Apple-owned Beats appears to be prepping the launch of new Powerbeats headphones, and they should be landing soon.
A newly spotted Apple FCC filing for a product simply known as “A2015” clearly shows an illustration of the distinctive earhook-and-cable design of Apple’s current Powerbeats3. Though obviously it’s not official, we think these new headphones are the follow-up, Powerbeats4.
FCC filings, unlike patent applications, are often the last step before a company releases a new product. Though the model A2015 isn’t very helpful (Apple has used A-prefixed model numbers for iPads in the past), the image in the FCC filing is the second visual reference we’ve seen this year.
In January, an icon (below) was noted as an addition to the release of iOS 13.3.1, further confirming what the filing appears to show.
Spotted by MacRumors, the image suggests the Bluetooth-enabled Powerbeats4 will feature a curved look similar to the cordless Powerbeats Pro buds. However, the Powerbeats4 look set to retain the cord connecting the two earpieces — just like the Powerbeats3 — so you can sling them around your neck when you’re not using them.
Interestingly, the image indicates that the cord on the Powerbeats4 will run from the opposite side to the Powerbeats3, which, as MacRumors points out, could result in a slightly different feel on the ear.
Recent reports suggest the Powerbeats 4 are likely to come with features already seen with the AirPods 2, AirPods Pro, and Powerbeats Pro, such as support for the “Hey, Siri” trigger phrase, and an Apple-designed H1 chip or newer that works to deliver an efficient and stable connection to your devices.
Pricing is impossible to know right now, but we can make an educated guess. The Powerbeats Pro currently cost $250 (though if you’re quick you can find them heavily discounted), while the Powerbeats3 retail for $200. With that in mind, we’re expecting a price tag close to that of the Powerbeats4.
Digital Trends rated the Powerbeats Pro highly despite one rather troubling weakness regarding Bluetooth reliability, while the Powerbeats3 scored high on battery life and long Bluetooth range. But both pairs clearly have room for improvement, so we’re hoping the Powerbeats4 can take the best bits from both and banish the flaws.
The existence of the Powerbeats4 is yet to be officially confirmed, but with the appearance of the FCC filing, we can expect an announcement soon. Apple is widely rumored to be hosting an event in March, which the company could use as the launchpad for the new product, and possibly others including a new iPod Touch and a revamped Apple TV. Whatever happens, we’ll keep you posted.