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Apple-branded headphones could arrive this year

The company is reportedly developing noise-canceling, over-the-ear headphones but has had its fair share of design challenges.

Apple is developing noise-canceling, over-the-ear headphones that would compete with its own Beats subsidiary, Bloomberg reported Monday. 

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Apple could be releasing new high-end headphones as early as the end of this year.

James Martin/CNET

There are plans to release the headphones as early as the end of this year, though challenges with development could delay the release, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.  

Similar to its efforts with the HomePod smart speaker, Apple has gone through multiple redesigns of the upcoming product and could do it again before launch, according to the sources. It could even scrap the project altogether. The new headphones would reportedly target the high end of the market and could include wireless pairing functionality. 

The product would be the latest addition to its continually growing family of music-centered products and services, including the company's purchase of Beats in 2014, its launch of Apple Music in 2015 and its release of the AirPods in-ear headphones in 2016. Apple may be releasing new AirPods as soon as this year that would feature a new wireless chip for managing Bluetooth and let you call up Siri without tapping them.

Apple didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for comment. 

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