AirPods Max teardown hints at secret feature Apple didn’t tell you about

apple airpods max
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple’s products are notoriously hard to deconstruct and put back together, but that hasn’t stopped folks from taking apart the new AirPods Max to see how it ticks. 

It just so happens those folks are the talented team at iFixIt as well as a Chinese YouTube channel, and what they found inside mostly isn’t surprising: two 40 mm Apple-designed dynamic drivers; two color-matched magnetic ear cushions; two Apple H1 chips; and eight microphones for active noise cancellation. 

But there was one surprise in the headset that threw them for a loop: the headband can be removed fairly easily by applying pressure to a small pin-sized hole near the top of the headphones. The headband pops out without an issue, and that’s led some to suspect that Apple could release interchangeable headbands.

One of the main features of the AirPods Max is their interchangeable earpads, but this is the first we’re hearing that the headband itself can be removed – and conceivably swapped – though Apple has yet to say anything about it publicly. 

See more

Why swap headbands in the first place?

The reason this is news-worthy is that headbands are notoriously fragile, and when they break, owners typically have little choice but to buy totally new headphones. 

That wouldn't be the case with the AirPods Max if you can swap them out.

Of course that's not a feature Apple has officially touted yet, but it is something that the company could hype later if it ever decides to roll out replacements – or, given its penchant for releasing plenty of Apple Watch bands, customizable variants. If nothing else, though, it means that your $549 / £549 / AU$899 investment won't become an expensive paperweight should someone accidentally sit on it – which is a nice consideration.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.