Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Apple allegedly working on over the ear, noise-cancelling wireless headphones

Apple allegedly working on over the ear, noise-cancelling wireless headphones

While the sources did not get into specifics, they said Apple has faced some challenges in developing its new headphones, and that could result in the company pushing back the release into sometime next year. Although the plans could change, Apple is reportedly targeting a release that could be "as early as the end of this year". Within that category, wearable product sales, which include the Watch, AirPods, and Beats headphones, surged 70 percent previous year, Apple said on a recent earnings call.

According to Bloomberg, Apple's development woes have caused it to reconsider the headphones' design. Beats headphones, along with AirPods, have also helped Apple dominate the headphone market. Apple purchased Beats for $3 billion in 2014, and Beats has been Apple's main headphone brand until the introduction of AirPods. But the category has seen a 36 percent boost in revenue in the company's latest quarter, and Apple CEO Tim Cook praised the AirPods' success as "quite the cultural phenomenon" during his meeting with shareholders at Apple Park last month.

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Apple is working on noise-cancelling, over-the-ear headphones with a release date aimed for the end of this year, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Although Beats makes earbuds, the AirPods isn't believed to have substantially eaten into the sales of any Beats headphones. Athlete-oriented wireless Beats earphones still seem to be selling well despite the popularity of AirPods.

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Pricing will be key for the new Apple headphones. Beats and Bose both charge $350 for their high-end wireless headphones, while Sennheiser prices range from $100 all the way to $500.

Much like the HomePod, the development of Apple's over-ear headset has been an on-again, off-again affair over the past year.

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