Apple's rumored over-the-ear headphones might finally covert me to a premium headphone user

Apple Patent Headphones
Apple Patent Headphones (Image credit: USPTO/Apple)

I own a ton of headphones. I constantly use earbuds, on-the-ear, and over-the-ear headphones for different reasons or for different activities; however, I have never pulled the trigger on a premium pair of headphones. I have borrowed and tried out a ton of headphones from companies like Bose, Sony, and Beats, but I have deemed them too expensive for what you get. There are just so many good pairs of headphones that don't cost $400 — but a man can change.

Apple's rumored over-the-ear headphones — one rumored name is AirPods Studio —is meant to compete with the likes of high-end headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM3 and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, meaning they are likely going to be in that $400 - $500 range. If the rumors we keep seeing and hearing are true, Apple will have my money when they finally launch.

Rumored features are awesome

Apple stepping into the over-the-ear headphones market with its AirPods line makes a lot of sense. The AirPods are a great concept and add so much value to Apple users, and AirPods Pro took what was already great about the AirPods and made them, well, pro. The truth is high-end earbuds aren't for everyone, a lot of people much prefer the over-the-ear design — especially for headphones that have active noise-canceling.

Sounding excellent is only one part of headphones, features, and style are all part of what makes those high-end price tags worth it.

Rotation detection

Apple seems to have updated a patent for over-the-ear headphones entitled Detection of headphone rotation, which seems to indicate that swipe gestures can be used on the cans regardless of how they sit on your head. While this patent was originally filed in earlier this year, the update lends credibility to the feature potentially be included when the 'AirPods Studio' launch.

This may seem small to some people; however, I use my headphone are different angles all the time. Sometimes listening to my over-the-ear headphones sitting straight up on my head isn't as comfortable — like when trying to wear a hat — and having the cans at an angle or hanging on the back of my neck makes a lot of sense. I have had touch controls on other headphones fail because the touch controls can only manage inputs from a default positioning.

Don't forget the Apple magic

It's important to remember you're getting all the magic that other AirPods have as well including the super-fast pairing, Hey, Siri functionality, auto pause and resume when you take the headphones off.

Rumors are rumors

Beats Solo

Beats Solo (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

Rotation detection, "reversible" (meaning you can put the cans on either ear), and a modular design that may let you clip in different earpieces and other elements, all make the rumor headphones sound amazing. Add-on the Apple AirPods magic, and I'm super excited about the potential in this product.

Rumors are just rumors though, and I'm trying to temper my expectations. The good thing is we know Apple can make a good pair of headphones. The AirPods Pro are great and Beats puts out some compelling products, but if all these rumors come to fruition — Apple will be a juggernaut out of the gate.

Are you excited?

Let us know in the comments down below what you think!

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.