Apple's Next-Gen Wireless Headphones Could Feature Magnetic, Swappable Parts

Beats Headphones
Apple has an obviously vested interest in audio, with its Apple Music service, pricey Beats acquisition, and HomePod speaker. So, it is not surprising to learn that the Cupertino company is planning to launch a new line of wireless, over-the-ear headphones. What's interesting, however, is the modular approach Apple is said to be taking.

It's not clear if these headphones will be sold under the Beats label or, probably more likely, its own brand. However, people who are supposedly familiar with the matter told Bloomberg the upcoming headphones will have parts that users can swap in and out. They also said Apple is looking to augment its AirPods business (as previously rumored), which leads us to believe these would be Apple-branded products.

There are two versions in the works, and possibly even more, the sources say. One is a premium-focused product with "leather-like fabrics" (leatherette, perhaps?), and the other is geared towards the fitness segment, with lighter materials that have small perforations to make them breathable (and more suitable for workouts).

Unlike most headsets, the headbands on these models attach to the top of the earcups rather than the sides. Both the earpads and the padding on the headband attach magnetically to the frame, so users would be able to replace them with little fuss. This would also pave the way for a bit user customization, similar to the Apple Watch.

In theory, this would also mean that users could switch between premium and fitness-oriented earphones as the need arises. It's not clear how much this would all cost, though, but we assume it would be expensive to own both sets of earpads.

Existing prototypes sport a retro vibe with swiveling, oval-shaped earpads, and thin metal arms connecting the headband. As to the functionality, it's said these will feature wireless pairing and noise cancelling technology, just like the AirPods Pro earbuds. Other features include touch controls, and of course Siri integration.

These have apparently been delayed twice since going into development two years ago. However, barring another delay, the sources say they will finally be announced later this year.