A new report suggests Apple is working on a set of high-end headphones.
According to rumors persisting for months, Apple is seeking to augment its AirPods business with a non-Beats over-the-ear headphone line. Now, according to Bloomberg, it appears that Apple is working on at least two variations of headphones. The premium headphones include leather-like fabrics, while the fitness model features breathable materials.
Prototypes of the Apple headphones have a retro look with oval-shaped ear cups that swivel. The cups are connected to the headband by thin, metal arms. The arms come from the top of the ear cups, rather than the sides.
One unique feature of the high-end headphones might be magnetic ear pads and headbands. The padding attaches magnetically so the user can replace it. Apple believes the modular design will allow for more customization of its headphones.
One possible feature is that the premium and fitness padding could be interchangeable using magnets.
Apple declined to comment on the report released by Bloomberg. We already know Apple plans on using wireless pairing and active noise cancellation in its premium headphones. The new headphones will also feature Siri support for voice controls and possibly touch controls. Both Microsoft and Sony have experimented with ear cup touch controls on their high-end headphones.
Apple intends the new headphones to compete with Bose, Sennheiser, and Sony.
Bloomberg’s report suggests that Apple has been working on over-the-ear headphones since 2018. The launch of the headphones has been postponed at least twice, according to sources. The product was slated for release later this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic may complicate that.
Final testing on audio products is hard when most of the company is working remotely. Apple first launched its AirPods earphones in 2016 after removing the headphone jack from the iPhone. Since then, AirPods have become a massive market for Apple. Apple generated $24.5 billion from its accessories like the AirPods and the Apple Watch.