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KGI: Apple Developing High-End Over-Ear Headphones, Launching Late 2018 at the Earliest

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new research note outlining his expectations for Apple's "acoustic accessories" pipeline, claiming the company is working on both updated AirPods and "own-brand, high-end over-ear headphones" with an "all-new design." The new over-ear headphones are said to debut in the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest.
Apple to have own-brand, high-end over-ear headphones with all-new design; to be as convenient as AirPods with better sound quality; shipments to begin 4Q18F at earliest; Primax & SZS will be the key suppliers & will benefit from high ASPs. We believe that after AirPods and HomePod, Apple’s next addition will be high-end over-ear headphones, making its acoustic accessory lineup more complete. Existing suppliers Primax and SZS will be Apple’s partners on this new product. Primax will receive assembly orders on its familiarity with the acoustic business, and SZS is likely to use MIM technology advantages as leverage to become the exclusive or main MIM part supplier. The new headphones will be priced higher than AirPods and should help boost the business momentum of Primax as the assembly provider.


Beats Studio3 Wireless and current AirPods

Kuo's prediction on upgraded AirPods follows a similar report just a few days ago from Bloomberg. Kuo says the new AirPods should launch in the second half of this year.
We think the main difference of the upgraded AirPods, which won’t look much different from current AirPods, will be the wireless charging case and the adoption of an upgraded W1 chip. We believe that the charging case will adopt different processes for the external appearance and to meet thermal requirements from wireless charging, the hinge price will rise 60-80%.
Beyond this year's update for the AirPods, Bloomberg claimed this week that Apple is working on a subsequent AirPods update that would bring water resistance to the earphones, but that model wouldn't arrive until 2019 at the earliest.

Related Roundup: AirPods
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

11 months ago
Apple, can you focus little bit more back on Macintosh?
Rating: 54 Votes
11 months ago

Apple, can you focus little bit more back on Macintosh?



They recently came out with new MacBooks, new iMac, new iMac Pro, and are working on the new Mac Pro. Other than Mac mini, what exactly would you consider "focusing" on the Mac?
Rating: 27 Votes
11 months ago
If they’re noise cancelling those over ear will be very interesting!
Rating: 23 Votes
11 months ago
I can't wait for more "audiophile" complaints. How dare they call something high end if it doesn't cost more than $10,000
Rating: 21 Votes
11 months ago
Name ideas:

iEars
eyeEars
AirPods Plus
AirPods Max
Maxi Pods
Beaten to Dreath
Head iPhones
Rating: 16 Votes
11 months ago
Let’s be real here. By going by apple’s recent track record, we won’t see these in 2018. No doubt they will be delayed, like pretty much every product they announce.
Rating: 13 Votes
11 months ago

Let’s be real here. By going by apple’s recent track record, we won’t see these in 2018. No doubt they will be delayed, like pretty much every product they announce.

How can a rumor get delayed?
Rating: 12 Votes
11 months ago

I would be absolutely shocked if these could hold a candle to my audio technica ath m50x’s. And of course, we cant forget that they would presumably cost twice as much, too.


M50x really isn’t that great. It’s mid-fidelity at best.

If they provide truly high-end sound Apple’s offering will sound way better. I think they have the team established to create the best wireless headphone on the market.
Rating: 11 Votes
11 months ago
Apple can truly revolutionize this space, and I believe they have the potential to do so. If I manufactured headphones right now I would be very scared.
Rating: 10 Votes
11 months ago

Apple can truly revolutionize this space, and I believe they have he potential to do so. If I manufactured headphones right now I would be very scared.

Knowing Apple, it'll probably cost $600, be wireless only, only work with Apple products, and have some kind of Siri invoking feature... so I don't think other manufacturers are shaking in their boots just yet.
Rating: 9 Votes

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