Any time that Apple drops a new product it dominates online — and occasionally offline — conversations for some time. When that product is a first-ever, though, prepare to see it on every homepage for the foreseeable. This time around the protagonist is Apple’s first-ever over-ear headphones, the Apple AirPods Max. This pair of wireless, noise-canceling headphones carry Apple’s signature mouth-watering design and eye-watering price tag of $549.

Of course, as with any Apple product, you’re paying for style as well as functionality in the Apple AirPods Max, which got us wondering what else we might be able to cop for that price if we said no to the forbidden fruit. It turns out that there’s a handful of seriously high-end alternatives to the Apple AirPods Max which offer equal or improved audio capabilities.

Keep scrolling to see the best alternatives to Apple Airpods Max.

Marshall Major 4

Major 4

Major 4



Buy at Marshall Headphones

With a massive 80 hours wireless playback time, the Marshall Major 4 Headphones are ideal for long trips. Custom-tuned dynamic audio drivers ensure big bass alongside nicely separated, clear mids and highs. At just $129.99 you can cop a nice winter coat with the money you would have spent on Apple AirPods Max, too.

Bose QuietComfort 35

QuietComfort 35

QuietComfort 35



Buy at amazon

Bose is one of the premier names in audio technology, and at just over half the price of the Apple AirPods Max, you can secure a pair of the brand’s flagship headphones. The Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones boast top-level noise canceling and sound quality in a sleek silver package.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9 3rd Gen

Beoplay H9 3rd Gen

Beoplay H9 3rd Gen


Bang & Olufsen

Buy at Bang & Olufsen

You can really go all-out on your headphone choice and still save on the Apple AirPods Max as exemplified by the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9 Headphones which clock in at $500 which is still pricey, but arguably more warranted than Apple’s $549. Bang & Olufsen’s design is second-to-none and, with a frequency range of 20-22,000 Hz, Beoplay H9 reacts effortlessly to any genre.

Skullcandy x Collina Strada Crusher® Evo Sensory Bass Headphones

Crusher® Evo Sensory Bass Headphones

Crusher® Evo Sensory Bass Headphones


Skull Candy x Collina Strada

Buy at Skull Candy

Skullcandy enlists the help of Collina Strada for this high-tech & high-fashion collision. The end product is definitely colorful, super comfortable, and with a quick hearing test on the app, Skullcandy will tune your Crusher® Evo headphones for your personal experience because nobody's hearing is the same.

Jabra Elite 85h

Elite 85h

Elite 85h



Buy at amazon

We loved the Jabra Elite 85H Headphones because of their versatility. With long battery life, high-quality noise-canceling technology as well as SmartSound to adapt to your surroundings, and clear voice assistant, these headphones are ones to keep on all day long as you get on with your daily routine.

Kingsman + Bowers & Wilkins P5W Leather-Covered Wireless Headphones

P5W Leather-Covered Wireless Headphones

P5W Leather-Covered Wireless Headphones


Kingsman + Bowers & Wilkins

Buy at Mr Porter

Legendary audio label Bowers & Wilkins teams up with Mr Porter’s very own Kingsman label for the P5W headphones which are one of the most portable pairs in our roundup. While they are foldable, that doesn’t take away from the faultless sound quality.

SONY WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Cancelling

WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Cancelling

WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Cancelling



Buy at Best Buy

Using DSEE Sound Technology, the SONY WH-1000MX4 Wireless Headphones boast seriously high-quality audio but it's the little things that get us, like the fact your content pauses automatically when you take the earphones off. Neat.

Beats by Dre Beats Solo Pro

Beats Solo Pro

Beats Solo Pro


Beats by Dre

Buy at Walmart

Weighing in at around half the price of the Apple AirPods Max, Beats by Dre’s Beats Solo Pro Headphones are a sleek and technically sound alternative. With two playback modes: Active Noise-Cancelling or Transparency, you can choose to get lost in your music or stay aware of your surroundings.

Our designated Selects section features products that we love and want to share with you. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

What To Read Next