Apple’s long-rumored over-ear headphones may soon make their debut

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Love your Apple AirPods? You may soon have another Apple-branded pair of headphones to reach for the next time you're ready to listen to some tunes. Apple seems to be poised to release a brand new pair of over-ear headphones in the coming days, if new placeholder listings seen in the wild at Target's product database are to be believed. The listings, reported via YouTuber Jon Prosser, reveal a new product called the "Apple AirPods (X Generation)," which comes with a suggested retail price of $399. There are three different SKUs for the same product as well, which could end up meaning three different colors — or even additional product tiers.

Prosser has noted that "multiple Target employees" have reached out to him about his findings, as the headphones have begun showing up all throughout the Target retail ecosystem. It's quite possible that these could indeed be the rumored Apple over-ear headphones that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had predicted would release ahead of 2018's end.

Apple has yet to officially comment on these findings, but this wouldn't be the first time the company has been rumored to be working on over-ear headphones in addition to its massively popular wireless earbuds. In June 2018, Bloomberg had reported the headphones had been delayed thanks to "development changes." Kuo subsequently predicted in January 2020 that Apple would potentially release Bluetooth headphones this year. It's not out of the realm of possibility that this Target finding could be exactly that.

AppleInsider's sources (from Target no less) have indicated that it's not uncommon to see a placeholder like this. In fact, it wouldn't be out of order to see the products coming within the week or even the month. But it's also possible this new headphone release (if that even is what this new finding is) could somehow be related to the Beats brand and thus a case of mislabeling. Apple has been selling over-ear headphones by way of Beats for some time, and there's already the Beats Studio 3 model, which runs for $350 all its own for wireless Bluetooth connectivity. However, Apple has yet to sell over-ear options under its own banner, hence why AirPods are the hottest ticket for the company at the moment in terms of audio.

The AirPods Pro, the highest tier of wireless earbuds Apple sells, are priced at $249. It's likely any sort of over-ear release will cost around the same price as the Beats brand, unless Apple decides to truly kit them out with some sort of luxury features. This is in line, similarly, with the prices Target had quoted in the SKUs.

Apple could also be working on an additional line of new products for the first half of 2020, if previous reports from Kuo are to be believed. During the same report where Kuo predicted headphones for early on in the year, there were also reports claiming there might be a new wireless charger, special Tag trackers (like the Tile product line), and a series of other product unveilings coming down the pipeline.

Right now, Apple appears to be staying mum about its plans for the future, but as soon as the company is ready for an official unveiling, you can be sure whatever this Target SKU is will probably be the talk of the town. Only time will tell if Apple is looking to take the audio outside of your ear to go right outside of it.