Apple engineers studied the idea.
A new patent filed by Apple was recently detected by Patently Apple and analyzed. In the technical paper, the engineers describe a new touch control technology shown with what looks very similar to the AirPods Max.
You should know that the current AirPods Max headphones have a control wheel and not touch controls. The source would therefore tell us that Apple would have had, or would still have in mind, the idea of removing the control wheel on the AirPods Max and adding touch controls on the outside of one of the two earpieces.
Still, for the moment, rumors and analyst predictions are non-existent concerning the work in progress, in the Cupertino laboratories, of a new version of the high-end Apple headphones. Remember that the latter was published in December 2020 . And if we base ourselves on the renewal cycle of AirPods (3 years between generation 1 and generation 2) and HomePod (2 years between the release of HomePod and HomePod mini), we can imagine that a second generation of the AirPods Max could arrive next year.
Perhaps we would then be entitled to this evolution towards 100% touch.
Personally, I have always been unconvinced by the touch controls implemented directly on headphones. In my opinion, there is nothing less ergonomic. With headphones with touch controls, I never found it easy to press the right control the first time and always needed to go through trial and error. The advantage of the crown of the AirPods Max is that you can feel the control with your finger.
Touch is still an important sense in the absence of visual…
And you, what would be your preference? Rather AirPods Max with touch controls or AirPods Max with crown à la Apple Watch?