Technology Apple Adds Noise-Cancelling to Beats Solo Over-Ear Headphones
Best noise-cancelling headphones of 2019
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(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. on Tuesday announced the Beats Solo Pro, its first update to its mid-tier over-ear headphones in three years, adding noise-cancellation to a product it inherited through the acquisition of Beats Electronics back in 2014.
Beats Solo Pro wireless headphones.
Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg
The new headphones add an aluminum frame for increased sturdiness, improved resistance to water, a new chip for quicker pairing to Apple devices, and more surface area around the speaker areas.
The most notable new addition is active noise cancellation, a feature that Apple is also working to add to future AirPods, Bloomberg News has reported. The feature on the new Beats can be activated with a switch. There are also still controls for volume and switching between songs on the right ear cup. Once designed for long-haul air travelers, this technology is becoming mainstream now.
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One thing that will make the Solo Pro less appealing to frequent flyers, however, is the absence of an analog connector. Users will have to connect wirelessly over Bluetooth or purchase an accessory, as there’s no option to connect these with a classic 3.5mm plug.
Sport is the second most popular use case for the Beats Solo, so Apple made the latest iteration resistant to sweat and splashes with new gaskets and coverings. The headphones still collapse down as before, however now their opening and closing serves as the on-off switch as well. There’s one button to switch between active noise canceling, no noise canceling, and the transparency mode that lets you hear your surroundings.
The Beats headphones have popular due to celebrity endorsements, but sound performance has long been regarded as inferior to some rivals. The headphones are known for their high profit margins, which fits into Apple’s business model. Despite buying Beats, Apple has regularly updated its AirPods with new hardware and software features and has planned its own over-ear headphones.
Away from a charger, the Solo Pro will last 22 hours with noise cancellation turned on, or 40 hours without it.
The Beats Solo Pro go on sale Oct. 30 for $299, and the Beats Solo 3 will remain in Apple’s lineup for now at a reduced price of $199. They will come in black, gray, white, and limited addition navy, turquoise and orange.
To contact the reporter on this story: Vlad Savov in Tokyo at [email protected]
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at [email protected], Colum Murphy
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Apple under discussion to buy McLaren?
Ira? Will not go? The economic press is tearing its hair on Apple's intentions in the automotive field. According to the Financial Times, the Californian firm is in talks to buy McLaren, the British manufacturer of sports and luxury cars. The latter, whose unit price of a car does not fall below the million pounds, however, denied having entered into discussions with Apple.
According to the economic and financial daily based on three people close to the file, it is yet several months that the two companies would be in talks. McLaren would be valued between 1 and 1.5 billion pounds for a turnover of 450 million pounds (520 million euros). The race car manufacturer, better known for its performance in Formula 1, is however deficit.
Autonomous car in focus
According to the Financial Times, Apple could especially be interested in technologies mastered by McLaren including its patent portfolio. The automaker, owned by its CEO, Ron Dennis, but also by the sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain, has also allocated a budget of one billion pounds for the next six years for R & D, including in the autonomous car .
This acquisition, if it succeeds, would be the largest operated by Apple since the repurchase of Beats Electronics for 3 billion dollars in 2014.
For the analysts, it is the complete blur. On September 10, the New York Times revealed that Apple had just thank dozens of engineers assigned to the project "Titan", named after Apple's program to design and build a self-driving car. The manufacturer of the iPhone would then have explained to them want to "reset" this project, still according to the New York Times. The American newspaper then recalled that Apple has recruited hundreds of engineers around this project during the last two years, even going to take down sizes at the greats, including Mercedes or Tesla.
A break on the model of the iPhone?
It seems that Apple has still not decided a clear strategy for the autonomous and connected car, especially on the issue of going beyond a software offer and move to a production of cars in own. A prospect that could surprise from a brand that does not make its own smartphones, using the Chinese Foxconn.
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