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Apple Premium Headphones Delayed For Design Improvements, Holiday Hype [U]

Sources have informed Macblogz that design quality problems have pushed back the release date of Apple’s premium headphones, also initiating a marketing move to raise hype of the $79 audiophile headphones just before the holidays.

premium headphones

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled premium in-ear headphones at the Let’s Rock media event on September 9th and said they would ship in October.  It is December now and still no headphones. Apple’s webpage for the headphones continues to say they are “coming soon.”

The headphones described by Apple:

“The new Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic are engineered for superior acoustic accuracy, balance, and clarity. So you hear details you’ve been missing with other, lesser headphones. And the biggest breakthrough? They’re just $79.”

It continues:

“Unlike many small headphones, each earpiece of the Apple In-Ear Headphones contains two separate high-performance drivers — a woofer to handle bass and mid-range sounds and a tweeter for high-frequency audio. These dedicated drivers help ensure accurate, detailed sound across the entire sonic spectrum. The result: You’re immersed in the music and hear details you never knew existed. Even when listening to an old favorite, you may feel like you’re hearing it for the first time.”

The new headphones will compete with high end audiophile headphones from makers like Shure and Klipsch.  Apple currently sells 95 different headphone models online, so competition is high and the market is big.

Speculation was raised early in November regarding why the headphones were being delayed. Two separate MacBlogz sources have recently come forward with new information on the postponement.

One trusted source says Steve Jobs mandated that, in Apple style, “the new headphones should beat the sound and build quality of all other high end ear buds.”  This high standard was not met and Apple engineers have had to revise the design. Apple’s overseas contractors, then had to retool their manufacturing process - moving the manufacturing lead time past November.  Apple has been known to completely redevelop products the company deems not up to par, even near the ship date. They would rather move the shipping date back and rework the design rather than bring a sub-par product to market.

More information leads some to believe this is a pure marketing move intended to drive up hype and sales before the holidays.  The headphones are believed to be a sure hit as they bring audiophile level sound, found currently only in $250+ headphones, for only $79 to millions of iPod owners and many other headphone users.  With news of the innovative headphones finally hitting the market, a viral buzz is expected.  This is sure to again give millions of dollars of free advertising to Apple around their biggest sales time of the year.

Updates: As we initially suspected, Apple is making the headphones available prior to the holidays. With shipping dates of 7-10 days at the online Apple Store, they will now be available before the holidays.

Comments [7]

7 Comments to “Apple Premium Headphones Delayed For Design Improvements, Holiday Hype [U]

smoothOPP @ December 1st, 2008 at 10:34 am
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To be honest. I’m not surprised. When Apple said they were releasing “premium” headphones I knew they were getting in too deep for the $79 price point. There’s a reason Shure’s are so expensive, and it’s because the audiophile quality sound is not cheap to achieve. Doesn’t matter who Apple is, headphones are an audio game, not computers and software.


jojo22 @ December 1st, 2008 at 10:38 am
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Jeez, why even say a release date ? He should’ve just said “by the end of the year.” — What a joke!


Ray @ December 1st, 2008 at 11:01 am
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I second jojo22, they should have never even mentioned a date in the Let’s Rock event.


zack @ December 1st, 2008 at 11:10 am
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wow. over two months late. wow apple. wow.


Susan @ December 1st, 2008 at 11:37 pm
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I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



desh @ December 2nd, 2008 at 2:36 am
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The premium headphones with remote are now for sale on the Apple store. Ships in 7 – 10 days. Lets hope they worked out those kinks!


Bluetooth Deficient @ December 2nd, 2008 at 7:14 am
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Yeah like SmoothOPP said, its an audio game. This is analog and acoustics so it will take time, effort and materials to get good results. UK audio companies has years of experience and very strong focus. Non-industry people can hardly learn such things is a year or 2. Our ears are more discriminating than our eyes (it least mine is).