Apple will upgrade AirPods and release over-head

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Apple's is dramatically revamping its audio hardware in 2019 with high-end AirPods, over-the-ear headphones and a new HomePod speaker, according to a new report today.

On top of the over-ear headphones, Apple is also supposedly developing higher-end AirPods featuring noise-cancellation system, with the Cupertino giant reportedly considering Cirrus Logic to provide that capability for the next-generation earbuds.

Apple is also working to increase the distance that AirPods work away from devices like the iPhone or iPad. The new over-ear headphones will purportedly use Apple branding to distinguish themselves as a higher-end alternative to the Beats line. It does say, however, that Apple is expanding its partnership with Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn-which manufactures the bulk of Apple's iPhones-to boost production of its future audio devices. They aren't a product upgrade but a shift into a new segment for Apple.

Apple may be stepping up its sound game. They will allegedly sit above the Beats headphones sold by Apple.

While this does fill in a few gaps in the Apple/Beats lineup of headphones, this is a roll of the dice for Apple. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. Thus far, it has mostly worked with Inventec, but builds about 30 percent of the units with Luxshare Precision Industry Co.

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Apple appears to be ramping up its audio accessories in a big way.

On the one hand, Apple's Amazon Echo competitor, the HomePod, was delayed quite a bit following its announcement. Well, to release some new headphones at least.

Reports of new Apple audio gear have circulated for a few months now.

According to Bloomberg, "Apple designers eventually hope to remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone, including the charger, according to people familiar with the company's work". Production hasn't started, and the deal isn't finalized.