Apple rumored to be working on wireless earbuds for iPhone 7

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2016
Apple is rumored to be developing a new wearable paired to iPhone 7: a completely wireless, noise-canceling, in ear style pair of earbuds capable of supporting both voice calls and Siri requests.


Moto X "Hint" wireless earbud Source: Motorola


In 2014, Motorola introduced "Hint," a $150 mono Bluetooth 'headset' that fits into one ear for its Moto X (above). It used Bluetooth 3.0 to deliver about 10 hours of talk time.

Carrying that design into a high quality stereophonic set similar to a nano-sized Beats Pill+ could offer a way for iPhone 7 users to forget about not having the white earbuds with tangling cables that have iconically identified iPhone and iPod users over the last 15 years.

For this year's iPhone 7, Apple has previously been rumored to remove its analog 3.5 mm headphone jack, enabling a thinner case design that would make the device easier to protect against water damage.

This change would require corded headphones to use the Lightning port, which could enable higher quality sound reproduction by delegating digital to audio conversion to the headphones themselves. A few premium headphone makers have already released Lightning-based headphones.

Bluetooth has improved since 2014, with today's modern iPad Air 2, iPad Pro and iPhone 6/6s supporting the enhanced power efficient Bluetooth 4.2.

Apple's acquisition of headphone and Bluetooth speaker maker Beats gave the company both brand cache and ready-to-use technology. Apple has so far introduced an enhanced Beats Pill+ with support for pairing two separate wireless speaker units to achieve stereo imaging from a single wireless source.


Source: Beats Pill+


Wireless earbuds could use the same technology to deliver independently delivered audio streams to each ear, enabling truly wireless headphones that lack even a connection to each other.

Such in-ear devices could be charged by Lightning, as is the case with Apple's Siri Remote for Apple TV (and the new Beats Pill+), or use the same kind of induction charging employed by Apple Watch.
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