Three executives from Apple spoke to Casa BRUTUS about the design of the AirPods Max. They also spoke about the protective helmet, which not everyone likes.
Evans Hankey, who heads Apple’s design studio, explains that there have been hundreds of different prototypes for the AirPods Max over the years. Apple wanted to make sure that it had good comfort and sound quality. The manufacturer has also done a lot of research into the best possible shape of its helmet.
The AirPods Max in its final form has physical buttons. With them you can (de) activate the playback, the sound, the transparency mode and control the active noise reduction. But Apple also considered touch controls before finally giving up on the idea. The physical buttons were more precise in the manufacturer’s eyes.
Then there is the case of the holster. This is to protect the AirPods Max. It can also put the headset on standby when the user no longer needs it. Many users don’t like the fact that they can’t put a button to sleep. They also don’t like the design that looks like a handbag.
Eugene Whang, the group’s industrial designer, explains that the existing enclosure was designed to be efficient in storage. He adds that the top of the helmet is not protected because it is solid. We will have to see if this is really the case after several months.