AirPods Studio: Apple teases the design of its upcoming US$350 headphones in iOS 14.3
Apple has released the iOS 14.3 beta, and it contains a tidbit of information about its upcoming over-ear headphones. Rumours have been circulating about the AirPods Studio for months, most-recently from Mark Gurman and Debby Wu writing in Bloomberg. Apparently, production issues have caused Apple to scale back its ambitions with the AirPods Studio, which originally included a removable headband.
Now, iOS 14.3 offers the first tangible hint of the AirPods Studio, albeit only an icon of the headphones. In our opinion, the icon does not resemble previous leaks of the AirPods Studio. On the one hand, the arms of the headphones meet in the centre of the earcups, rather than at the top as leaked prototype images showed. The headband itself also looks more conventional, while the icon displays a noticeable hinge mechanism, too.
Apple will release the AirPods Studio in March 2021, according to Gurman and Wu. There had been rumours that the headphones would feature a U1 chip automatically assign the correct audio channel regardless of orientation, but it is unknown whether this feature has survived Apple's scaling-back. The AirPods Studio are expected to offer active noise cancellation (ANC) and a dedicated equaliser, among other features, too. Rumour has it that Apple will pitch the headphones at US$350 for a sports model and US$500 for a luxury SKU.