The cunning plan is to create noise-cancelling, over-ear headphones that rival headsets from market leaders like Bose and even the company’s Beats by Dre brand. The company plans to launch the headphones as early as the end of this year, but has faced development challenges that might push back the release, the people said.
We guess it is having difficulty creating headphones which sound noticeably different from the high markup low quality it usually turns out. The company encountered similar problems with the HomePod during its development, including multiple redesigns, according to the people. It’s possible Apple will redesign the headphones again before launch, or scrap the project altogether. We can but hope for the latter in the interests in keeping the audiophile dream alive.
The Tame Apple Press, of course, believes that Apple is capable of creating high-end speakers. After all, it did claim that the mono HomePod speaker was audiophile quality. Indeed Bloomberg even cited the quality of the HomePod as proof that Jobs' Mob could pull it off.
In addition to noise-cancelling capabilities, Apple plans to include similar wireless pairing functionality to the AirPods, according to the people familiar with the product’s development.
But the Apple-branded headphones would seemingly cannibalise Beats headphones, although Beats also sells lower-priced wireless headphones that probably won’t directly compete with the new product.
Bose, Sennheiser and Sony and are the leading players in the headphone market. Researcher NPD Group said last year that sales of AirPods and Beats headphones gave Apple 27 percent of the wireless headphone market and almost half the dollars spent on the category. We should point out that wireless headphones, with their distortion and receiving issues are not exactly audiophile on principle.