Cheaper HomePod, improved AirPods could arrive in 2020

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Apple could finally bring noise cancellation to AirPods.
Photo: Ste Smith/ Cult of Mac

A more affordable version of the struggling HomePod smart speaker will debut next year, according to a generally reliable source. Apple is also reportedly going to introduce AirPods with noise cancellation in 2020.

Both are products that consumers have been asking for.

Hoping for a more affordable HomePod

The original HomePod debuted last year at $349, but Apple lowered the cost to $299 a few months ago. Rival devices sell for considerably less, so Apple’s offering has just a small percentage of the smart speaker market.

Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman says that a more basic model will be out “as early as next year.” This will supposedly include two tweeters instead of the six in the current model.

Gurman doesn’t predict what this stripped-down HomePod will sell for. An unconfirmed report from 2018 said the price could be between $150 and $200.

Noise-canceling AirPods too

Apple introduced AirPods 2 this spring, but these were just a moderate improvement. Bloomberg reports that more significant updates are coming in 2020.

These upcoming in-ear headphones will allegedly include active noise cancellation — using sound waves to interfere with ambient noises.

The third-generation AirPods will also supposedly be water resistant. This is more likely to make them better able to deal with wearers’ sweat rather than allowing these earbuds to be used in a pool.

These improvements will increase the cost, according to Gurman. The current version starts at $159, but what the price for AirPods 3 will be is not yet known.

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