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iPhone 7 may feature new noise-cancelling earbuds

by Jacob Kleinman | January 29, 2016January 29, 2016 8:00 am PDT


If the iPhone 7 really does ditch its headphone jack, and all signs seem to suggest it will, then Apple’s EarPods are due for a serious upgrade later this year. We might get wireless Bluetooth earbuds or a Lightning port powered alternative, but here’s one new audio feature we weren’t expecting: noise-cancelling EarPods.

The latest rumor was sparked by Cirrus Logic, which supplies Apple and a few other phone-makers with the audio chips for their earbuds. Speaking at a recent earnings call, CEO Jason Rhode hinted that he’s working with one of the firm’s biggest clients to introduce the technology. He also promised “several new products” launching later this year.

Rhode was careful not to reveal any specific details or names, but at the same time he may have been sending a clear message to Cirrus’ investors. Here’s his response to a question about noise-cancelling earbuds.

There are definitely people considering putting that in box … any time somebody talks about adding content inside a box, inside the box it ships with the phone, you can imagine the agonizing that goes into any additional micro-penny that gets added to the box.

Cirrus also revealed that Apple currently makes up 76 percent of the firm’s business, so the company’s fate is closely tied to Cupertino. The audio chip-maker is reportedly already working with Apple to develop earbuds that stream music through the Lightning port, and it looks like these new EarPods could offer some sort of noise-cancelling technology as well. That certainly lines up with rumors that the company wants to start offering a high-end audio experience.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...