Apple’s ‘AirPods Studio’ Over-Ear Headphones Have Reportedly Kicked Off Production

We’ve been hearing quite a bit recently about Apple’s long-rumored over-ear headphones, said to be called “AirPods Studio,” and it looks like a launch may be coming in the relatively near future.

Artist mockup based on Beats Studio3

Rumors have generally suggested a summer or fall launch for ‌AirPods Studio‌, with a report earlier this week claiming that suppliers in Vietnam will begin shipments to Apple in June or July, but a new report from Taiwanese site DigiTimes indicates that production on the new headphones is already underway.

As Apple is likely to accelerate dropping its wired earphones, the vendor will resume normal shipments for AirPods 2 in the second half of the year and its new over-ear headphones, dubbed ‌AirPods Studio‌, has also kicked off production, all securing growth momentum for rigid-flex boards suppliers for the devices, including Unitech Printed Circuit Board and Compeq Manufacturing, the sources said.

The mention comes in a larger story about circuit board suppliers for the whole ‌AirPods‌ lineup and doesn’t include any further details on the ‌AirPods Studio‌, but it certainly looks like a launch is coming sooner rather than later.

Apple’s virtual Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicks off exactly one month from today, could be a good opportunity to introduce the new headphones, although they are not necessarily a developer-focused product and so Apple may opt for a separate launch so as to not distract from the focus of the event.

Among the ‌AirPods Studio‌ details revealed in recent rumors are a $349 price point matching the Beats Studio3 pricing, a pair of models in premium leather-like and more breathable fitness-friendly fabrics, ear and headband padding that attaches magnetically for easy swapping, and embedded sensors for head and neck detection and automatically routing left and right audio channels to the appropriate earcups regardless of which way the headphones are worn.

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When to Expect New AirPods, Including Rumored ‘Studio’ and ‘X’ Models

Rumors suggest that Apple plans to expand its AirPods lineup with two new models later this year, including high-end, over-ear “AirPods Studio” and in-ear “AirPods X” with a BeatsX-like design for running and exercising. This would be followed by refreshes to both the regular AirPods and the AirPods Pro in 2021.



Here is where rumors stand:

  • AirPods Studio — Summer or Fall 2020: Apple plans to release high-end over-ear headphones with noise cancellation this year, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that mass production of the headphones will begin in mid 2020, with shipments to Apple reportedly set to begin in June or July. The headphones will be named AirPods Studio and retail for $349, according to Jon Prosser, host of the YouTube channel Front Page Tech. Prosser said the headphones could be announced at WWDC 2020, which kicks off June 22.

  • AirPods X — Fall 2020: Last month, Prosser claimed that Apple was planning to release so-called “AirPods X” around September or October with a BeatsX-like design for running and exercising. Kuo acknowledged this rumor, noting that any new AirPods model coming in the second half of 2020 is “more likely to be the new Beats model.”

  • AirPods — Spring 2021: Third-generation AirPods will enter mass production in the first half of 2021, according to Kuo, suggesting that the regular AirPods will not be refreshed until next year. Kuo expects internal design changes, but he did not indicate if there will be any external changes. The original AirPods launched in December 2016, followed by a second-generation refresh in March 2019.
  • AirPods Pro — Fall 2021: Second-generation AirPods Pro will enter mass production between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, according to Kuo, suggesting that a refresh is well over a year away. No further details are known. The current AirPods Pro launched at the end of October 2019.

Keep track of our various AirPods roundups linked below for the latest rumors.

Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro, AirPods Studio
Buyer’s Guide: AirPods (Neutral), AirPods Pro (Buy Now)

This article, “When to Expect New AirPods, Including Rumored ‘Studio’ and ‘X’ Models” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Over-Ear ‘AirPods Studio’ Will Reportedly Be Assembled in Vietnam in Mid 2020

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