Apple is building modular over-ear wireless headphones with swappable magnetic parts, according to a report. The new headphones by the Cupertino, California-based giant could come in multiple variations and include AirPods Pro-like wireless-pairing and noise-cancellation support. Although Apple is reportedly to be working on its over-ear headphones since at least 2018, the new offering could debut sometime later this year. A previous report suggested that Apple would unveil its over-ear headphones at WWDC 2020 in June. The company could also showcase its new earbuds at the developer conference.
The over-ear headphones by Apple will come with replaceable ear pads and headband padding that will be attached magnetically, Bloomberg reports. This type of customisation offered by the company is said to be similar to some headphones from brands such as Master & Dynamic and Bowers & Wilkins.
Apple would offer a customisable experience that would match the Apple Watch that supports interchangeable wrist bands.
“The design may also mean the same set of headphones would be convertible from comfort to fitness use and back again,” the report said, citing people familiar with the development.
It is also reported that there will be at least two variations of the over-ear headphones — one premium version with leather-like fabrics, whereas the other one would come with lighter, breathable materials with small perforations.
In terms of underlying technologies, the new headphones by Apple are said to have similar wireless-pairing and noise-cancellation technologies that you get on the AirPods Pro. You can also expect Siri integration, in addition to some integrated touch controls.
The report added that prototypes of the over-ear headphones had a retro look with oval-shaped ear cups that swivel and a headband connected by thin, metal arms. Of course, the actual product may have some differences.
Apple has been in the market of audio products for some time, but it hasn't unveiled its over-ear headphones — despite many reports suggesting their existence. A report by Bloomberg in 2018 even claimed that the over-ear headphones by the company with a studio-quality experience would debut in 2019.
Having said that, the latest report by the publication suggested that the headphones would finally debut later this year, though there would be some delay due to ongoing production challenges, owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
Apple is believed to compete against Bose, Sennheiser, and Sony with its premium headphones. However, there aren't any details available around their pricing. It is also likely that Apple would distinguish some experience from the headphones lineup offered by Beats Electronics that it acquired in 2014.
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