A while back, Apple released the 4E71 update. And ever since the update, users have been reporting that the headphones’ ANC performance has degraded.
Apple-designed dynamic driver provides high-fidelity audio. Active Noise Cancellation blocks outside noise, so you can immerse yourself in music.
And in fact, if you were driving the AirPods Max daily and heavily relying on the ANC feature, you might have noticed something was off.
You should note that the update came in May and was not only for the AirPods Max. Instead, the update was for AirPods and AirPods Pro series as well.
However, unlike some of the other firmware updates, this one did not bring any new features. It was more focused on tweaking the devices.
But instead of getting a proper tweak, the firmware seems to have degraded the overall performance of the AirPods Max.
After seeing so many reports from the users, Rtings.com took matters into its own hands and retested the AirPods Max with the 4E71 update.
From the test, the team of Rtings.com found that the user reports were indeed true. The firmware did nerf the ANC of AirPods Max. According to the report, the effectiveness of the ANC for the AirPods Max took a big hit.
The report stated, “The Apple AirPods Max’s noise isolation performance is great. However, after updating the headphones to firmware 4E71, their active noise canceling (ANC) system blocks out a bit less noise between the mid-bass to high-bass range than the previous firmware.”
In other words, if you now take your AirPods Max with you during flights, you will be able to hear more of the engine. Now, that is not a piece of good news at all.
But the thing is, you could not have anything to stop the headphones from getting updated. The Apple AirPods update to new firmware automatically.
The update happens in the background, and there is no official way to block your AirPods from getting updated. Now, the real question is, why did Apple nerf the performance of the AirPods Max?
The story could be similar to what happened to Sonos Arc and Sub recently. The brand rolled a firmware that mistakenly lowered the performance of the speakers.
However, in the case of Sonos, the team rolled out another update to fix the problems that the previous update introduced. And the new firmware did not take that much time to come out either.
Could the story be the same for Apple AirPods Max? Or is Apple trying to make its upcoming AirPods Max 2nd Generation look better by sneakily lowering the performance? Only official announcements from Apple can answer these questions.
Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.
This post was last updated on 2023-06-09 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.