Will the AirPods Studio mirror the design of the Beats Solo Pro?
Óscar Gutiérrez / CNET
Apple's September event brought us a slew of new Apple Watches and iPads, but other long-awaited products, including the iPhone 12, were missing from the virtual event. One of those speculated devices is the AirPods Studio, an over-ear headphone that has been referred to for a while. (Another is the AirTags, which, in addition to the expected launch of the iPhone 12, could also debut in October.)
Like other high-end headphones and the AirPods Pro, the AirPods Studio headphones likely have noise cancellation and a transparency mode that can inject external noise for personal safety and awareness of those around you. Although Apple owns Beats and already has several over-ear headphones like the Solo Pro available, there has been speculation about an Apple brand pair since early 2018.
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Given the success of AirPods in the wireless earbud market, Apple could try to bring all of its audio devices under one roof. Here's everything we've heard about the AirPods Studio so far.
Look at that:
AirPods studio headphones rumors are getting louder
A mysterious headphone appears in iOS 14
We got some clues as to what AirPods Studio might look like, at least in terms of the icon in iOS when it was first spotted in iOS 14 code by 9to5Mac in May. The picture shows standard over-ear headphones with padded cups and a white or gray color, although on iOS this can only be a deviation for light and dark mode.
This isn't the first time a glyph or product image has appeared in software prior to an official release: the AirPods Pro, PowerBeats Pro, and PowerBeats 4 were all discovered in glyph form before they were announced.
A previous report from Bloomberg also reported that Apple was working on several versions of over-ear headphones, including a fitness-oriented model and one with high-quality leather-like finishes. There has been speculation that the headphones could also have interchangeable components, such as swapping out ear cups. You can already customize products like the Apple Watch with a variety of metal surfaces, colors, and bands. So it's not surprising that Apple is taking similar actions with other wearables like headphones.
A picture and video later appeared online from a Twitter user named @choco_bit who claims to be showing what is known as the Sport version of the AirPods Pro. The pictures show headphones with two square cups and a headband that appears to be padded with something similar to the HomePod mesh. The video shows what a case could be for the headphones.
Probably the sports version of Apple's headphones
Unimpressed personally, looks too much like 2 palm pre & # 39; s attached to 2 tuning forks: / hard to see
Looks a lot like what @markgurman described in April but with homepod mesh pic.twitter.com/dzAufRRl7m
– Fudge (@choco_bit) September 16, 2020
The Apple leaker Jon Prosser also followed with the render below, which is similar to the models pictured above.
(Code name: B515)
– High quality leather / metal
– Magnetic ear cups
– Reversible – Detects the R / L ear
– No headphone jack
– USBC port
These are the renders we did to protect the source. pic.twitter.com/6Abg2TgxiZ
– Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) September 16, 2020
Prosser previously said the AirPods Studio would start at $ 349 and put them in the same range as premium headphones like the Bose 700 and Sony WH-1000XM4.
AirPods Studio may have unique sensors and audio tools
The most fascinating thing about the AirPods Studio is the rumors of what's inside. According to the same 9to5Mac report, they may have a sensor that detects whether the headphones are on your head or resting on your neck so they can play and pause music accordingly. This is similar to AirPods, which have sensors that detect when you take one out of your ear.
The AirPod Pro knows when to take them out of your ears.
Angela Lang / CNET
Unlike other over-ear headphones, the AirPods Studio may not have a right or wrong way to wear them. You may be able to automatically detect how to put on the headphones and adjust the left and right channels accordingly.
The AirPods Pro have an adaptive equalizer that automatically changes the sound depending on variables like your ear shape. However, they don't offer a user-adjustable EQ unless you change the settings in an app like Apple Music or Spotify. If the AirPods Studio is serious about competing with brands like Bose and Sony, Apple will likely have to provide us with a dedicated equalizer to tweak the AirPods Studio's sound settings.
As for battery life, we don't yet know how long the AirPods Studio might last. The Beats Solo Pro, Apple-owned headphones that cost $ 300 ($ 270, AU $ 429), offer 22 hours of listening time with active noise cancellation (or up to 40 hours without).
Continue reading: Apple's spatial audio functionality should be of concern to Bose and Sony
It's safe to assume that the AirPods Studio will have a touch panel or some way to control playback without reaching for your phone or using the voice assistant. This is similar to the regular AirPods with step control or stem control in the case of the AirPods Pro.
Will the name beats fade? Will Apple keep AirPods and Beats separate?
This is a big question that we don't yet know the answer to. Apple has always kept the Beats headphones pretty separate from AirPods, although they share some of the same internals. The Solo Pro, released in 2019, for example, have active noise cancellation, transparency mode and the same chip as the AirPods for fast connections to Apple devices. They also come with voice activated Hey Siri.
One sign that the Beats Solo Pro might be on the way out is that they've just received a significant $ 100 price cut from retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.