Don’t expect Apple’s AirPods Max 2 headphones to launch in 2023

A person wearing the Apple AirPods Max while using an iPad
The Apple AirPods Max (Image credit: TechRadar)

If you’ve been thinking about getting a pair of AirPods Max headphones, but are worried that a second iteration might be just around the corner, you can stop fretting – an Apple analyst says the AirPods Max 2 might not launch until late 2024 or even 2025.

The Apple AirPods Max launched in 2020, but from an audio perspective they’re still the best Airpods you can buy today. In our four-star Apple AirPods Max review we called them "the perfect headphones for Apple devotees". Not only are they among the best-sounding headphones we’ve ever tested, but their noise-canceling capabilities are in the same league as those of the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. That said, if you’re an Android user – or you’re on a budget – then these pricey $549 / £549 / AU$899 headphones might not be the best option for you.

Plus, given the California-based tech giant’s usual cadence for new AirPods launches you might be hesitant to buy a pair, only to have the Airpods Max 2 replace them later this year. Well, the good news (or not-so-good news, depending on how you look at it) is that the AirPods Max 2 headphones may be well over a year away.

That’s according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on Twitter. Kuo uses his knowledge of Apple’s supply chain to make predictions about the products the company is developing, and many of his predictions end up being on the money. So while we should still take his analysis with a pinch of salt – until Apple says anything officially we don’t know for sure when its products will launch – it seems likely that we’ll be waiting a while for a refresh of Apple’s best headphones.

Adding weight to Kuo’s prediction is the fact that we’ve heard very little about Apple’s next AirPods Max cans. If a launch is coming later this year, we would expect to have seen a few more leaks about the headphones, but so far things have been pretty quiet.

So if you’re thinking about biting the bullet and buying a pair of the current AirPods Max it seems likely that you’ll get a fair amount of use out of them before the next generation arrives – and even when the Max 2 (if that's what they're called) do show up, you’ll still own a fantastic pair of headphones.

If you want to learn more about one of the latest devices Apple has launched, check out our Apple HomePod 2 review.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.