After the AirPods earphones and HomePod smart-speaker, what next for Apple’s audio-hardware ambitions? According to Bloomberg’s resident Cupertino-whisperer Mark Gurman, a pair of noise-cancelling, over-ear headphones could launch as early as the end of 2018.

Or not. “It’s possible Apple will redesign the headphones again before launch, or scrap the project altogether,” warned the sources tipping Gurman off about the plans.

Any such headphones would compete with some of Apple subsidiary Beats Electronics’ own products, although as Bloomberg points out, Beats also sells lower-priced headphones too. It suggests that the new product won’t be branded under Beats.

Note, EarPods is the name already used for Apple’s non-wireless in-ear ‘phones, so an over-ear set would probably need something new. HeadPods? There are good reasons we don’t work for Apple’s product-branding team…

More seriously, from Music Ally’s perspective, the relevance of any new Apple audio hardware is how (or whether) it will be bundled with an extended trial of the Apple Music streaming service, to potentially further juice its growth in subscribers.

EarPods and phone

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