Apple is working on noise-canceling AirPods and over-ear headphones

EnlargeValentina Palladino

Specifics as far as the release schedule weren't offered in the report, but it's possible that Apple itself doesn't know exactly when the new products will be ready.

We could see new AirPods as early as next year.

The latest report corroborates that rumor but says the latter model will also feature noise cancellation. The company is developing a wireless charging case for its AirPods earbuds as well as a wireless charging pad called AirPower that's capable of charging an iPhone, AirPods, and an Apple Watch all at the same time.

New headphones and a HomePod, too? This would turn the AirPods into a health wearable in addition to an audio product.

In terms of future plans, Bloomberg says that Apple has discussed adding biometric sensors to AirPods. That said, you still don't want to go swimming with these things, as the rumored water resistant AirPods would be more likely to only stand up against perspiration and rain rather than being submerged. The existing AirPods are still scheduled to be refreshed with better wireless tech and "hands-free Siri activation" later this year, according to the report.

Bose's top-of-the-line wireless, noise-cancelling headphone, the QuietComfort 35, costs $349. They'll be positioned as a higher-end alternative to the popular Beats Solo3 headphones, and they won't carry Beats branding. Apple already stocks the Beats Studio 3 over-ear headphones. But HomePod, a high-end internet-connected speaker, has been less warmly reviewed. 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.

It's not clear what new features will come with the second-generation HomePod; there had been some previous rumblings that Apple was considering a HomePod-esque product with a lower price point.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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