Apple’s AirPods Studio might be the smartest over-ear headphones ever

Apple AirPods Studio
(Image credit: Curved)

Apple is said to be designing the AirPods Studio, and a brand new leak suggests that these will be the smartest pair of headphones we've ever seen.

The over-the-ear AirPods Studio – also rumored to be called AirPods X – will include a number of sensors that can detect how you’re wearing them and re-orient their left and right audio channels to match, according to sources who spoke to 9to5Mac.

On top of correctly identifying which ear is which, the headphones will supposedly be able to detect whether the headphones are on your head or neck, and pause the music when you’re not wearing them, a common feature of in-ear headphones, like AirPods and AirPods Pro, but one that's seldom seen on over-ear cans.

The sources who spoke confidentially confirmed that the AirPods Studio will include Active Noise Cancellation and be able to use Transparency Mode like the Sony WH-1000XM3, but differentiate themselves by offering custom-tuning on iOS and macOS devices using, we assume, a new standalone app.

Two styles: AirPods Studio and Studio Light?  

While 9to5Mac's source couldn’t confirm earlier reports about there being two separate models, the publication does reference an earlier report from Bloomberg that points to two separate models: one that uses premium materials, and another that uses lower-quality components but is likely to be less expensive.

The potential AirPods Studio price and release date of the headphones are just two of the many, many unknown factors at this point, but sources have told Bloomberg that the premium model is likely to cost $349 (around £249, AU$500)  to compete with the Bose NC700 and could be unveiled as early as June at the Apple WWDC 2020 keynote.

Until we get the full details from Apple it’s worth being skeptical about all the AirPods Studio rumors, but having multiple sources all saying the same thing definitely bodes well and could provide some early information about Apple’s next-gen headphones.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.