Apple are launching a high-end wireless over-ear headphone in 2020, that’s according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Kuo has a pretty good track record on calling out new Apple products and patents filed by Apple in the US, along with a slew of other sources, suggest he’s right this time, too.
Kuo first suggested that Apple were preparing to release over-ear cans back in 2018, saying that any launch would likely be towards the end of the year. A few months later this was backed up by sources at Bloomberg.
Despite the fact we’re now in 2020, we shouldn’t write Kuo’s credibility off entirely. He said at the time that the release date might very well be pushed back due to problems in development.
And two years to consumers might seem like a long time to wait but in product development it’s actually fairly normal especially for a product landing in such a lucrative and competitive market.
And rumour has it that the new headphones won’t have physical buttons but will instead use touch controls.
They’re also likely to be noise-cancelling which could see them competing with the likes of Bose and Sony, something Apple can’t do effectively if it continues to focus on its Beats brand.
So, it’ll be interesting to see what this means for Beats Studio: the brands only over-ear headphone. Currently, it doesn’t benefit from the H1 chip (as other Beats headphones do) and as the iMore website explains:
“There are no Beats Studio Pros yet, and none with that H1 chipset. Maybe there will be, maybe there won't be. Regardless, with the way Apple is slowly eating its way up the headphone chain, Apple-branded StudioPods just make the kind of sense that does…Going from in-ear to over-the-ear is just the next logical step up.”
Tech website Tom’s Guide believe that it makes perfect sense for Apple to release own-branded headphones.
For one, it can ‘draw from its Beats experience and R&D’ but it can also capitalize on the Apple brand.
Beats is popular and well-known but let’s face it; it’s a side-hustle compared to the prestige and market power of Apple itself.
And there’s been no word of a name but a lot of websites are already referring to them as ‘StudioPods’.
Although, as MacWorld writes this was a name they started using when the first announcement was made back in 2018 and StudioPods could just be the rumour coming full circle.
Website Patently Apple which reports on Apple’s patent submissions, wrote back in 2018 that the company had filed a patent for noise and wind cancellation.
One patent was for the technology to allow users to make gestures in order to operate the headphone’s functions rather than using buttons.
Of course, Apple file patents regularly and some of that technology will never make it to the consumer, but there’s been rumours for quite a while now and it does make sense for Apple to enter the headphone market under its own steam.
There’s no news on what these headphones are going to look like but German website Curved has mocked-up the type of design its likely to be similar to.
It’ll be interesting to see whether or not 2020 is the year that Apple launches into the big headphone market. Looking at the number of patents they’ve been registering, it’s certainly something that they’ve been considering and researching.
We’ll keep you updated on any news or launches.
Whatever design Apple drops, it’s unlikely that they’ll be moisture-proof. Most premium-branded over-ears aren’t which means StudioPods aren’t going to be suitable for intense exercise.
We already know that Beats cushions are prone to flaking and cracking over time (as are other brands, too), and so we’d recommend pairing StudioPods with sweat-resistant heaphone covers like EarHugz.
There’s a wide range of designs to brighten or blend with the headphones and all are fully-reversible to grey, too.
Not planning on buying StudioPods? No worries, EarHugz fit a range of headphone brands including Bose, Beats, Sony and Skullcandy.