Gurman: Higher-End AirPods to Launch in 2019, New HomePod and Over-Ear Headphones Also Likely Next Year

Apple's audio device strategy has been highlighted today in a new report by Bloomberg, which looked forward to 2019 and the launch of the "higher-end" third-generation AirPods, next HomePod, and previously rumored over-ear headphones from Apple.

homepod airpods
For the AirPods, next year's model is believed to be water resistant "to protect against rain and perspiration," which Bloomberg previously reported in February. In the new report, Mark Gurman and Debby Wu add that Apple is also working to introduce noise cancellation and increase the range that the AirPods can work away from iPhone or iPad, citing people familiar with Apple's plans.

Apple Inc. is about to pump up the volume on its audio-device strategy, planning higher-end AirPods, a new HomePod and studio-quality over-ear headphones for as early as next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Additionally, the third-generation AirPods -- coming after this fall's expected second-generation update with "Hey Siri" support -- are expected to cost "more than the existing $159 pair." This is believed to cause Apple to "segment" the AirPods line like it does with iPhones, with a lower-cost model and a higher-cost model that has more features. One of these advanced features could also be a biometric sensor "like a heart-rate monitor."

Continuing its audio device push, Apple is eyeing an early 2019 debut for its over-ear headphones, after facing "development challenges" during its original late 2018 launch schedule. Bloomberg described the device as a "higher-end alternative to the company's Beats line," but otherwise didn't give any new details on features that could be coming to the headphones.

Lastly, the report quickly mentions that the second version of the HomePod is set to debut "as early as next year." Apple may also switch production on the smart speaker away from Inventec for the new model, in an overall shakeup of Apple's supply chain in regards to its audio devices. Sources said the company is looking to expand its partnership with Foxconn, which mainly helps manufacture the iPhone, and simultaneously lessen its reliance on Inventec, which helped supply AirPods and HomePod.

While updates to AirPods and HomePod have been expected, rumors first appeared for Apple's "own-branded" over-ear headphones back in February from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The audio accessory is expected to be "as convenient as AirPods" but with superior sound quality, active noise cancellation technology, and a price tag aimed at the high-end market.

Related Roundups: AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max

Top Rated Comments

calstanford Avatar
56 months ago
Everything with Apple is always next year next year. Airpods, Airpower, new Macbooks, new iPad, god forbid a Mac Pro or Mac Mini, etc etc
Only consistent thing they care about is the yearly iPhone release (with major new features always coming 'next year')
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
44267547 Avatar
56 months ago
For What it’s worth, I found the AirPods to meet my expectations in almost every level. The sound is adequate, convenience, the battery life, ect. The AirPods is that one purchase that do not hesitate to purchase again for version two.

What I would like to see changed with AirPods in the future, is a hands-free ‘hey Siri’ capability without having to double tap, or maybe even some type of touch capacitive volume controller where you can slide your finger up and down the AirPod.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dan9700 Avatar
56 months ago
All we hear is a lot of talk and no action hardware for apple has been so slow recently, even when they announce something it can take years to see it
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
recoil80 Avatar
56 months ago
I think it makes sense to have two versions of AirPods. The first model will have a price drop and I bet they'll start bundling them with iPhone as soon as they remove the lighting port.
I'd love an in-ear version of them, or at least a way to provide some sound isolation.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DNichter Avatar
56 months ago
All we hear is a lot of talk and no action hardware for apple has been so slow recently, even when they announce something it can take years to see it
For what it's worth, most "talk" comes from reports, not Apple. Apple has been slower than usual as of late, HomePod and some iOS features come to mind, but I think the mindset that they are always late is skewed due to the multitude of reports that we see on this site.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
56 months ago
All of those new AirPods features should come to a second generation of AirPods without having to create another product line. It’s a natural progression of the product. Of course when the obsession is finding ways to get customers to spend more money then the solution is to create pro versions and charge more money for them. It’s one thing to do it with Macs and iOS devices, it’s stupid to do it with accessories.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
dynamic island alan dye

Apple Executives Talk About iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island in New Interview

Sunday October 2, 2022 10:48 am PDT by
In a new interview, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple's vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye, sat down to discuss the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and how it was developed. During the interview with the Japanese magazine Axis, Federighi, who oversees the development of iOS, said Dynamic Island represents the...