Apple launches new $549 AirPods Max

Apple on Tuesday unveiled over-the-ear headphones that cost $549 – pricier than its entry level iPhones, iPads or Watches. The new AirPods Max could boost the company’s sales over the holiday season.

The new headphones boast 20-hours of battery life, noise cancellation, and nine microphones inside the ear cups that help adjust audio levels. They’re capable of delivering higher quality audio than in-ear devices because they seal around the ear.

The AirPods Max, which ship next Tuesday, will compete with high-end headphones such as Bose’s Noise Cancelling 700 units that sell for $340 with holiday discounts. Prices for Apple’s in-ear headphones will remain the same: AirPods at $159 and AirPods Pro at $249.

The launch of the AirPods Max comes amid rising sales for Apple’s accessories just as revenue from its flagship iPhones has been falling. Apple also said it’ll launch its $10 per month fitness subscription service next Monday. Shares of exercise equipment maker Peloton, which also offers virtual fitness classes, initially fell on that news before turning higher.