It’s nice to see that Apple intends to give all of us Apple Music subscribers free access to higher quality music files starting sometime next month – except that if you’re listening on the $249 AirPods Pro or $549 AirPods Max, you won’t be able to take advantage of the format due to limitations in Bluetooth audio codecs.

It’s a bit like designing a four-storey train knowing full well that it won’t fit under any existing bridges without substantial modification to the bridges.

But then again, if even if you could listen to lossless audio, would you really be able to tell the difference? And given that Apple’s own headphone range (which is primarily wireless now) is intended to be used on the move – you’re effectively competing against environmental/background noise anyway.

No, the lossless format is really intended for those with decent audio equipment where you can plug it into an Apple TV or Mac (or even an iPhone). Maybe there’s potential for third-party manufacturers to make iPhone Lightning docks with the right gubbins that can output good quality Apple Lossless music.

I’m personally looking forward to seeing what they can do with the Dolby Atmos based Spatial Audio which IS supported by existing Apple headphones. It works really well and look forward to wider adoption.

.. because the number of reported problems (condensation and excessive battery drain being the main culprits) makes it feel as though the product was rushed to market and stops me from buying a pair.

The fact that a £529 pair of headphones can’t even be switched off properly is ridiculous. When Sennheiser released their Momentum 3 wireless headphones (I have a pair – they’ve extremely comfortable and I’d highly recommend them), they too had a problem that you couldn’t directly power them off without putting them into a certain position, so you couldn’t hang them on a headphone stand, for example. But Sennheiser eventually did the right thing and released a firmware update that allows you to turn the headphones off when holding down the multi-function button.

Now, why can’t Apple do that with the Airpods Max? Why can’t they release a firmware update that allows you to, say, hold down the digital crown for 2 seconds to turn the things off rather than put up with their dodgy power management system?

But I have bought the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones through EE instead. Their noise cancellation is second to none – better than the Sennheiser for sure. The Sony headphones quickly, the gesture controls are decent (and easy to remember) and you can turn the things on and off at will. Plus the battery lasts 30 hours. It’s great for watching TV (when paired with a transceiver such as the Avantree Oasis Plus Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter and Receiver) or listening to audio from the Mac or iPhone. My only complaint is that the ear cushions feel like the weak point in the entire system – likely needed to be replaced well ahead of time – and I’d really like to see Sony adopt a similar system to Apple with magnets to allow easy replacement. Maybe we might see this with the WH-100XMM5?