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Best AirPods Max alternatives — and they all cost less

Apple has gone all in with the AirPods Max, its first set of noise-cancelling, over-ear headphones. They’ve been packed to the brim with premium features, and sport a design that will be popular with Apple fans across the world. Unfortunately all that doesn’t come cheap, and AirPods Max include a firm $549 price tag.

If you’ve read our Apple AirPods Max review, you’ll know that we loved everything Apple’s headphones had to offer, including adaptive EQ, 3D spatial audio, a transparency mode, powerful active noise cancelation, and sensors that can detect if you’re wearing the headphones or not. Despite AirPods Max packing in so many extras features, the price still stings, and they’re far from what you’d consider an impulse purchase.

So before you rush down to the Apple Store to pick up a pair, be sure to check out all the best (and less expensive) alternatives from the likes of Sony, Bose, Beats, and other top brands.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

1. Sony WH-1000xM4

The best noise cancelling headphones for the money

Size and weight: 9.94 x 3.03 x 7.27 inches, 8.95 ounces | Battery life (rated): 30 hours (ANC on), 38 hours (ANC off) | Bluetooth range: 40 feet (12 meters) | Special features: Active noise cancellation, customizable EQ, multipoint technology

Excellent sound and noise cancellation

Plenty of features via Sony Connect Headphones app

Stellar touch controls

Multiple ways to connect the headphones

Call quality could be improved

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