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Apple reportedly developing new set of wireless earbuds

Apple's EarPods with a lightning connector
Apple's EarPods with a lightning connector (Image credit: iMore)

Apple is reportedly developing a set of premium wireless earbuds to go along with the launch of the iPhone 7 this fall, possibly as a part of the company's Beats brand. The new earbuds are said to be completely wireless, connecting to the phone via Bluetooth, and even lacking a wire going between each ear piece.

According to 9to5Mac, the iPhone 7 will also have its own EarPods, which will come with the phone. And piling on to the existing rumors, the new iPhone is once again said to lack a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The headphones are planned to be a premium alternative to a new version of the EarPods, and are highly likely to be sold separately from the iPhone 7; a comparable model from Bragi will retail for $300. As has been previously rumored, sources confirm that the iPhone 7 will not include a standard headphone jack and will instead require headphones to connect via the Lightning connector or wirelessly over Bluetooth. The ability for headphones to connect over Lightning has been included in iOS since 2014, and new EarPods will support this.

The carrying case for the headphones is also said to double as a charger for the set as well, much like the Moto Hint. The headphones are reportedly planned for a fall launch, they are still apparently in the prototype stage.

Apple was previously rumored to be working on wireless EarPods to coincide the Apple Watch launch last March but those headphones, which were Apple-like rather than Beats-branded and sported a considerably different design to the one being rumored now, never materialized.

If Apple has moved on to a new, more audacious design, it'll be interesting to see if they ship alongside the iPhone or show up later in the year, like the iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case did last December.

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

32 Comments
  • It would be nice if they would make them so they would stay in the ear!
  • It would be, but there are some very cheap effective options for that Sent from the iMore App
  • +1 Sent from the iMore App
  • The thing that I wouldn't like about removing the headphone jack is that you wouldn't be able to charge your phone and listen to music through headphones at the same time. Sent from the iMore App
  • You would, just with an adapter. Sent from the iMore App
  • Why don't we wait and see what Apple does about that - if ANY of these ridiculously-early rumors end up being true? If this is the route they're taking, I'm sure they've thought of that. Sent from the iMore App
  • If Apple's implementation of USB-C in the new MacBook is any indication, then no. There is no current option for pass through charging while connecting other peripherals or devices. Sent from the iMore App
  • What do you mean? They have that for the usb-c macbook Sent from the iMore App
  • I own a usb-c adapter from Apple that charges and has usb and hdmi......... Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm sure they will be great, just like the current ones /s
  • Yea you will because I'm sure apple will allow you to piggy back the charge cable. Sent from the iMore App
  • They're inventing wireless earbuds? Amazing! Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Who said the were inventing wireless Ear buds? This article or any other I've read have never mentioned this... I don't remember Apple ever saying they invented them! Maybe your just being sarcastic? If so Me Bad:)
  • Theres a small percentage of android fans that think apple is only allowed to add something if they are first. Sent from the iMore App
  • Always complaining mate I see :) Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Says the always complaining Android fans. Sent from the iMore App
  • Sounds like they are ripping off bragi's idea this time! Sent from the iMore App
  • The cost will be the factor along with the specs. No matter how fancy, it is hard to see a $300.00 price on earbuds. It will be interesting to see what is developed. Sent from the iMore App
  • Apple might be finally incorporating wireless charging on the iPhone. It would enable charging while having earphones plugged in on the lightning connector. Especially if they take the newly developed fast wireless charging. Posted via the iMore App
  • Oh, like the Note 5...got it. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Oh we're sorry, we forgot a company cant add anything that a different company added first... Got it. Sent from the iMore App
  • Apple sued Samsung for making a rectangular phone... Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • That wasnt exactly what it was, but for the sake of argument lets say it is.
    It would of been the us patent system that let them put a patent on it. And if a patent is infringed on then the lawsuit needs to happen. Otherwise what is the point of a patent if there is no penalty?
    Its not apples fault for being allowed to patent something so ridiculous.
    The horrible patent system needs to change so companies cant put patents on stupid things. Sent from the iMore App
  • +1 Sent from the iMore App
  • Nope Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • If thats the case then no thanks!! Hit me up when Samsung, Google, LG, HTC, and Apple implement TRUE wireless charging (e.g. WiFi charging). It's not wireless charging If I can't move around with my phone while charging, and that goes for ANY cellular manufacturer, not this Google vs Apple crap. I don't want a hockey puck with a "magic" charging power. Until then, I'll stick to wires instead, thanks.
  • Here's to hoping they perfect this soon will be so awesome to never have to charge your tablets or phones.
  • So Samsung invented and patented inductive charging?
    No, no they did not. So give it a rest and read a little on what constitutes patent infringement.
  • God, the vehemence for the hypothetical here is hilarious ... *gabs popcorn* Sent from the iMore App
  • Hopefully there will be an adapter for having a headphone jack. I lot of people will still want to use a aux jack in their cars for listening to music. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • which also brings the point of charging the device, then. I often use car commute to both listen through the jack AND charge through the lightning port. All I see now would be some V-shape adapter with a jack output on one side and a lightning output on the other. Messy as ****. Or I could just change car, sure.
  • Or just get a Bluetooth stereo, they're great!