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Apple Turns Up Audio Ambition With High-End Headphones

06 March 2018

This will essentially raise concerns for brands like Bose, Sony and Apple's own Beats by Dre who now have a strong foothold in the premium market with their range of noise-canceling audio products. It's possible Apple will redesign the headphones again before launch, or scrap the project altogether, they warned, asking not to be identified discussing private development work. The headphones will sit next to Apple's HomePod speaker which was released earlier this year.

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Bloomberg has caught wind of information claiming that the Cupertino firm is working on a pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones to rival that of its own Beats by Dre range, corroborating an investor note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. There are also concerns that this new product could end up cannibalizing sales from the Beats brand that's also owned by Apple. Apple purchased Beats for $3 billion in 2014, and Beats has been Apple's main headphone brand until the introduction of AirPods. However, unlike what some might expect, they won't be from Beats by Dre, a subsidiary of Apple. Both Bose's popular QC35 II and Beats' Studio3 wireless headphones cost $350. "Apple's path to leadership in the category is helped by disruptive pricing, brand resonance, and excitement over the W1 chip, which significantly eases Bluetooth connections to iOS and Mac devices".

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Alongside noise-cancellation, Apple is also said to be incorporating the wireless pairing technology found on the AirPods. The HomePod is priced more than $100 higher than its main voice-activated competition from Sonos, and $200 more than an Amazon Echo, but $50 less than a competing Google Home Max.

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If they are anything similar to the Airpod, except consumer pandemonium and long waitlists once these headphones make their retail debut.

Apple Turns Up Audio Ambition With High-End Headphones