Apple plans to release over-ear headphones in 2020. It’ll continue to design and release Beats products, but Apple sees an opportunity to build out a lineup of self-branded audio equipment through the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and HomePod.
So when will the ‘AirPods Studio’ arrive? We don’t know the exact answer, but DigiTimes reports that Apple and its suppliers recently entered the over-ear headphones into production. Vietnam-based partners previously intended to distribute shipments in June or July, and that appears likely to remain on track if production commenced already. Unitech Printed Circuit Board and Compeq Manufacturing are partnering with Apple to manufacture the AirPods Studio, according to the report.
In addition to premium audio, MacRumors indicates the AirPods Studio are rumored to feature ear and headband padding that attach through magnets, integrated sensors to detect movement, and the ability to automatically route left and right audio channels.
Pricing should fall in-line with Beats’ Studio3, which means the AirPods Studio could cost $349. Apple might also offer several designs, including one with a leather-inspired material, that increase the price.
Expect the AirPods Studio to debut this summer or fall. Apple could introduce the over-ear headphones during the all-digital Worldwide Developers Conference in late June, but it wouldn’t align with the developer-focused nature of the event. Still, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of an impending launch. Back in October, Apple unveiled the AirPods Pro without any presentation. It did the same for the iPad Pro last month; therefore, it wouldn’t surprise if Apple decided to roll out the AirPods Studio through a press release one morning in the coming months.