Apple's Upcoming Over-Ear Wireless Headphones to Target High-End Noise-Canceling Market

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    As reported last month, Apple is said to be developing its own brand of high-end, over-ear wireless headphones with an "all-new" design. The new headphones are expected to debut in the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and today Bloomberg weighed in to corroborate that rumor, along with an additional detail regarding Apple's plans for the cans.

    Kuo's earlier report specified Apple's plan was to target the high-end market, but the focus on active noise-cancelation (ANC) features puts a new angle on the company's intentions. Apple acquired Beats Music and Beats Electronics in 2014, and only five months ago, Beats launched its Studio3 wireless over-ear headphones featuring Apple's W1 Bluetooth pairing chip - first used in AirPods - and Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling technology. Apart from blocking out ambient noise, Pure ANC also evaluates fit and adjusts for leakage caused by hair, glasses, different ear shapes and head movement.

    Whether Apple's own-brand ANC headphones will adopt the same set of technologies as Beats Studio3 cans remains unclear, although Bloomberg's sources indicate Apple plans to include similar wireless pairing functionality to the AirPods. The paper's sources also claim work on the headphones has been "on-and-off over the past year" and that it's still possible Apple will redesign the headphones again before launch - or even scrap the project altogether.

    Another detail that remains unclear is pricing. Beats, Bose, and Sony charge $350 for their high-end wireless ANC headphones, while Sennheiser prices can run all the way up to $500. Should Apple take the same pricing strategy as it did with HomePod, which is at least $100 higher than the closest rival product from Sonos, then customers can expect the rumored headphones to be a top-tier premium audio accessory with a price tag to match.

    Along with over-ear headphones, Apple is also reportedly working on several upgrades to its wireless AirPods with a new version of the popular headphones set for release as soon as this year.

    Article Link: Apple's Upcoming Over-Ear Wireless Headphones to Target High-End Noise-Canceling Market
  2. KeyMs92 macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2015
    I've been holding on to my wired(!) B&O H6 headphones, because I'm still waiting for W1/W2 headphones that actually sound good. Hopefully, these are it.
  3. asdavis10 macrumors 6502


    Feb 3, 2008
    I’m sure Apple believes they can walk and chew gum at the same time but how about they focus on their core products first.

    iOS 11 has been a mess. High Sierra has had too many bugs. The Mac mini and Mac Pro are waiting for a refresh. The MacBook Pro needs to be rethought. No future development on AirPort products. No more Touch ID.

    But somewhere was a group of people asking for Apple-branded headphones and Apple is about to deliver. I’m happy for those people.
  4. navaira macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2015
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    "High-End Noise-Canceling Market" is going to be my new favourite phrase.
  5. Plinga macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2012
    These Apple headphones have got to be 'true' wireless i.e. there is no band connecting the two sides, right? What other "all new" design could there be? I hope it's not just all white repainted Beats (black please).
  6. Mascots macrumors 68000


    Sep 5, 2009
    None of this is mutually exclusive.
    They got their shock with iOS 11 - let's at least see how they do 2018.
  7. Aussi3 macrumors 6502


    Jun 3, 2012
    Facesticks on the App store
    So many things to buy these days! Lol
  8. meaning-matters macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2013
    I'd love to try an Apple noise cancelling product.
  9. Adam Warlock macrumors regular

    Adam Warlock

    Jun 22, 2016
    Apple has become a poor imitation 'me-too' company, releasing boring, copycat products late to market and with over-the-top pricing to boot! I can just imagine them busy at work on a "magical" $49 mouse pad or some similar trifle.
  10. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Depends on sound quality. Beats are already overpriced and based on an image more than ears. Sony's "image" faded long ago but it still maintains the overprice perspective. One could argue Bose (consumer products) is a faded 80's brand too that still lives in it's glory days. I think each realizes it's product is priced at the top end for what it's products are.

    If you look at Apple's AirPod vs HomePod. AirPods are expensive, but not exorbitantly so. There are less expensive wireless but at least the ones I've tested either have BT connectivity issues or are flawed when used as a headset with a phone. Poor wind shielding, for example. But also there are more expensive ones too that don't necessarily offer more than the AirPod. As such AirPods seem to be gaining traction.

    OTOH the HomePod is expensive for what it is (if one is being honest, I realize that's not likely here and not interested in rehashing it's negatives). If you go into an Apple Store even Apple treats the HomePod like a lonely orphan putting it almost out of sight of customers and no real information about what it is or how to demo it.

    So I'd say based on all of this, Apple would be wise to be competitive with Sony, Bose, Beats, and not try to pretend it's phones will be vastly superior. Even if they are let them get a solid reputation before jacking up the price. Seems to have worked well for AirPods.
  11. WannaGoMac, Mar 5, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018

    WannaGoMac macrumors 68020


    Feb 11, 2007
    Hope you're right. I still have couple constant issues in iOS 11 with my new X. The big bug that I have to reboot in order to fix, is when sending photos. The phone often hangs at the attach screen and nothing stops it hanging including killing the app. I have to restart the X and then I can send photos via iMessage or an email.
  12. Vanilla35 macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2013
    Washington D.C.
    I honestly think they'll nail this. Just hoping they don't price them too high, but considering the price of airpod's, I would say they will be fair.
  13. Kobayagi macrumors 6502a


    Dec 18, 2012
    If they can make something nice like Master & Dynamic's MW60, I'll be really happy. So all leather and aluminum design, no plastic crap like Beats.

  14. cardfan macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2012
    I'll stick with bose ones I have..sorry Apple. While I appreciate the focus on high end music accessories (as you've dumped making mac accessories..go figure), you need to focus on high end software and services to go with it. Airplay 2. Better Siri. More apple tv integration. I'm not sure there's an apple product I'm interested in this year.
  15. HarryWild macrumors 65816


    Oct 27, 2012
    The one to beat is Bose QuietComfort 35! They are fantastic!
  16. AngerDanger, Mar 5, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018

    AngerDanger macrumors 68040


    Dec 9, 2008
    Those wanting to get a taste of what Apple will be offering can simply wear two HomePods around their ears.

  17. magicschoolbus macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2014
  18. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    Top companies don’t just work on just one product you know...
  19. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I don't think that is totally fair. Agree that I don't believe TC has the imagination to really reinvent a product in the way the iPod did the MP3 player or iPhone, the smartphone. But the AW -- Apple's first non-Jobs product -- could be an interesting product in a couple more generations. And the evolution of the iPad Pro and iPhone are solid too. The Apple Pencil is fantastic, though it's design is clumsy.

    Specifically to this thread on headphones, I agree it's a bit puzzling why Apple would spend $ designing Apple branded speakers when it has Beats. Hard to understand why it needs the redundancy of two headphone research and design teams.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 5, 2018 ---
    Have you seen the revenue % that Macs bring to Apple the past few years? I love my Macs and hate to see the Mac line morphing away, but from a revenue perspective personal computers are quickly becoming a niche item.
  20. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    For me, headsets are a purchase one every 5-10 years, so the cost is negligible; I’m more interested in quality, and being able to replace the ear cushions and cords, like I can on my Bose headsets.

    A poor man pays twice.

    $400 is about 0.22/day at 5 years
  21. EM2013 macrumors 68000


    Sep 2, 2013
    Confirmed they’re going to be at least $400.
  22. WannaGoMac macrumors 68020


    Feb 11, 2007
    I hope Apple does better job for the sound than Bose. Bose is horrible sound. Truly it's horrific sound quality (all boomy as it's way too much bass).

    No one who knows audio equipment at all buys Bose other than for active noise cancellation which is fantastic
  23. Anuba macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2005
    I want these to have...

    - AirPlay 2 (so I can move freely around the house without the BT-range-limit-dropouts). Battery draw? Yeah, but these over-ear headphones have waaaay more capacity than I know what to do with anyway. Never gone below 75% charge on my Solo3, I wouldn't know how...

    - Transparency mode. That's how I would be using them 90% of the time, because I HATE the vacuum-esque hearing-my-heartbeat silence of noise cancelling headphones, but once every full moon it's useful (when a neighbor is drilling or some idiot on the train thinks the whole world wants to hear their end of a phone conversation).
  24. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    I was disappointed that I couldn’t do 7.1 with HomePods.

    The chorus of responses when I say, “Hey Siri” with them each giving a different answer to a question would be a party hit!
  25. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    When it comes to noise cancellation, Bose is the only real game in town, though. Their noise cancellation is great and it's the reason I got their headphones, even if they're ungainly and the actual audio is comparatively poor.

    Apple could definitely make something that was probably nicer and better sounding than Bose at the sameish price, and I'd be happy.

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