Apple is reportedly working on a line of high end over-the-ear headphones following the somewhat surprising success of its dangly AirPods, according to a new Bloomberg report. Work on the noise-canceling headphones has been going for over a year, with plans to launch by the end of 2018 — though sources cautioned that a redesign is possible, which could push it all back.
The headphones would be priced on the high end of the market, akin to Apple’s in-ear AirPods and the recently launched HomePod smart speaker, says Bloomberg. Whether that cannibalizes the sales of Apple’s Beats line of devices remains to be seen, though the latter has carved out a more budget friendly niche in the market with headphones ranging from $130 for Beats EP to $350 for the high-end Beats Studio3Wireless.
Aside from Beats, the crowded headphone market includes big names like Bose, Sony, Skullcandy and Sennheiser, among others. Combined, Apple and Beats already make up 27 percent of the total market, according to the NPD Group, and Research and Markets has determined the headphone market should bring in $20 billion in annual revenue by 2023.