Of all the tech I've bought this year, my AirPods Max have brought me the most delight: they are without a doubt the best audio kit I've ever owned, delivering the kind of sound that makes you laugh out loud at how good it is. The only other time I've experienced that is in audiophile firms' listening rooms with hi-fi systems that cost more than a car.
The downside is that they're very expensive, which is why they don't top our best headphones guide. And at full price they were too much of a stretch for me. £549 is an awful lot of money for headphones.
What about £400? That's what I paid for mine thanks to a very limited Black Friday deal. And if you're quick, you can get your own AirPods for the same price today: right now the silver AirPods Max are £399 on Amazon (opens in new tab) and the green ones, which I have, are £403.99 (opens in new tab).
I think these are the perfect last-minute Christmas gift for any Apple fan or audiophile.
The best headphones I've ever had
I don't regret my purchase at all: these are the best headphones I've ever owned, with exceptional sound quality and amazing noise cancelling. I haven't heard my children for a month.
They're beautiful, too, and while the case is silly – I can't believe Apple effectively invented a bra for headphones – the headphones themselves feel rather like scaled-up Apple Watches, Digital Crown and all. And if you're all-in on Apple like I am you get Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos in Apple Music, which is a lot of fun.
I'm not going to pretend that £400 isn't a lot of money. It is. But this discount – over £145 – brings the AirPods Max from "how much? You've got to be kidding" money to "I've been good all year and I deserve a present". Because you have, and you do.