Apple has extended its popular AirPods line of accessories with a new premium pair of over-the-ear headphones that will retail in the UK for £549.

After months of rumours, Apple broke from its regular cycle of launch events to unveil the AirPods Max, a new headset that will be available in five new colours.

The wireless headphones pack in a range of high-end tech to justify the hefty price tag, including a 40mm dynamic driver and 10 audio cores that will power its “computational audio” output.

Apple said that this new audio is incredibly immersive and will “block outside noise, adapt audio to the fit and seal of your ear cushions, and make movie scenes sound like they’re happening all around you”.

Customers will be expecting a flawless audio experience as the AirPods Max will cost three times as much as the entry-level AirPods, which are available for £159.

However, the cheaper model and the £249 AirPods Pro are smaller earbuds, while the AirPods Max feature a larger, over-the-ear cup design attached to a comfortable headband.

Apple says that the new headphones will have a 20-hour battery life from a single charge when spatial audio and active noise cancellation is enabled.

There is also a smart case that helps to preserve battery charge by keeping the device in an “ultralow” power state.

The AirPods Max will work on Mac devices, iPhones and iPads that have the latest software installed.

UK customers can pre-order the headset now in green, pink, sky blue, space grey and silver colours, and shipping will start from Tuesday (15th December).