We believe the AirPods Studio on-ears are still on track for a 2020 release in 2020, and the latest rumour is that they’ll be unveiled at an event in October.
After they failed to turn up at WWDC 2020, and a rumoured August release date came and went, speculation has once again earmarked the elusive Studio for a release in in the autumn.
What we’ve learnt about the headphones is that they’re expected to cost $349, they’ll have active noise cancellation and that leaks have indicated they’ll have a modular design.
When will AirPods Studio be released?
Bloomberg alleges that the AirPods Studio will be officially unveiled at event in October 2020. This event will be something of a product refresh with the company, with the Studio just one of several products to be announced.
We first reported on these headphones in 2018, with the hope they’d be available before the year was out. The headphones – codenamed B515 – have apparently encountered a number of delays, with the recent rumours a 2020 release is still on the cards. Apple has shifted the production of its headphones to Vietnam, so it’d seem that production is ramping up.
YouTube channel EverythingApplePro reported the headphones were finalised back in May, but the imminent launch XDA Developer’s Max Weinbach referred to was so imminent at all. The most recent stab at a release date, came from Apple leaker komiya_kj who predicted a triple update of the Apple Store on August 19th that would reveal the Studio as one of the updates. Another one that turned out to be false.
How much will AirPods Studio cost?
In June 2018, Bloomberg reported the Apple over-ears would be priced in line with headphones from Bose, Sennheiser and Sony – £350/$349.
What will the AirPods Studio look like?
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was releasing “its own-brand, high-end over-ear headphones with all-new design; to be as convenient as AirPods with better sound quality”.
Pixelated icons from iOS 14 code indicate they’ll come in white and black versions, and Bloomberg claim the headphones will boast some unique features. Leaks so far have indicated there are versions in development – one with leather-like fabrics, and the other targeted at fitness wearers, which uses lighter, breathable materials.
The headphones are thought to possess a retro look, and the ear cups are attached to the headband by magnets on thin metal arms. The magnets makes them modular, with the idea being the headbands can be swapped out between the two versions in development.
What features will the AirPod over-ears have?
Macworld claimed the Studio will have ANC and wireless charging. We’re certain of the former, but not so sure about the latter. We’ve not seen a full-sized headphone support wireless charging, but this could be the first. We expect battery life to be current standard, so around 20 to 30 hours.
Patently Apple has uncovered a patent that revolves around gesture control, so gestures can be made in the headphone’s upward orientation as well as down. From the patent images, it implies the Studio can work as a neckband headphone, too.
That also ties into a report from 9to5mac about proximity sensors. The sensors can establish whether the headphones are on your head or neck, and are also said to suss out your left ear from your right. We expect it to have a USB-C Lightning connection in light of the EU parliament calling for standardised charging across all devices.
9to5mac has also said the Studio version will be geared towards musicians. Pairing the AirPods Studio to an iOS or Mac unlocks custom equaliser settings, “with low, medium, and high frequency adjustments available”.
The recently announced Spatial Audio and Auto-switching are expected to be supported. Spatial Audio supports soundtracks in 5.1, 7.1 and object-based audio in Dolby Atmos. Auto-Switching means the headphones will automatically switch when the user moves from one iOS device to another.
Related: Best wireless headphones