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Beoplay HX vs AirPods Max (2022): Which Pair of ANC Headphones Should You Buy?

With the release of Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay HX, the brand has entered a segment of the market that’s pretty much dominated by Apple’s AirPods Max. These headphones are kind of similar in many ways, but there are still many differences worth noting. We compare Bang & Olufsen’s new headphones to Apple’s established AirPods Max to help you pick which pair is right for your specific needs.

Beoplay HX vs AirPods Max Comparison Chart

ModelBeoplay HXAirPods Max
 
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Weight285g384.8g
Sound FeaturesAdaptive noise cancelling
Transparency mode
Active noise cancelling
Transparency mode
Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking
EQCustomizableAdaptive
Voice AssistantYesYes
Microphones89
CodecsaptX Adaptive, AAC, SBCAAC, SBC
Connectivity3.5mm
Bluetooth 5.1
Bluetooth 5.0
Battery35 hours (ANC on)
40 hours (ANC off)
3 hours charging time
20 hours
2 hours charging time
ColorsTimber, Black Anthracite, Dark Maroon, SandSilver, Green, Pink, Sky Blue, Space Grey

Design

Both the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX and Airpods Max sport premium designs and we can’t really find any fault with either.

beoplay hx vs airpods max design
The Beoplay HX (left) and AirPods Max (right) are both well-built.

In terms of design, both headphones have their distinct looks. Bang & Olufsen headphones are known for their premium and aesthetic designs and those ring true with the Beoplay HX. The BeoPlay HX look and feel expensive with a nice combination of aluminum, leather, memory foam and high quality plastic. There are four color options to choose from—dark maroon, black, timber and sand.

On the other hand, the AirPods Max have a sleek and minimalist look that some would even say as very plain-looking. However, this design will appeal to those that actually want a no-frills headphones design. You can get the AirPods Max in green, silver, pink, space grey and sky blue.

When it comes to comfort, the two are almost even. The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX have rounded ear cups with thick padding and the headband has sufficient cushioning as well. Meanwhile, the AirPods Max have oval ear cups that will certainly cater to people with bigger ears. The mesh headband is also very comfortable and it adds a level of breathability for better comfort. That said, the Beoplay HX are lighter, weighing only 285 grams compared to the 384.8 grams of the AirPods Max.

As for portability, both are quite bulky and they will take up a lot of space inside your bag. However, we have to say that the hard plastic case of the Beoplay HX can do a good job of protecting the headphones, while the brassiere-like case of the Airpods Max is practically useless, save for protecting the earcups from scratches.

Features

The AirPods Max have more features than the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX, but most of those features are accessible only with Apple devices.

beoplay hx vs airpods max features
The Beoplay HX (left) have eight microphones in total, whereas the AirPods Max (right) have nine.

The two headphones are not lacking in features, but the AirPods Max definitely have the advantage in this area. They both have sensors in place for functions such as wear-detection (music is paused when the headphones are removed) and they also have active noise cancellation and Transparency modes.

Active noise cancellation is pretty good on both headphones, but the AirPods Max performs better. When compared side-by-side, the AirPods Max can cancel low frequency noise more effectively. The Beoplay HX are not bad, it’s just that the AirPods Max are better. As for their Transparency modes, both can amplify surrounding sounds without issues.

Other features that are exclusive to the AirPods Max include Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking, audio sharing, instantaneous pairing with iOS devices and hands-free “Hey Siri”. These features are certainly nice to have, but you’ll need to use the AirPods Max with an iOS device in order to access these features since most of them are tied to the H1 chip inside the headphones.

Performance

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX have a longer battery life than the AirPods Max, but they sound equally impressive.

beoplay hx vs airpods max performance
Both headphones have a premium look, but the AirPods Max (right) have a more minimalist overall design.

Sound quality is the most important feature when buying a pair of headphones and both perform very well in this area. Out of the box, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX have a more neutral sound profile than the AirPods Max, but both are pretty well-balanced.

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX have an exciting and vibrant sound where the lows are clearly there, but they aren’t overpowering. The vocals are forward and you can clearly hear the details in the treble range.

On the other hand, the AirPods Max also have a neutral sound, but with a slight kick in the bass frequency. There’s a slight dip in the mids, but not enough that they are pushed to the back of the mix. The highs are also clear without any unpleasant or harsh sounds, even at higher volumes. Both are excellent in the audio quality department.

However, it’s a different story when it comes to battery life. The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX can last up to 40 hours on a single charge without active noise cancellation and up to 35 hours with ANC enabled. In contrast, the AirPods Max have a battery life of only 20 hours with ANC on. The battery life of the AirPods Max is not terrible, but it’s clearly lacking when compared to the Beoplay HX.

Verdict

For Apple users, the AirPods Max are a no-brainer, however, for non-iOS users, it’s a toss-up.

Beoplay HX

Better sound & longer battery life

AirPods Max

More features (iOS users)

If you are buying a pair of headphones for use mostly with Apple devices, the AirPods Max should be your first consideration. They have a bunch of features that you can only access with iOS devices such as Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking, audio sharing, hands-free Siri and more. As such, you’ll be getting more for your money with the AirPods Max.

For Android users, it’s really a toss-up since these two pairs of headphones have similarly great sound. Also, they also have a similar feature set but that’s because most of the AirPods Max’s features are tied to Apple’s H1 chip, thus, they are not available on Android. One advantage of the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX worth mentioning though, is their excellent battery life.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Are the Beoplay HX good?

Yes, they sound great, they have decent ANC and they have excellent battery life along with a premium design.

๐Ÿ“Œ Are the AirPods Max audiophile quality?

No, they sound good for a pair of wireless headphones, but they lack of support for Hi-Res audio codecs.

๐Ÿ“Œ Do AirPods Max support Dolby Atmos?

Yes, they support Dolby Atmos with their Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking feature.

๐Ÿ“Œ Are the Beoplay HX noise cancelling?

Yes, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX have active noise cancellation and transparency mode.

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.