Apple developing completely cordless Beats earphones with charging case ahead of iPhone 7

“With its resources from the 2014 acquisition of headphone maker Beats Electronics, Apple is prototyping a completely new set of Bluetooth earphones with the potential of launching the accessory alongside the iPhone 7 this fall,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac. “The new earphones are said to be completely wireless, which is to say that they do not even have a cable connecting the left and right ear pieces. Sources say that the headphones are similar in concept to the Motorola Hint headset and Bragi’s new Dash headphones that were shown at CES this week.”

“It’s expected that the in-development accessory will include a noise-cancelling microphone system, enabling phone calls and communication with Siri even without Apple’s prior in-line microphone and remote,” Gurman reports. “The headphones are planned to be a premium alternative to a new version of the EarPods, and are highly likely to be sold separately from the iPhone 7; a comparable model from Bragi will retail for $300.”

Bragi Dash Bluetooth earphones
Bragi Dash Bluetooth earphones

Gurman reports, “As has been previously rumored, sources confirm that the iPhone 7 will not include a standard headphone jack and will instead require headphones to connect via the Lightning connector or wirelessly over Bluetooth.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Buh-bye, antiquated 3.5mm headphone jack!

Wireless is the way to go! We’ve been using wireless Jaybirds for some time now (currently the Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones). Until we see Apple’s (Beats’) we’ll stick with them for our Apple Watches and iPhone 6s Plus units. 

SEE ALSO:
iPhone 7 said to be waterproof, replace 3.5mm headphone jack with Apple’s Lightning – January 8, 2016
The fastest Lightning cable is also one of the least expensive – January 8, 2016
Apple will drop headphone jack to make the iPhone 7 super slim, source confirms; wireless charging and waterproof, too – January 7, 2016
Petition demands Apple keep 3.5mm headphone jack in the ‘iPhone 7’ – January 7, 2016
More reports claim Apple has dumped the 3.5mm headphone jack on iPhone 7 – January 5, 2016
Why Apple may axe the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 20, 2014
Apple may be poised to kill off the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 7, 2014
Apple may ditch analog 3.5mm headphone jack for Lightning to make thinner devices – June 6, 2014
Apple introduces MFi specs for Lightning cable headphones, iOS software update to deliver support – June 5, 2014
Apple preps HD audio for iOS 8 plus new Apple In-Ear Headphones and lightning cable – May 13, 2014
Apple patents biometric sensor-packed health monitoring earphones with ‘head gesture’ control – February 18, 2014
Apple paves way for more affordable iOS accessories with lower MFi and Lightning licensing fees – February 7, 2014

27 Comments

    1. I have been wondering the same tging…
      What would be the mechanisam that prevents them from falling off and getting lost?
      Those ear wraparound hooks ? ( not very comfortable) )

      1. @PRC – The ignorance is yours. Wireless doesn’t sound as good as wired because Bluetooth performs additional lossy compression to fit it into the available bandwidth. It’s pretty easy to hear the difference. Beats may CALL it premium, but it’s not.

        I will admit that bluetooth compression is probably fine if you’re listening to hip hop while operating a chainsaw.

          1. I think the true answer is that theoretically there is no difference but at the present state of affairs with the limitations of technology particularly around Bluetooth bandwidth there is. Is that likely to change anytime soon?

      2. Total Rubbish PRC! It’s fact that Bluetooth, despite its heritage, does NOT provide enough bandwidth for decent audio data transmission. In order for audio data to be transmitted via Bluetooth it has to be SEVERELY compressed, leading to the infamous reputation of all Bluetooth headphones of any kind having compromised audio quality compared to a decent set of wired headphones. The end.

        Some headphone manufacturers have wisely supplemented Bluetooth bandwidth in order to provide adequate bandwidth. Seek out those wireless headphones, NEVER simply Bluetooth headphones if you seriously care about audio quality.

        And as ever, I’ll point out that there are many people who can’t tell the difference in audio quality. I’m sorry that’s the case, because such people are missing out on full, actual audio quality. I’ve run into this situation when discussion 96kHz digital audio recordings as well. If you can’t hear the difference, consider yourself as the reason why. There’s a reason why audio studios record at 96kHz and NOT lower.

        1. That is simply not correct.

          Bluetooth 2.0 EDR (released in 2004, 11 years ago!) allows for data rate of 2Mbps. Data rate for uncompressed CD-quality audio is 1.411 Mbps.

          Subsequent versions of Bluetooth expanded the data rate well beyond 2Mbps. Bluetooth 3.0 and newer can easily push through uncompressed 96-kHz, sampled at 24 bits.

          There are no technological limitations for Bluetooth to sound just as good as wired headphones.

          The End.

          1. Rubbish. Go read the experts and discover that I am entirely correct. How sad that there is so much insubstantial disagreement about the basics of audio, every single time it’s discussed. I stand by exactly what I wrote.

            1. A thirty-second trip to Google confirms what I had said: Bluetooth has plenty of bandwidth for uncompressed audio at 96kHz/24bit.

              Most bluetooth headsets (the clip-on, single-ear) don’t bother with high bitrate, in order to save battery. Still, even A2DP will allow audio streaming at 520kbps, which while compressed, provides plenty of sonic fidelity (again, far from the weakest link in the chain).

        2. The reason professional audio gear samples at 96kHz (and higher) with resolution of 24bits is to allow plenty of headroom for processing the recorded audio before finalising the recording and downsampling the master to the standard CD-quality (44.1kHz at 16-bits). There are no technological limitations for the increased sampling frequency and resolution, as the computing power of today’s microprocessors crunches through that much data with little effort. Additional headroom and sonic bandwidth gives the audio engineer plenty of bits to manipulate without sacrificing sonic quality.

          While CD sampling rate isn’t exactly ideal (they could have settled on at least 48kHz, if not 96kHz), it provides far superior sonic quality over any consumer medium available at the time. That it survived over thirty years is a testament to it being the perfect compromise between uncompromising sonic quality and affordability and wide availability.

          Sampling frequency and resolution are nowhere near the weakest link in the sonic chain that connects audio source and consumer’s ears. With the exception of very few fanatic audiophiles who dedicate massive resources and free time to fine-tuning uncompromising audio system, the rest of the world listens to music on audio systems where the difference between CD quality and any better sampling frequency or bitrate would simply be completely swallowed by the limitations of their audio equipment (and I’m not talking here just about the iPhone and EarPods).

            1. Again, audio that is streamed at bitrates beyond some 256kbps will always suffer from the inadequacy of other components in the chain. Unless you play it back on the $3,000 worth of gear, you simply won’t be able to hear the compression artefacts; they will be masked by the inherent noise of the preamps and output amps of the device (your iPhone, iPod, home theatre receiver, or car stereo), the inadequate headphones / speaker systems, as well as the surrounding noise of the listening environment.

              As a professional recording musician of over 30 years, I know what I’m talking about. Having meticulously cared for my hearing, I can still tell the difference between 44.1kHz and 48kHz, but ONLY in a high-end recording studio. The discussion about the audio bandwidth of bluetooth on an iPhone is essentially just academic — some mental masturbation for a winter weekend.

            2. Well I for one is convinced by what you say especially as back on the Bluetooth section my first thought was the fact that on such a mobile device there are inherently plenty of associated limitations, the quality of the earphones and environment they operate in being the most obvious. So makes perfect sense.

  1. Many people have problems with earphones not staying in their ear and Apple wants us to buy their expensive wireless earphones? Absolutely no way!!!! Like ripabo commented, unless replacements are extremely cheap there’s no way this is a good idea. These things will be easily lost or broken.

      1. You’re kidding, right? The article says that they’re untethered headphones. Unless they immediately slip into a hyperspace pocket when out of the ear they will definitely be occasions when you lose one ear phone or the other.

        That’s just common sense.

        1. Well as we don’t know anything about them how do we know that there is not a facility for adding/attaching a cord, wire whatever you want to call it for those wishing for it? Having the choice and what to use as your particular choice, makes an awful lot of sense as compared to wired or unwired with connecting cord being dictated to you. We just need to think different and hope Apple does too.

          1. We don’t know anything about them, but the entire selling point for them is that they’re untethered. And personally I hope they’re not as you described. There’s an audience for them, though as described it’s just not me.

  2. I think this wireless headphones are a great idea. I also am reasonably sure that I would lose one much, much sooner than I would prefer to (I use headphones when I run, and it’s not at all unusual for one to fall out of my ear, though since they’re tethered, I just trace the wire, and put it back.

    These things, if they fall, who the hell knows where they’ll end up? Falling into a grate? Into the street when I running across it?

    I might as well just throw $300 away.

    In other words, it’s not for me.

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