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Apple adds over-ear AirPods Max to wearables lineup

Apple unveiled the AirPods Max, over-ear wireless headphones that will retail for $549 beginning Dec. 15.

The AirPods Max feature active noise cancelation and 40-mm drivers. Apple already sold over-ear headphones through the Beats brand it acquired in 2014, but the AirPods Max will be the first to sell under the Apple brand. In October, Apple pulled all third-party headphones and wireless speakers from its online and physical retail stores.

Apple's AirPods lineup now includes the $159 standard AirPods, the $249 AirPods Pro, and the $549 AirPods Max. The price tag on the AirPods Pro Max comes in much higher than many competitors in the over-ear headphone market — Bose's equivalent headphones, for example, retail for $270.

AirPods have been instrumental to Apple's success in growing its wearables business. For the three months ended Sept. 26, 2020, Apple reported $14.5 billion in revenue from its Wearables, Home and Accessories business, representing 20.8% growth from the previous year. Apple CFO Luca Maestri announced in July that the company's wearables business had grown to the size of a Fortune 140 company.

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