(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. announced the AirPods Guru, a higher-end variant of its popular wireless headphones that add noise-cancellation, water-resistance and a brand new design.
The version priced at $249 will sell along with the current $159 version that started in March, also marks the first time that Apple is segmenting its AirPods line in a significant way. The new version consists of interchangeable flexible tips to improve their fit. That addresses a criticism of the original layout, which first debuted in 2016, and helps enable the noise cancellation feature for enhanced audio quality.
The Pro model has a feature known as Adaptive EQ, which automatically tunes songs for better sound and contains an updated touch-sensitive stem which lets users change between noise-cancellation style and transparency style, to have the ability to hear about you. The new model will begin shipping Oct. 30, Apple said in a statement Monday.
The luxury AirPods will include a wireless-charging case so that it can be charged on conventional charging pads. The wireless charging case is an extra cost on the lower-end AirPods.
The AirPods have quickly become among Apple’s most well-known products and have helped develop a wearable devices portfolio which also contains the Apple Watch and Beats headphones. The new headphones come at a critical time. Until that launch, Apple hasn’t made meaningful operation changes to the AirPods. Meanwhile, new players have entered the wireless earbuds area, including Amazon.com Inc. and Fitbit Inc..
Apple’s Wearables, Home, and Accessories financial section grew 48% to over $5.5 billion final quarter. According to a report from Counterpoint Research before this season, AirPods held 60 percent of the marketplace for in-ear wireless cans, placing them ahead of rivals.
Bloomberg News reported last February that Apple was planning higher-end AirPods for 2019.
Apple on Monday also introduced iOS 13.2, which adds compatibility to the new AirPods using the iPhone. The program update also allows users to delete their Siri background, disable Siri recordings, adds new Emojis, and makes improvements to picture-taking