Best AirPods Max alternatives 2021

Sony WH-1000XM4
Sony WH-1000XM4 (Image credit: Sony)

The AirPods Max are Apple's first attempt to make its own branded over-ear headphones, and they don't come cheap. Those premium pair of cans enter a competitive field more than capable of taking them on, including established brands and models that have already proven themselves. If you've got your eyes on an alternative to what Apple has put out there, look no further than this group.

Take a chance with the best AirPods Max alternatives

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If you can't stomach the price of the AirPods Max because you think there's something better, you wouldn't be wrong. For the same amount of money or less, you can find some exceptional headphones that outdo Apple's best effort so far. The Sony WH-1000XM4 stand out as our top pick for the best wireless headphones overall. They simply deliver the kind of performative balance you want in a good pair of cans. They also prove it every time you wear them while listening to some tunes.

Others are on the board here that also offer unique abilities. The Bose NCH 700 and QuietComfort 35 II are among them, as are additional models coming from Sennheiser, Bowers & Wilkins, and Bang & Olufsen. This list covers the elite of consumer headphones, so whatever it is you're looking for, you'll find something for every need here.

Ted Kritsonis
Contributor, Audio Reviewer

Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.