Apple is about to add more headphones to its lineup, if a new report released Saturday is to be believed. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, famed in the Apple sphere for accurate predictions, has claimed that the company will expand its AirPods lineup to feature a set of over-ear headphones.
9to5Mac reports that Kuo’s note explains how the over-ear headphones would complete Apple’s audio lineup. The AirPods would serve as the tiniest way to listen wirelessly on the go, the HomePod would act as a home base station for superior quality, and the over-ear headphones would offer a blend of portability and high sound quality.
Finer details about the new headphones are scarce, but it seems Apple will not brand these under the Beats range. Apple bought the headphone maker in 2014 for $3 billion, the largest acquisition in the company’s history, but the largest visible result of this has been the rollout of the Apple Music streaming service that uses underlying technologies from Beats’ previous offering.
Some of the rumored features for the second-generation AirPods, the follow-up to the product launched in 2016, could potentially make their way to the over-ear headphones. Apple has already announced wireless charging support in combination with the AirPower charging mat, but rumors also suggest improvements to the W1 wireless chip that provides easy pairing to nearby iPhones. The W2 chip already debuted in the Apple Watch Series 3, and it made Bluetooth and Wi-fi 50 percent more power efficient.
Another feature slated for inclusion in the new AirPods is the always-on “Hey Siri” feature that allows HomePod owners to make music requests and control the device through voice commands. While the AirPods (and other Beats headphones) allow users to invoke Siri by pressing a button, such a change would allow for seamless integration with iPhone apps.
However, as Spotify only offers a basic level of Siri integration, it could mean more users switching over to Apple Music to take full advantage of audio requests on this new lineup. With the service rumored to overtake Spotify in the U.S. this summer, with Apple growing its base by five eprcent every month, the wider rollout of “Hey Siri” could give the service a boost.