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Apple's working on noise-canceling AirPods, over-ear headphones

28 June 2018

Apple is set to unveil higher-end AirPods, a new HomePod, and over-the-ear headphones deemed "studio quality" as soon as early 2019, according to sources "familiar with the matter" via a report from Bloomberg.

Previous reports have claimed the headphones would feature noise cancellation and an all-new design, challenging models now available in the $350 United States dollars to $500 price range. Speaking of working up a sweat, there are also internal discussions about adding biometric sensors, like a heart-rate monitor, which would be a very handy feature when going for a jog.

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Apple is primed to launch new AirPods in 2019 with some big features that should make its toothbrush head-looking buds a whole lot smarter. The report suggests all three new products will land in 2019, with two potentially launching in the first half of next year.

When Apple launched AirPods in 2016, the earbuds went on sale with limited supply following a delay. It won't enable users to swim with the next-generation AirPods.

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Apple is also working on a new iteration of the HomePod smart speaker following a lackluster sales performance of the original version which was unveiled in June a year ago. An in-house audio product team is run by Gary Geaves, formerly an engineer from B&W, a maker of speaker systems and headphones. For all the valid criticisms you could level at the HomePod, poor sound quality is certainly not one of them.

The over-ear headphones are expected to compete with models from Bose and Sennheiser. Despite this, non-premium, second-generation AirPods with a new chip and support for hands-free Siri activation are likely before the end of this year.

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A new version of the HomePod speaker is also under development, sources say. They would use Apple branding and be a higher-end alternative to the company's Beats line. A spokesperson for Apple declined to comment on the leaked information. Apple introduced its first generation AirPods previous year which allowed users to seamlessly connect to any Bluetooth-compatible smartphone, tablet or computer without needing any wires at all.

Apple's working on noise-canceling AirPods, over-ear headphones