Apple over-ear noise-cancelling headphones revealed in iOS 14 — watch out, Bose

(Image credit: Curved)

We now know what Apple's rumored over-ear headphones will look like -- sort of. 

Two headphone icons uncovered in iOS 14 code by 9to5Mac on Monday give us a tiny tease of the design of Apple's forthcoming over-ear cans. These small icons are used to indicate the battery life and volume levels of the headphones when they are connected to an iPhone or iPad. 

(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

You'll notice there are both black and white icons, which suggests the headphones will be available in two color variants. The AirPods and AirPods Pro are only available in white while headphones sold by Apple's Beats brand are sold in all sorts of colors.

This might seem like an insignificant find, but, as The Verge points out, iOS icons are what tipped us off to the AirPods Pro, PowerBeats Pro and PowerBeats 4. 

So, what can we glean from these tiny, animated icons? Not much, but it looks like both headphones will have gray padding inside the earcups and below the headband. The generous amount of padding stands out to me, as do the earcups themselves, which extend past the padding more than usual (perhaps for improved microphone quality). 

Other than that, these icons show a standard pair of over-hear headphones similar to what Beats and Sony offer. 

What we know about Apple's 'AirPods X' 

Apple hasn't said a word about these rumored headphones but a listing discovered in Target's product inventory showed a product called the Apple AirPods (X Generation) that will sell for $399. 

Given the high price, the listing is likely referring to a pair of over-ear noise-canceling headphones. Whether they'll be called the AirPods X or if that was just a placeholder remains to be seen. 

What else do we know? Not much. But we expect every new audio product from Apple to contain the company's H1 chip (or a newer version) for faster pairing and better Bluetooth connection, among other things. 

Apple could unveil the new over-ear headphones later this month at its rumored March 31 event or at WWDC should it go ahead in June. If it doesn't arrive in the first half of 2020, then expect a fall release alongside the company's upcoming flagship phones.

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.