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(Pocket-lint) - We got the long-expected but still surprising release of Apple's AirPods Max last month. but there are a couple of problems with the new headphones - the high price and weighty materials.

However, a new report suggests that a cheaper version may be incoming which would bin both of those issues. AirPods Max Lite, as we'll call them, would probably have plastic rather than metal earcups and cost $349 according to the report from AppleLeaksPro. That price point would pitch directly against well-known rivals like the Sony WH-1000XM4. 

Even if the earcup material changes, it's surely likely the new headphones would retain the stainless steel and fabric headband for maximum flexibility and that same look. 

Apple's AirPods Max have impressed with their sound quality and noise-cancelling and do enough to justify their high price point if - and only if - you are an Apple aficionado. The only other issue that reviewers have had is with the case, which doesn't really protect the headphones at all - could we see a new version of that incoming, too? 

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Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 6 January 2021.