Apple is growing a pair of high-end wi-fi noise-cancelling headphones and will launch them as quickly as the top of this 12 months, in response to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Debby Wu.
The report corroborates a late February memo from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Gurman, who, like Kuo, has a protracted observe file of reporting the existence of Apple gadgets earlier than they’re launched, says the headphones can be of the over-the-ear selection and would compete with related pairs from Bose.
Bloomberg says the headphones will even embody “related wi-fi pairing performance” to Apple’s AirPods earbuds, suggesting they’ll probably embody Apple’s W1 wi-fi chip (or its successor) and hook up with iPhones and iPads extra seamlessly than different gadgets. Given their over-the-ear design, they’ll probably sound superior to the AirPods as effectively.
Curiously, the report says the headphones will bear the Apple brand. That might ostensibly put them in direct competitors with the corporate’s Beats by Dre subsidiary, which presently sells its personal pair of noise-cancelling headphones for $350. These headphones already reap the benefits of Apple’s W1 chip.
How a lot the brand new headphones will value remains to be unknown, however Bloomberg and KGI’s emphasis on Apple’s “high-end” ambitions suggests they won’t come low cost. It’s value noting that lots of the present high choices within the wi-fi noise-cancelling market are dear as effectively, although: Bose’s QuietComfort 35 go for $350, whereas Sennheiser’s HD1 Wi-fi initially retailed for $500.
All that mentioned, Bloomberg notes that growth of the noise-cancelling headphones has not gone as easily as deliberate, likening Apple’s troubles to the problems it had growing its HomePod speaker. The corporate has gone by way of a number of redesigns of the product, in response to the report, and there’s nonetheless an opportunity it might kill the machine solely.
Apple didn’t reply to a request for remark.
If the headphones do arrive as anticipated, although, they might solidify Apple’s seemingly renewed curiosity in shopper audio. Although the HomePod solely simply hit the market final month, the AirPods seem like successful. Apple doesn’t immediately report AirPods gross sales, as a substitute rolling them into its “Different Merchandise” class with the Apple Watch, Apple TV, Beats headphones, and different equipment. However that phase introduced in $5.49 billion in gross sales in Q1 2018, in response to Apple, a 37 % year-over-year improve. Whereas that quantity was little doubt boosted by the launch of a brand new Apple TV and Apple Watch, Apple mentioned that its wearable merchandise, which embody the AirPods, jumped by 70 % year-over-year.
Experiences from Gurman and Kuo final month mentioned that Apple can be engaged on new AirPods fashions, which might probably embody simpler Siri activation, an improved wi-fi chip, and water resistance.