Apple’s unreleased over-the-ear headphones spotted in iOS 14 code

By

airpods-max
Apple's making its own headphones to rival Beats.
Photo: 9to5Mac

The clearest look yet at Apple’s upcoming over-the-ear headphones was unearthed from an early build of iOS 14 this week.

Icons for Apple’s unreleased over-the-ear headphones were spotted by 9to5Mac, revealing a few features about the headphones’ design as well as a possible timeframe on when they might launch to the public.

Apple’s over-the-ear headphones have been rumored since at least 2018. So far, we haven’t seen any mention of the headphones in Apple’s code, but 9to5Mac managed to get an early build of iOS 14 from December that includes black and white icon versions of the unreleased cans. The icons of the unreleased headphones are used throughout iOS 14.

What to expect from Apple’s headphones

Based on the unearthed icons, the over-the-ear headphones will come in at least two colors: white and space gray. Apple could choose to release multiple colors later though, similar to Beats’ marketing strategy. The headphones are expected to borrow many features from the AirPods that haven’t been ported over to Beats headphones yet.

The glyphs show that the design for Apple’s headphones will be very minimalist. There’s significant padding on the ear cups to make them as comfortable as possible. Apple will reportedly include a feature that automatically pauses music when you take the headphones off. Hey Siri support will also likely be included as well as active noise cancellation.

As for how the headphones will charge, we’re still not sure. It’s possible that Apple could create a wireless charging option for them. Adding a Lightning port for charging would seem like the easiest option. Considering most people using them will probably have an iPhone with a Lightning cable, hardwire charging seems to make the most sense.

Because the headphone icons were found in iOS 14, Apple might not release them until the fall with new iPhones. The company is also expected to release new entry-level AirPods this year as well.