Apple’s long-rumored over-ear headphones will likely arrive later this year with a focus on customizability. In a new report, Bloomberg claims the Cupertino, California-based company is developing premium, modular headphones that you would be able to personalize through swappable ear pads and headband paddings.
There will be reportedly two variations of these headphones, that Bloomberg says, have been in development since 2018. One of them will have a high-end leather finish, while the other will be aimed at fitness enthusiasts with “lighter, breathable materials with small perforations,” likely similar to the perforated Apple Watch wrist bands.
The highlight of these wireless headphones will be their earpads and headband padding that will attach to the frame magnetically allowing users to easily replace them. In addition to enabling an element of personalization, this will also prove handy for those who’d like to occasionally switch between comfort and fitness use.
What’s more, the report adds that they will possibly have a retro look with a familiar set of oval-shaped ear cups and a headband that connects to their tops (as opposed to the cups’ sides) over thin, metallic arms.
These headphones will inherit the same noise cancellation and wireless tech found in the AirPods Pro. On top of that, similar to AirPods, they will be equipped with a minimal set of touch controls and largely rely on Siri’s voice commands for control. The wireless headphones will be priced around $350 taking on other high-end audio offerings from Bose, Sony, and more.
Bloomberg says there is a chance the headphones will be delayed, however. On top of the supply chain hiccups in China, the products’ final testing has likely been affected by Apple’s move to make work-from-home mandatory during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report doesn’t share any specific dates but an earlier leak claimed the headphones were originally planned to be announced at the company’s annual developer conference, WWDC, in June. With the conference now slated to happen online, it remains to be seen whether Apple will unveil the headphones or push them back.
More importantly, the launch of these headphones could serve as a final nail in the coffin for Beats, which Apple acquired about six years ago. Apple’s line of wireless audio accessories has exceeded expectations and it is clear the iPhone maker will want to extend that success into the over-ear headphones market.
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