Apple is making its own high-end noise-cancelling headphones

Apple’s Air Pods earphones have been a surprise hit. Now the company is planning a push into the high end of the market. Marcio Jose Sanchez  AP

Bloomberg sources corroborate an earlier KGI report that Apple is working on high-end, over-ear headphones meant to compete with Bose.

Apple could be releasing new high-end headphones as early as the end of this year. This is normal Apple behavior, so it's not really surprising to hear they'll be expensive. Although the company plans to release the headphones as early as 4Q18, the site notes that there have been setbacks.

Interestingly, the report says the headphones will bear the Apple logo. Although it hasn't released sales data, it seems that AirPods have sold well: They're included in the bucket of accessories Apple sells, which it labels as "Other Products" on its earnings reports, which has only increased in recent quarters. In addition to noise-canceling features, Apple plans to equip the over-ear headphones will similar wireless pairing to the AirPods. Currently, Apple's Beats Studio 3 headphones retail for $349.95 but can be found on Amazon for $279.99.

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Apple's headphone ambitions put it in a collision course with already-popular brands like Sony, Samsung, and Sony - and Apple's own Beats by Dre. Given their over-the-ear design, they will likely sound superior to the AirPods as well.

How much the new headphones will cost is still unknown, but Bloomberg and KGI's emphasis on Apple's "high-end" ambitions suggests they will not come cheap.

There's no word on when the headphones will arrive. "Apple's path to leadership in the category is helped by disruptive pricing, brand resonance, and excitement over the W1 chip, which significantly eases Bluetooth connections to iOS and Mac devices".

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