Gadgets for humans

Report: Apple’s first full-size wireless headphones will use modular components

Apple AirPods Pro

Earlier this year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed Apple plans to release its first pair of full-size headphones this year — or at least its first to not fall under the Beats brand. Now a report from Bloomberg corroborates the rumor, providing more details on their design, including modular components to customize their appearance and functionality.

Bloomberg’s report goes into detail about the headphone‘s appearance, noting that it will come in “at least two variations,” including a premium model with leather-like fabric and one aimed at fitness use with breathable materials.

The headphones will apparently feature a “retro look” and swiveling, oval earcups that connect to a headband by metal arms. The earpads and headband padding attach magnetically, allowing them to be replaced by the user should you want to switch from sporty to fancy modes. It might also allow you to customize color options, although the report isn’t clear if this is the case.

As with the AirPods Pro, the headphones will feature active noise cancelling (ANC) and automated pairing, presumably via Apple‘s proprietary H1 chip, or something newer. They will also have “a limited set of integrated touch controls” and — of course — will support Siri. The headphones are apparently intended to compete with the high-end ANC market, including the likes of the Bose, Master and Dynamic, Sennheiser, and Sony.

The headphones have been in development since at least 2018, but there’s no word on when exactly the headphones will arrive. Apple aims to release them later this year, but coronavirus has complicated timing on a multitude of Apple releases.

Other products rumored to be in development — and in timing limbo — include 5G iPhones with a new design, a smaller HomePod, new iPads, new Macs, and a Tile-like location tracker.

Unfortunately, the report does not predict a name for the new headphones. We’ve heard ‘StudioPods’ thrown around; just tell me they’re not called HeadPods.

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Published April 16, 2020 — 18:21 UTC

on Bloomberg

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