Apple Plans to Release High-End AirPods and Studio Headphones

The new AirPods will have noise-cancellation and water resistance features, though you won't be able to swim with them, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. On top of those features, the upcoming AirPods will also likely come with biometric sensors as part of Apple's broader effort to grow its health-related hardware products.

It's said to be marketed as Apple's higher-end alternative to its Beats headphones, complete with native Apple branding.

Apple reportedly wanted to launch the headphones by the end of 2018 but development challenges have pushed the product back to early 2019. As for this year, the company will reportedly be updating the earphones with a new chip and support for hands-free Siri activation. Bloomberg says that Apple is shifting some production away from Inventec on both the HomePod and AirPods. Apple said Other Products revenue was up 38% year-over-year in its second quarter, reaching almost $4 billion in total revenue for the period. The headphones are also expected to carry the Apple branding, though there's no official name for the product yet since it remains unconfirmed. They won't be waterproof, the report says, but they will offer better protection from rain and sweat. Now, it plans to launch these headphones early next year.

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Previous reports have claimed the headphones would feature noise cancellation and an all-new design, challenging models now available in the $350 Dollars to $500 price range. An in-house audio-product team is run by Gary Geaves, formerly an engineer from B&W Group Ltd., a maker of speaker systems and headphones. However, production hasn't started, and design and technology partnerships for the product haven't been finalized. The original version of the earbuds faced a delay after it first debuted in 2016.

It was previously reported that Apple was working on a new pair of AirPods with improved sound and build quality.

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