Apple Is Reportedly Working on High-End Airpods & Over-Ear Headphones

Nichole VegaJun 26, 2018

Bloomberg claims that Apple's next AirPods will add noise-cancelling, more range, and limited water-resistance (to protect against rain, not for swimming) to what is already an impressive package. Apple is also looking to increase the distance that AirPods can function away from an iPhone or iPad.

The new and improved AirPods will likely be a bit more expensive than existing models, allowing Apple to segment the product line in the same way it does the iPhone.

Bloomberg said that one source suggested Apple could add biometric sensors to the next-gen AirPods, furthering the company's health tracking efforts. The rumoured over the ear headphones could be competing with the premium headphones from rivals such as Bose and Sennheiser. They were originally scheduled to arrive by the end of 2018 but development challenges pushed back release. The original HomePod was supposed to be released to consumers in December 2017 but was delayed until early this year. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Apple offers a wide selection of audio accessories under the Beats brand, but next year Cupertino will expand the Apple-branded offerings, according to Bloomberg.

It's not clear what new features will come with the second-generation HomePod; there had been some previous rumblings that Apple was considering a HomePod-esque product with a lower price point. They will allegedly sit above the Beats headphones sold by Apple. Thus far, the company has used Inventec and Luxshare Precision for manufacturing but it has struggled to meet demand. What direction Apple will take with the HomePod 2 is yet to be determined. The current HomePod was built with Inventec but production has since expanded to Foxconn. However, production hasn't started, and design and technology partnerships for the product haven't been finalized. An Inventec spokeswoman said the company "will try its best to secure new orders".

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