Friday, 20 July, 2018

Apple said to go all-in on audio hardware

EnlargeValentina Palladino EnlargeValentina Palladino
Beatrice Douglas | 28 June, 2018, 05:17

AirPods will get active noise cancellation.

A new leak has cleared up Apple's audio plans for 2018 and 2019.

Apple's AirPods did not exactly wow the world when they arrived - not least because, come on, pay the licensing fee and call them "AirBuds". Apple also wants to ensure that these new AirPods can work even when relatively far away from their companion smartphone or tablet. The original version of the earbuds faced a delay after it first debuted in 2016. It won't enable users to swim with the next-generation AirPods.

Inventec executives met with Apple executives in California in recent weeks to discuss future HomePod orders, but a final decision on working with Inventec on the new model hasn't been made, the people said. Given all of these new features, it's very likely for the pair of new earbuds to cost more than the current $159 model.

While we don't know much about the second-gen HomePod, the sources note that Apple could be 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.

The pricier model is expected to feature noise-cancelling technology, as well as water resistance.


Apple wanted to release them at year's end, but it struggled to develop them, which forced the company to push back the launch to 2019, according to Bloomberg.

The report adds that Apple's long-awaited wireless charging case for the AirPods will likely debut later this year, potentially alongside the AirPower charging mat.

Apple's all set to shake up its audio portfolio with updated AirPods, a revamped HomePod, and over-ear headphones.

We've always been largely unimpressed with the quality of Apple's EarPods headphones, and were hoping to see a dramatic improvement in their standard following Apple's acquisition of Beats in 2014. They are meant to be higher end than Beats headphones and are meant to compete with the high-end models of headphones which ship from firms like Bose Corp and Sennheiser.

A new version of the HomePod speaker is also under development, sources say. A spokesperson for Apple declined to comment on the leaked information.

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