Apple AirPods Max Alternatives

Apple’s AirPods Max wireless headphones are $549 — and sold out for the holiday. Here are some alternatives.


Sony XM4 – headphones (street price $278) Sony’s intelligent industry-leading noise canceling headphones with premium sound elevate your listening experience with the ability to personalize and control everything you hear. Get up to 30 hours of battery life with quick charging capabilities, enjoy an enhanced Smart Listening feature set, and carry conversations hands-free with speak-to-chat.

Bose 700 – headphones (street price $340) Bose Noise cancelling headphones 700 have redefined what wireless headphones can do. Keep your head up to the world with easy access to voice assistants — perfect for music, navigation, weather, and more. Confidently take calls or speak to Alexa anywhere. An unrivaled four microphone system picks up and isolates your voice while cancelling the noise around you.

Apple AirPods Pro – earbuds (street price $199-$249) Active noise cancellation for immersive sound. Transparency mode for hearing and connecting with the world around you. Three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for a customizable fit. Sweat and water resistant.
Adaptive EQ automatically tunes music to the shape of your ear.


Yamaha HPH-MT8 – headphones (street price $199) High-end monitoring headphones with accurate response and precise stereo imaging capable of faithfully reproducing every nuance of the mids and high end, and tight, solid bass.

Etymotic Research ER4SR – earbuds (street price $275) The Etymotic Research ER4SR is the new reference standard in-ear monitor for those who demand nothing less than the highest fidelity. The next generation of our long revered flagship in-ear earphone, the ER4S, the ER4SR delivers increased accuracy with greater sensitivity. Like its predecessor, the ER4SR channels are matched to within an industry-leading 1dB across all frequencies from 100Hz to 10kHz.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit


PreviousTV: The Platform vs. The Artform NextApple AirPods Max

Get Briefed Every Day!

Subscribe to my daily newsletter featuring current events and the top stories in technology, media, and marketing.