Apple’s rumored over-ear headphones will come with magnetic modular parts, according to Bloomberg, which tipped “at least two variations,” including a premium leather version and a lighter, “fitness-focused” model.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that early prototypes have a “retro look,” with swivelling oval-shaped ear cups and a thin, metal headband—both with detachable padding for easy replacement and customization. “The design may also mean the same set of headphones would be convertible from comfort to fitness use and back again,” the unnamed sources said.
Cupertino’s $399 over-ear AirPods were initially leaked in February via a Target listing, which showed three different models, suggesting a possible range of colors and fits. Apple has long used its Beats brands to release headsets, but recent reports indicate the company’s desire to expand its AirPods line to include over-the-ear products—the launch of which has been postponed at least twice since 2018, Bloomberg noted. An expected 2020 unveiling may also be pushed back due to development complications and the coronavirus pandemic.
In-ear wireless AirPods were introduced in late 2016: the result of Apple removing the iPhone’s beloved headphone jack. A second-generation—complete with longer talk time and hands-free Siri access—model was released in 2019, followed by the premium AirPods Pro complete with noise cancelling tech.
As Bloomberg pointed out, Apple headphones are just one part of a “broader audio product strategy,” which includes the branded HomePod smart speaker and Beats Electronics, acquired in 2014 for $3 billion. As well as the just unveiled iPhone SE, we’re also expecting new iPhones with 5G connectivity this year.