Apple is working on a set of high-end headphones, some parts of which will be detachable.
This is according to a new report by Bloomberg, which cites people familiar with the matter.
Two variations of these headphones are being developed right now, the report claims; one with leather-like fabrics, and a fitness-focused model with lighter, breathable materials.
Both models’ prototypes are described as “retro,” with both the earpads and the headband magnetically detachable from the frame. This should make the headphones more customizable; for example, a user should be able to swap the leathery parts into something more fitness-oriented before going for a run.
Other specs include wireless pairing and noise cancellation (as seen on the AirPods Pro ), Siri voice control, and touch controls.
It’s worth noting that detachable parts on headphones aren’t exactly groundbreaking. B&W’s and PX headphones have magnetically attached earpads, for example. However, this being Apple, anything modular is interesting, as third-party manufacturers typically create a huge ecosystem of accessories around such devices.
We’ve heard about Apple-branded, high-end headphones many times before (though Bloomberg’s new report doesn’t mention branding). In February, tech analyst Jon Prosser said new Apple headphones with a $399 price tag are likely coming, though his estimate that they might launch as soon as March turned out to be incorrect.
The Bloomberg report says these headphones have been in development since at least 2018 and were postponed at least twice. If the COVID-19 outbreak doesn’t complicate matters, they should finally launch “later this year.”