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Save money and avoid AirPods Max for use with Windows

Best answer: Honestly, no, and certainly not if you’re not also using an iPhone or iPad as well, as you’ll miss out on the best features. You can get something better suited, like the Surface Headphones 2, for much less.

Expensive and missing features

There are two immediate barriers to Windows users seriously considering the AirPods Max. The first is the price. At $549 this is a pair of headphones that costs more than a Surface Go 2, or even an Xbox Series X — for one pair of headphones. Obviously the AirPods Max aren’t targeted at the average headphones buyer, but it’s still a lot.

The other, perhaps killer blow, is that the full feature set isn’t available if you’re using the AirPods Max with something that isn’t an Apple device. Transparency is still available, but the killer spatial audio is not, and neither is the nifty wireless pairing. And if you’re paying out this much, you surely want everything the product has to offer.

The only reason you’d consider using them on Windows, really, is if you’re a heavy iPhone and iPad user and investing more for use with those devices. You can use them on Windows, but it’s far from the ideal choice.

Better choice for Windows

Neither of these two big negatives apply to Microsoft’s own Surface Headphones 2. For one, the regular price is just $249, which is still a fairly significant investment, but a significant savings over AirPods Max. The feature set is comparable, too, with similar battery life, active noise cancellation, transparent audio capabilities and good sound quality.

The case is also superior, and it doesn’t matter which platform you choose to use the Surface Headphones 2 on; you have access to the same features. You have a companion app on Windows, as well as iOS and Android, to help you get the best from your headphones, but the overall experience is consistent across them all.

Better choice

Surface Headphones 2

The difficult second album comes off with flying colors

Microsoft put its Surface design and build quality into a pair of headphones, tossed in voice actions and ANC, and made something your ears will love. And at less than half the price of the AirPods Max.

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This post was written by Richard Devine and was first posted to WindowsCentral

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