This year is likely to draw a lot of attention to Apple‘s audio products, which the company is planning to upgrade with even more premium hardware. If the latest reports are to be believed, Apple is looking at introducing noise-canceling, over-the-ear headphones that rival headsets from established brands including Bose and its own Beats by Dre brand.
According to a report on Bloomberg, Apple plans to launch the headphones as early as the end of this year. However, people familiar with the plans indicate that the company has faced development challenges that might push back the release. The issues are related to the design of the headphones, which will possibly become the first Apple-branded pair of headsets.
It is worth mentioning that given the issues marring the release of the purported headphones, there is a likelihood of Apple again opting for a redesign before the final launch or scrapping the project altogether. The said headphones are speculated to be targeted at the high-end of the market with features such as wireless pairing. The headphones will sit next to Apple’s HomePod speaker which was released earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Apple is also speculated to introduce upgraded AirPods this year. The company is rumored to be working on introducing ‘Hey Siri’ capabilities to its set of wireless earpods. A recent Bloomberg report indicated that the upgraded Apple AirPods will be released this year and come equipped with a new wireless chip that will allow you to summon Siri by talking to the AirPods, making the interaction hands-free.
In addition to the new capabilities, Apple AirPods are also likely to receive better resistance to water. It is expected that Apple is planning to make the AirPods survive against splashes of water and rain, allowing you to fearlessly don them while it is raining. It is unlikely that they will be designed to survive a dip in the pool, due to the design flaw.
With the new models planned for the near future, pricing will be key for their success. Apple-branded headphones or redesigned AirPods are expected to see many takers given the company’s focus on enhanced audio. In this category, Apple will see competition from Beats, Bose, Sennheiser, Sony, and Skullcandy which are the leading players in a headphone market.