Apple could launch a new higher-end version of the AirPods in 2019, alongside other premium grade audio products meant to overhaul the Cupertino-based company’s audio strategy. A report by Bloomberg suggests that apart from the addition of features to the AirPods, Apple will also be launching studio-quality over-ear headphones, as well as an update to it’s relatively unsuccessful Google Home and Amazon Echo competitor, the HomePod.
The new Apple AirPods are likely to come with additional features, including active noise-cancellation and some form of water resistance, that will make the product a bit more premium and useful to consumers. Bloomberg reports that the water-resistance levels won’t be high enough to allow you to go swimming with them, but will offer adequate protection against rain or sweat.
Not much is known about the other two products in Apple’s reported 2019 audio game plan, but studio-quality over-ear headphones could help the company target a certain segment of users that its products aren’t effectively reaching now. Apple’s audio products aren’t considered ‘audiophile’, and these new headphones could appeal to Apple users that want better sound quality. It’s therefore likely that the headphones would be wired and feature the lightning connector plug, for better audio transmission.
As far as the new HomePod is concerned, it’s unclear what could be added to the product. However, the report suggests that production could be taken away from current manufacturer Inventec.
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Interestingly, Apple owns the Beats audio brand, which also produces various personal audio products including headphones, earphones and wireless speakers. While it was initially believed that Apple would start marketing all of its audio products under the Beats brand, it has turned out to be the opposite. Apple continues to develop and produce audio products under its own brand name, which are sold alongside Beats products.