In an exclusive interview with the Japanese design website Casa BRUTUS, Apple’s VP of Industrial Design Evans Hankey, VP of Product Marketing Bob Borchers, and industrial designer Eugene Whang have talked about the creation and design of the new AirPods Max wireless headphones.
Apple’s design team explains how the company went through hundreds of different design iterations for the AirPods Max before settling on the final version. “We only had one chance to enter the product category, so we wanted to make it the best,” said Hanky.
Apple chose aluminum for the AirPods Max because it is “quite familiar with aluminum and its oxidation process,” explained Wang.
“We also have a good understanding of the light and shadows that float on it. The earcups came into that shape because they were made of aluminum. The other materials probably had different shapes. There is an inseparable relationship between the material and the shape.”
When asked about the design of the accompanying Smart Case, Wang said:
“Today, most headphones come with large, cumbersome cases, but we travel a lot, so we know how important it is to fit in a bag. So it’s extremely storage efficient. I wanted to make a good case. Our case has a structure in which one sheet is cut out and fastened in several places so that it becomes three-dimensional. When the ear cup is rotated and inserted here, the headband is exposed. Although it is still in the state, it is judged that it is not necessary to cover it because it is made strong in the first place. Also, thanks to the exposed band, it is possible to have a function that you can easily grasp it with your hand and take it out of the bag.”
You can check out the interview in full at the source page.