Apple could release new high-end headphones this year

Apple could release new high-end headphones this year

Apple could release new high-end headphones this year

Apparently, the noise-canceling headphones the company is working on now would compete not only with Bose's high-end products but even with its own Beats by Dre headphones. Although the iPhone maker aims to launch the headphones by the end of this year, the media outlet said it has been dealing with "development challenges" that could delay the product.

Work on the Apple headset has been on-and-off over the past year. Sources say there have been multiple redesigns and note it's possible Apple could change the design again or even scrap the project altogether.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment. In addition to noise-canceling features, Apple plans to equip the over-ear headphones will similar wireless pairing to the AirPods.

This would be the latest in a long line of music-focused products and services from Apple. The headphones will sit next to Apple's HomePod speaker which was released earlier this year.

AirPods have seemingly been a big success story for Apple.

Meanwhile, Apple is also speculated to introduce upgraded AirPods this year.

The issues apparently forced the iPhone maker to redesign the speaker multiple times, and Bloomberg said that the company may have to do the same thing with its high-end noise-canceling headphones.

When the company acquired Beats Music and Beats Electronics in the 2014 deal, Apple executives said the successful Beats by Dre headphones business was one of the drivers.

The company is reportedly planning to follow a plan similar to what it did with the HomePod, which is priced at around $350 and targets the high end of the audio market.

Apple previously discarded the Beats Music streaming name when it launched Apple Music in 2015. Beats headphones, along with AirPods, have also helped Apple dominate the headphone market. Researcher NPD Group said previous year that sales of AirPods and Beats headphones gave Apple 27 percent of the wireless headphone market and nearly half the dollars spent on the category.

How much the new headphones will cost is still unknown, but Bloomberg and KGI's emphasis on Apple's "high-end" ambitions suggests they will not come cheap. Given their over-the-ear design, they will likely sound superior to the AirPods as well.

Similar headphones from Beats and others can cost anywhere from $200 to $500.

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