Apple seems it wants to focus more seriously on audio. An earlier report by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the Cupertino brand was developing a pair of proprietary headphones that aims to expand Apple's audio accessories lineup.
More details have come out, albeit via rumors. Apparently, the high-end over-ear headphones will feature noise canceling, which basically means it can block out external sound for more immersive music playback.
Apple Over-Ear Headphones With Noise Canceling
It is not clear what kind of noise canceling configuration Apple's headphones will implement, because there are many types. One example is feedforward active noise cancellation, where the microphone is placed outside the ear cup. In this setup, it picks up the noise before the listener, then the active noise cancellation technology processes it and creates anti-noise.
Bloomberg reports the headphones will rival some of the biggest names in audio equipment, such as Bose and Beats by Dre. Because Apple owns Beats by Dre, releasing a pair of its own headphones puts it in a somewhat awkward spot of cannibalizing its own acquisition. It remains to be seen how this situation will pan out for both companies.
The headphones are apparently suffering problems faced by the Apple HomePod speaker, which was delayed and apparently went through multiple redesigns before ending up what it looks like now. But sources say the accessory is going to come out before the end of the year.
Wireless Pairing And Siri
Apple reportedly has been working on the headphones on and off for the last year.
They will most certainly be wireless, since the company hasn't put a headphone jack on its phones since the iPhone 7. In fact, they will reportedly feature wireless pairing, as on the AirPods, the company's $160 Siri-enabled pair of wireless earbuds. Whether the headphones will come with support for voice commands via Siri remains a question. Sources tell Bloomberg that the design could be changed, or worse, the project could be canceled entirely.
It's difficult to say exactly how much these headphones would cost, but since it's from Apple, it's probably going to have a premium price tag. For perspective, high-end headphones from Beats cost around $300, sometimes even north of that. Bose and another popular audio brand, Sennheiser, both offer accessories within that price range.
Apart from the over-ear headphones, Apple is also said to be working on upgrades to the AirPods, with features such as hands-free Siri and water resistance likely to be included. They will most probably be equipped with new wireless chips.
With everything being said, please keep in mind that these remain rumors until Apple itself gives word which rarely happens. We just have to wait and see.