Much of the focus is on Airpods and the no less than two alleged updates that are on the way within a year or so, but there is another audio product that Apple is alleged to release: a pair of over-ear headphones.
Most rumors have come from relatively reliable sources, even though they are still just rumors.
Last updated (2020-07-22):
Apple over-ear headphones can have gesture control
Information continues to emerge about the long-rumored over-the-ear headphones that Apple may be about to release. A new patent just released shows a couple of interesting features intended for a pair of over ear headphones, write Patently Apple.
On the one hand, it applies to gesture control as a way of handling media playback such as play, pause and volume. A swipe down towards the ground could lower the volume, while a swipe “forward” could jump to the next song.
In addition, the patent describes a way of controlling the way in which the owner wears the headphones, and which can adapt the gestures accordingly. If the covers themselves are rotated so that the headphones are worn further back on the head, a sweep down to the ground would still always be volume down.
It is still unclear when these headphones could be released, if at all.
Airpods technology, of course
Apple will of course pack these wireless headphones – if and when they come – with the technology that has made Airpods so successful: the H1 chip for stable connectivity and better battery life.
In addition, the pairing with our Iphone is handled in the same way, just by keeping the headphones close to our Iphone, and once paired, all devices can connect quickly over Icloud.
Charging should, however, be done with a standard cord and lightning connector, possibly with some form of stand with wireless charging.
Fast charging and noise reduction
According to rumors, over-ear headphones are supposed to be noise-reducing, which has become very popular in recent years. In fact, Apple is already making a pair of noise-canceling headphones in the form of Beats Studio 3 Wireless (see large image), through its subsidiary Beats.
It is likely that a lot of technology from here is also looking for Apple’s over-ear headphones, such as a long battery life of a full 40 hours and a fast charge of ten minutes, which should provide three hours of listening.
Maybe there will be talk of the noise reduction that at Beats is called Pure Anc, and among other things can adjust its noise reduction depending on how the headphones sit over the ears and whether we are in a cafe, airplane or somewhere else.
Problems and uncertainty about design
The first information spoke of a launch at the earliest at the end of 2018. Now we are already well into 2019, and the rumor mill is unusually quiet. There is still a possibility that Apple will completely scrap the plans, but new information at the beginning of 2019 gave new life to the rumor mill.
In January 2019, Apple applied for a patent for an adjustable jumper, something that can not be about Airpods due to a completely different design.
The most cautious interpretation of this is that Apple at least collects patents to have before a possible launch – at some point – or just to have in stock. But maybe it also means more than that, that Apple is actually developing a pair of headphones that are intended to be launched.
New bids: Launch in the autumn of 2019
In January 2019, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also reported that the launch had been postponed due to technical problems. Instead, the headphones can be released during the second half of 2019. According to the same information, there is also talk of a pair of headphones that will be Apple-labeled, not sold under the Beats flag.
Possibly it is the noise reduction technology that is messing up. Apple is also rumored to release Airpods with this technology sometime in 2019 or 2020, and perhaps they are waiting for a flawless technology to launch both headphones at the same time.
Apple rarely goes into product categories where you do not think you can contribute something completely new and valuable. However, there are plenty of noise-canceling over-ear headphones, so the question is what Apple could add in the news.
Possibly smarter pairing à la Airpods, or something completely different that takes time to get ready with – perhaps a smarter, automated noise reduction as in the Beats headphones.
Something with a “pod” in the name clearly feels good for Apple’s new headphones. Everything sound-related from Apple is called something with pod – Homepod and Airpods, so on that path Apple will continue. Our British sister site MacWorld has suggested one of the following, which does not sound completely unreasonable:
- Studio Pods
- Audio Pods
- Sound Pods
The price level is likely to be high. Apple does not sell budget products, and it is rumored to invest in both high sound quality and high technology content. At least SEK 4,000 in basic price is not difficult to imagine, nor more than that.