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Apple said to plan its own high-end headphones

06 March 2018

There are also concerns that this new product could end up cannibalizing sales from the Beats brand that's also owned by Apple.

Apple is working on noise-cancelling, over-the-ear headphones with a release date aimed for the end of this year, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Apple is rumored to be developing high-end headphones similar to AirPods.

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Much like the HomePod, the development of Apple's over-ear headset has been an on-again, off-again affair over the past year.

Apple bought Beats in 2014 for $3 billion, and the hardware and music-streaming service run by Dr. Dre and music executive Jimmy Iovine has become the backbone of Apple's own streaming service, which now reportedly has 36 million paying subscribers. People are willing to a pay a premium for a high-end product but once crossing a certain price barrier, consumers feel as if they are overpaying.

Apple has not released AirPods' exact sales numbers; the product has been lumped in with Apple Watch and other products in the "Other Sales" category.

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According to the latest statistic, companies like Beats, Bose, Sennheiser, Sony and Skullcandy are the leading players in a headphone market that will generate $20 billion in annual revenue by 2023, almost doubling this year's projected sales, according to Research and Markets. Athlete-oriented wireless Beats earphones still seem to be selling well despite the popularity of AirPods. One area the company is now looking to make a bigger splash in is the headphone market.

Bloomberg says that the headphones will be noise-cancelling, and offer the same wireless pairing functionality as AirPods. AirPods have been tricky to assemble and use unusual design tricks, likely making them expensive to produce. With the Apple-branded headphones, we could see a similar pricing, but add a successor to the W1 chip and improved internals and you have a very capable audio package that customers would love to purchase.

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Apple said to plan its own high-end headphones