Apple developing premium headphones with interchangeable parts

Apple is developing premium over-ear wireless headphones with parts that can be swapped in and out, Mark Gurman reports this morning for Bloomberg News, citing “people familiar with the matter.”

It’s been previously reported that the Apple over-ear headphones are expected to automatically pause and resume audio playback when users remove or wear them.

9to5Mac has discovered two icons representing light and dark versions of Apple’s headphones in iOS 14 code.
In March, 9to5Mac reported the discovery of two icons representing light and dark versions of Apple’s premium headphones in iOS 14 code.

Mark Gurman and Debby Wu for Bloomberg:

The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is working on at least two variations, including a premium version with leather-like fabrics and a fitness-focused model that uses lighter, breathable materials with small perforations, the people said.

The ear pads and headband padding attach to the frame of the headphones magnetically so they can be replaced by the user… Apple’s more modular design will allow users to customize their headphones like they do with the Apple Watch. The design may also mean the same set of headphones would be convertible from comfort to fitness use and back again, the people said.

Apple plans to use similar wireless-pairing and noise-cancellation tech in its upcoming headphones to what is already in the AirPods Pro. The new headphones will use Siri for voice control and have a limited set of integrated touch controls.

China’s Goertek Inc. is among the partners Apple has discussed for handling assembly of its headphones, according to other people familiar with the California company’s supply chain, but it’s still not fully recovered from the pandemic’s disruption.

MacDailyNews Take: These things are late, but by owning Beats, Apple can afford to take their time to get their branded premium headphones perfect and produced in proper supplies for launch when the COVID-19 disruptions are finally in the rearview mirror. It’d be nice to see them available for Christmas 2020, for sure!

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