Milanese Loop (Silver Stainless Steel, 2019)

The Milanese Loop was among Apple’s original Apple Watch band designs. In the press release in September 2014 announcing the original Apple Watch, Apple wrote: “Apple also created an entire range of watch straps [including] the Milanese Loop in a flexible magnetic stainless steel mesh.” The original Milanese Loop was available only in silver, but has been offered in a total of five colors: Silver (Spring 2015), Space Black (Spring 2016), Graphite (Fall 2020), and two shades of Gold (Fall 2018, Fall 2020).

Apple describes the Milanese Loop:

“A modern interpretation of a design developed in Milan at the end of the 19th century. Woven on specialized Italian machines, the smooth stainless steel mesh wraps fluidly around your wrist. And because it’s fully magnetic, the Milanese Loop is infinitely adjustable, ensuring a perfect fit.”

Apple specifies that the Milanese Loop is not water resistant and cautions that the band contains magnets that may cause interference with the Compass on the watch.

The 38/40/41mm version of the band band fit 130–180mm wrists, while the 42/44/45/49mm version fit 150–200mm wrists. Although this design and color was released in 2015, this Milanese Loop is dated 2019 on the packaging, and the product was still available on the Apple website as of March 2023 (for $99).

Source: Apple (Newsroom, product)

HomePod mini (Orange, 2021)

On October 18, 2021, Apple introduced HomePod mini in three new colors: yellow, orange, and blue. The three new colors joined the two original colors of white and space gray. Apple describes the HomePod mini as:

“Jam-packed with innovation, HomePod mini delivers unexpectedly big sound for a speaker of its size. At just 3.3 inches tall, it takes up almost no space but fills the entire room with rich 360-degree audio that sounds amazing from every angle. Add more than one HomePod mini for truly expansive sound.”

In addition to adding bold color to the exterior mesh fabric, Apple also color-matched the touch surface, volume icons, and woven power cable.

The technology built in to the HomePod mini is described by Apple:

“HomePod mini uses computational audio to provide a rich and detailed acoustic experience and deliver peak performance. To achieve big sound out of such a compact design, the Apple S5 chip runs advanced software to analyze the unique characteristics of the music. It also applies complex tuning models to optimize loudness, adjust the dynamic range, and control the movement of the driver and passive radiators, all in real time. HomePod mini’s full-range driver, premium neodymium magnet, and pair of force-cancelling passive radiators enable it to produce deep bass and crisp high frequencies.”

This HomePod mini is orange.

Sources: Apple (HomePod mini, Announcement, Availability)

AirPods Max (space gray, 2020)

Apple announced their AirPods Max over-ear headphones on December 8, 2020, and they shipped one week later on December 15. The original press release touted:

“AirPods Max feature incredible high-fidelity audio, Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, and spatial audio”

The headphones featured a brand new design and included the Digital Crown from the Apple Watch as the primary control interface. Materials included a “breathable knit mesh canopy” that spanned the headband to reduce pressure on the head while wearing the headphones for extended periods. The headband frame was made from stainless steel and telescoped to allow a custom fit. The ear cushions were made from a “custom-designed mesh textile [that] wraps the ear cushions to provide pillow-like softness while listening.” The outer ear cup was aluminum in a rectangular shape with rounded corners (as opposed to a round or oval design seen on other over-the-ear headphone designs).

The audio technology included “H1 chips, and advanced software to power computational audio for a breakthrough listening experience with Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio.” The battery on AirPods Max was advertised at 20 hours.

AirPods Max headphones were available in five colors: space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink. The colors consistently referred to the color of the outer ear cup of the AirPods Max—since each color option used a different combination of accent colors. Space gray used space gray outer ear cups with black ear cushions and headband. Silver used silver outer ear cups with white ear cushions and headband. Sky blue used light blue outer ear cups with light blue ear cushions and a dark blue headband. Green used light green outer ear cups with light green ear cushions and a pale green (white tinted with green) headband. Pink used pale pink (similar to Apple’s rose gold) outer ear cups with dark pink ear cushions and a red headband.

AirPods Max Ear Cushions were also sold separately by Apple as replacements—or to allow users to customize their headphone style. By mixing and matching the Ear Cushions, 25 color combinations were possible, or 125 combinations if two different ear cushion colors were used.

The AirPods Max shipped with an arguably unusual case design that provided little protection, but allowed the headphones to go into “an ultralow power state that helps to preserve battery charge when not in use.” The case was frequently maligned by critics.

When AirPods Max were released, they were almost universally praised for their superior sound quality and noise-cancelling features, but panned for their high price of $549. The primary technical issue shared by some reviewers was the tendency for AirPods Max to “form condensation under the earcups and the water that is formed gets inside the drivers causing ear detection problems.”

This set of AirPods Max headphones is Space Gray.

Sources: Apple (Newsroom, AirPods Max, ear cushions), Wikipedia

AirPods Max (sky blue, 2020)

Apple announced their AirPods Max over-ear headphones on December 8, 2020, and they shipped one week later on December 15. The original press release touted:

“AirPods Max feature incredible high-fidelity audio, Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, and spatial audio”

The headphones featured a brand new design and included the Digital Crown from the Apple Watch as the primary control interface. Materials included a “breathable knit mesh canopy” that spanned the entire headband that was meant to reduce pressure on the head while wearing the headphones for extended periods. The headband frame was made from stainless steel and telescoped to allow a custom fit. The ear cushions were made from a “custom-designed mesh textile [that] wraps the ear cushions to provide pillow-like softness while listening.” The outer ear cup was aluminum in a rectangular shape with steeply rounded corners (as opposed to a round or oval design seen on other over-the-ear headphone designs).

The audio technology included “H1 chips, and advanced software to power computational audio for a breakthrough listening experience with Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and spatial audio.” The battery on AirPods Max was advertised at 20 hours.

AirPods Max headphones were available in five colors: space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink. The colors consistently referred to the color of the outer ear cup of the AirPods Max, since each color option used a different combination of accent colors. Space gray used space gray outer ear cups with black ear cushions and headband. Silver used silver outer ear cups with white ear cushions and headband. Sky blue used light blue outer ear cups with light blue ear cushions and a dark blue headband. Green used light green outer ear cups with light green ear cushions and a pale green (white tinted with green) headband. Pink used pale pink (similar to Apple’s Rose Gold) outer ear cups with dark pink ear cushions and a red headband.

AirPods Max Ear Cushions were also sold separately by Apple as replacements or to allow users to customize their headphone style. By mixing and matching the Ear Cushions, 25 color combinations were possible—or 125 combinations if two different ear cushion colors were used.

The AirPods Max shipped with an arguably unusual case design that provided little protection, but allowed the headphones to go into “an ultralow power state that helps to preserve battery charge when not in use.”

When AirPods Max were released, they were almost universally praised for their superior sound quality and noise-cancelling features, but panned for their high price of $549. The primary technical issue shared by some reviewers was the tendency for AirPods Max to “form condensation under the earcups and the water that is formed gets inside the drivers causing ear detection problems.”

Sources: Apple (Newsroom, AirPods Max, ear cushions), Wikipedia, MSN

HomePod mini (Yellow, 2021)

On October 18, 2021, Apple introduced HomePod mini in three new colors: yellow, orange, and blue. The three new colors joined the two original colors of white and space gray. Apple describes the HomePod mini as:

“Jam-packed with innovation, HomePod mini delivers unexpectedly big sound for a speaker of its size. At just 3.3 inches tall, it takes up almost no space but fills the entire room with rich 360-degree audio that sounds amazing from every angle. Add more than one HomePod mini for truly expansive sound.”

In addition to adding bold color to the exterior mesh fabric, Apple also color-matched the touch surface, volume icons, and woven power cable.

The technology built in to the HomePod mini is described by Apple:

“HomePod mini uses computational audio to provide a rich and detailed acoustic experience and deliver peak performance. To achieve big sound out of such a compact design, the Apple S5 chip runs advanced software to analyze the unique characteristics of the music. It also applies complex tuning models to optimize loudness, adjust the dynamic range, and control the movement of the driver and passive radiators, all in real time. HomePod mini’s full-range driver, premium neodymium magnet, and pair of force-cancelling passive radiators enable it to produce deep bass and crisp high frequencies.”

Sources: Apple (HomePod mini, Newsroom: Announcement, Availability)