Remark: Making the case for over-ear Apple headphones in 2019

I’m at present engaged on a handful of headphone evaluations over at 9to5Toys, and through my intensive testing with varied...

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Comment: Making the case for over-ear Apple headphones in 2019
I’m at present engaged on a handful of headphone evaluations over at 9to5Toys, and through my intensive testing with varied headphones, I’ve realized increasingly more that I need Apple over-ear headphones. Right here’s why…

The magic of the W1 Chip

AirPods are by far the headphones I’ve used for the longest time frame, and there’s a very good purpose for that.

I’m not an enormous fan of the AirPods sound signature. Nevertheless, their performance trumps sound high quality. They auto-pause once you take away one out of your ear, the microphones robotically swap to provide the very best quality when on a telephone name, they cost very simply with a case, and the combination with iOS is icing on the cake.

Whereas some might argue that they don’t match of their ears, AirPods slot in mine and since they’re earbuds, they’re tremendous comfy for lengthy intervals of time.

With different opponents in the marketplace, you could get higher sound signature, however lack in different departments akin to pairing administration. Some headphones allow you to pair with two gadgets without delay however seemingly collapse when attempting to determine which gadget you’re actively utilizing, or when a telephone name is available in on two gadgets (iPhone and iPad, for instance), the headphones utterly fail as they will’t work out which gadget needs to be energetic.

Naturally, W1 fixes all of this by making your headphones at all times current on all of your iCloud-enabled gadgets. Pairing to non-Apple gadgets is tremendous straightforward by urgent the button on the again of your AirPods for just a few seconds. If it’s essential hook up with that gadget once more, merely simply go into your Bluetooth settings, discover AirPods, and faucet to attach.  With different headphone producers, you typically have to return into pairing mode, or disconnect out of your present gadget to change gadgets.

Software program

Ugh. The place do I begin? Software program for Bluetooth headphones is in every single place.

Let’s begin with producers that don’t supply any customization by an app. It’s 2019, customers are clamoring for choices. Not providing any form of customization with Bluetooth headphones is laughable at this level.

Headphone apps are typically categorized as “nice, after they work.” The issue is that they often don’t work. AirPods? You pair them, go into the Bluetooth settings on an iPhone or iPad, and the “app” at all times works so long as you’re paired. Different apps typically fail to connect with your headphones regardless of at all times being related.

Let’s not speak about firmware updates both, as a result of these are seemingly non-existent. Hoping to get multi-device help in your Sony 1000XM3s? Most likely not. Need a approach to disable always-on “Hey Cortana” in your Surface Headphones to enhance battery life? Unlikely. Need an equalizer in your Bose QC35s? Nope.

Headphone producers basically launch headphones, push one or two minor updates and name it a day, together with to their apps.

Sound High quality

Apple has confirmed with HomePod that it could possibly make a tool with distinctive audio high quality. Much like the way it handles calibration with its shows, I’m assured that Apple could make a set of over-ear headphones with better-than-average audio high quality. My colleague Ben Lovejoy also pointed this out when the HomePod launched final yr.

AirPods have been merely an evolution of the present EarPods, and that was earlier than the period of actually good audio high quality from Apple. The corporate has now confirmed with the most recent generations of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and the HomePod that it could possibly make gadgets with distinctive audio high quality.

This half is a bit shaky with regards to opponents as everybody has totally different ears and the definition of “nice sound high quality” will fluctuate between customers.


Apple has additionally confirmed that it could possibly construct nice {hardware}. Have a look at not solely the W1 chip, but additionally the T-series chips on Macs, A/M sequence on iOS gadgets, the S-series for Apple Watch, and one can infer {that a} new line of chips will be made for Apple’s over-ear headphones.

Even when the corporate used the identical A8 chip discovered within the HomePod, the processor may doubtlessly deal with always-on Hey Siri, and noise-canceling capabilities. Which, with the quantity of energy present in Apple’s A-series chips, ought to blow the competitors out of the water and will proceed to enhance over time with fixed software program updates.

Apple may use the identical noise-canceling methods discovered inside HomePod and its different merchandise when utilizing hands-free Siri, to energy its energetic noise cancelation software program. The sky is the restrict right here.


Apple has proven that it has the drive to make the perfect audio expertise throughout its line of merchandise. From one thing as tiny because the Apple Watch, to an at all times plugged in gadget akin to HomePod, audio from Apple the final a number of years has been actually, actually, good.

Based on a report from Bloomberg just a few months in the past, Apple is ready to launch a set of over-ear headphones in 2019, alongside an replace to AirPods. I’m very excited to see what Apple has within the playing cards for its upcoming over-ear headphones, one factor is for positive: I might be extremely disillusioned if Apple selected to make use of Lightning as a substitute of USB-C for charging.

The logical subsequent query is pricing. How a lot would you pay for over-ear Apple headphones? Tell us within the feedback beneath!

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