Bose 700 missed.
An advantage of the AirPods Max is the Digital Crown which enables precise volume control. The Bose 700 must rely on the iPhone or iPad to adjust the volume.
Both headsets offer 20-hour battery life. The Bose 700 has a slight advantage because you can turn it off, thereby preserving the remaining battery power. The AirPods Max doesn't have an off button. But when placed in the Smart Case, it enters an ultra low power state that preserves the remaining battery charge.
When the 20 hours are used up, you can get a quick charge of 1.5 hours on the AirPods Max within 5 minutes. The Bose 700 has a quick charge of 2 hours within 15 minutes.
The Bose 700 announces how many hours of the battery are left when you switch it on. The AirPods Max doesn't announce anything but an image shows up with an estimate of time remaining alongside the status of the iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch (see sample below). Also, holding the AirPods Max next to the screen results in a popup that includes the percentage of battery life.
The Bose 700 headset is lighter at 8.96 ounces versus 13.6 ounces of the AirPods Max. Add the weight of the covers, the total comes to 15.21 ounces versus 18.34 ounces. Advantage: Bose 700.
Finally, there's the cost. The AirPods Max is priced at $549. The Bose 700 is priced at $379. (We got the Bose discounted to $329.) Advantage: Bose 700.
Comparing the features, the AirPods Max edges out the Bose QC 700 by 4 to 3. Since the AirPods Max has Spatial Audio and better Bass, it is my choice.
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