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Apple is said to amplify its audio-device strategy in 2019

28 June 2018

In early 2019, Apple will release higher end AirPods and "studio quality" over-ear headphones. You won't be swimming in them though: The water resistance is mainly to protect against rain and perspiration, the people said. The new earbuds could also come with health features like a heart rate sensor to further the company's reach in the health market.

On top of the upgraded AirPods, Apple is reportedly planning to bolster its audio portfolio with two more product additions. Apple is working on a new version of the HomePod for 2019. Apple is also looking to increase the distance that AirPods can function away from an iPhone or iPad, the news service reported.

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The first product on the docket is the AirPods. It won't enable users to swim with the next-generation AirPods. The new over-ear headphones will purportedly use Apple branding to distinguish themselves as a higher-end alternative to the Beats line.

Retail is expected to be more than the current $159 Apple charges for the existing Airpods. An in-house audio product team is run by Gary Geaves, formerly an engineer from B&W, a maker of speaker systems and headphones.

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The over-ear headphones are expected to compete with models from Bose and Sennheiser. The brand is said to be developing a wireless charging case which will be compatible with the AirPower charger, although the latter is reportedly still facing issues.

The new over ear headphones are specifically created to compete with Sennheiser and top end audio brands. According to previous rumors, Apple was working on over-the-ear headphones for music loves, but with the new AirPods coming up next year, the new lineup of full-sized headsets is likely to be delayed. Bloomberg's report does indicate a delay for the over-ear models, though, which were originally rumored to be released before the end of 2018 back in March. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. Apple said Other Products revenue was up 38% year-over-year in its second quarter, reaching almost $4 billion in total revenue for the period.

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Apple is said to amplify its audio-device strategy in 2019