Mark Gurman, for Bloomberg:
Apple Inc. is about to pump up the volume on its audio-device strategy, planning higher-end AirPods, a new HomePod and studio-quality over-ear headphones for as early as next year, according to people familiar with the matter.
The current AirPods do a nice job of cutting you off from the outside world but they’re not even close to a decent pair of ANC over-ear headphones. Would adding ANC to the current AirPods make much of a difference? Would it be worth the hit in battery life? I can’t wait to find out. Oh, and please Apple… no hissing sounds.
There are over-ear headphones coming from Apple, too. Those will compete with pricey models from Bose Corp. and Sennheiser. They will use Apple branding and be a higher-end alternative to the company’s Beats line.
While I would love a decent pair of over-ears from Apple, I do wonder what the compromises will be. Bose QC35s are plasticky looking but nearly indestructible. B&O H9s look fantastic but their touch controls are terrible and should not have made it to consumers. Additionally, I would have expected Apple to push these through Beats since they own them already. The only reason that they wouldn’t want to, that I can see, is if they wanted to address the product to those customers who specifically avoid Beats and their sound profile.