The Airpods Max — Apple’s initial blow at over-ear headphones — released last week at $549. They are on the pricey side, almost increasing the value of our popular best pick for over-ear and noise-canceling headphones, Sony’s WH-1000XM4s. AirPods Max is a catchall device run by an immense amount of technology inside. They mentioned the Dolby Dimensions, which had some of the best sounds of any over-ear headphones reviewed, giving an almost home theater-like experience. The AirPods Max step that up a bit with spatial audio — applying the built-in accelerometer and gyroscope in tandem with the gyroscope and accelerometer in an iPhone or iPad.

For sound and daily listening, they have Adaptive EQ, which automatically shapes the low and mid frequencies of music by some technological magic for a more harmonious, more immersive sound. The $249.99 AirPods Pro have fascinated most tech review sites, and the AirPods Max garnered the nearly the same reaction. That is matched with effective noise cancellation and a transparency mode. All of this comes together in a $549 pair of headphones, a value many still believe is a bit too high.