Apple reportedly working on noise-cancelling, over-ear headphones

Only a week after getting wind of Apple’s reported plans to launch its own branded headphones, Bloomberg has suggested the Cupertino tech giant has been working on noise-cancelling over-ears for the past year. That’s according to “people familiar with the product’s development”.

We could see these headphones before the year is out. However, it’s possible the project could be delayed (like its HomePod smart speaker) or even scrapped altogether.

We’ve our collective fingers and toes crossed that they come to fruition, although they'll have to come prepared for tough competition. After all, the ‘premium’ noise-cancelling over-ear market (which is where these would almost certainly fall) has been deservedly dominated by the likes of Bose, B&W, Sony and Sennheiser for some time.

Naturally, the move into that market would encroach on territory marked by Apple's Beats by Dre. brand, too.

The sonic benchmark set by its AirPods would certainly need raising, although the impressive-sounding HomePod proves that Apple is taking sound quality more seriously.

The plans for the noise-cancellers supposedly include similar wireless pairing functionality to the AirPods, which gives us every reason to believe Apple’s W1 chip (or perhaps even a forthcoming next generation of it) would feature.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.