The Apple AirPods Max design shock no one noticed – until now

AirPods Max
(Image credit: @BasicAppleGuy on Twitter)

Update: Right now you can get the sky blue AirPods Max at an all-time low price of £428 over at Amazon - saving you £121

The fashion and tech worlds aren't exactly synonymous, but if there's one gadget that's become quite the status symbol, it's Apple's AirPods. The tiny in-ear versions, that is. AirPods Max, enormous in both size and price, haven't been around long enough to achieve ubiquity in the streets. But a newly discovered design surprise could soon help them stand out in a crowd.  

Until now, AirPods Max weren't known for their customisability –  choose from one of five colours and you're done. But a recent teardown has revealed that the headband is unexpectedly simple to remove, leading to speculation about future swappable designs. 

If you're in the market for a set of cans, check out our best wireless headphones, or if you prefer in-ear headphones, here are the cheap AirPods deals going.

AirPods Max

The headband can be removed with just a sim card ejector tool (Image credit: Prelook on YouTube)

The teardown by Chinese YouTube channel PreLook revealed that the AirPods Max headband can be removed simply by inserting a sim card ejector tool (the same as you'll find in your iPhone box) into a tiny hole at the top of each headphone cup. Indeed, watching the process in action (below), there's an unmistakeable sense that the headband was designed to be swapped easily.

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For AirPods Max owners, this could be exciting news for two reasons. Firstly, it suggests that if the either headband or cups were to become damaged, these modular elements could potentially be replaced without the need to buy a whole new pair of AirPods Max (which, at $549/£549, wouldn't be ideal). 

But perhaps more excitingly, it could suggest that AirPods Max might soon become a lot more customisable. Much like the plethora of official and unofficial Apple Watch straps available, could we soon see a ton of swappable AirPods Max headbands or cups sold separately? With the right colour combination, perhaps you'll soon be able to make your AirPods Max look as eye-popping (or garish) as you choose.

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Whether Apple itself is planning to let users mix-and-match headbands and cups remains to be seen. Right now, you'll need to shell out for multiple pairs of AirPods Max if you want to swap colours. Which, depending how you look at it, is either utterly ludicrous, or the ultimate status symbol. (We're in the former camp, by the way.)

Still, even if customisable colours could help make AirPods Max pop, that horrendous Smart Case is still going to look like, well, that horrendous Smart Case. You can't win them all. Check out today's best AirPods deals below, and head over to our best Apple deals page for more offers across the Apple range. 

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.