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Apple is keeping the Beats lineup as its cheaper, uniquely-designed alternative to the flagship AirPods lineup. According to our sources, Apple has stopped the development of the AirPods Max Sport and is instead focusing on the AirPods Max 2 – and Apple will be using the AirPods Max Sport’s materials to create the next Beats over-ear headphones to come possibly this year.
The Beats Studio3 have been out since October 2017, which makes them nearly five years old. The Beats Solo3 have been out since 2016, making this line of headphones six years old. With 2021 being a big year for Beats with new designs for the Beats Flex and also the new Beats Studio Buds and Beats Fit Pro, the only products in the Beats lineup that look out of place are its over-ear headphones.
The current Beats Studio3 do have the Apple H1 chip inside, are comfortable, and also they do come with many color options. The Beats Solo3 are thinner than the Studio3 but are the less popular variant of the over-ear line. Either way, the fact Apple hasn’t discontinued either of those models tells us the company is definitely going to update them at some point.
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The new Beats Studio4 headphones, which are still being worked on, could be released in 2022. According to folks familiar with the matter, the new headphones are expected to have an all-new design that could be the former, now canceled, AirPods Max Sport with lighter weight materials.
The Beats could feature the Digital Crown, but will more likely have buttons on each cup based on current prototypes. Some prototypes also do not have buttons at all, which was the original goal for AirPods Max and AirPods Max Sport.
Apple wants the Beats Studio4 to add new audio features such as Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos to bring the Beats in line with their latest competitors.
The target price for the Studio4 is around $399, which will make them much cheaper than the current AirPods Max, which are rumored to see a second-generation update soon and possibly also have a price increase.
Apple will give consumers a variety of vibrant colors with the new over-ear headphones and will allow users to call up their preferred music app, which was first introduced on the HomePod mini. Adapters will also be included, and the Beats will charge over USB-C as well as Qi wireless charging.
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[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]