Apple is reportedly working on high-end, over-the-ear headphones

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People who are supposedly familiar with the product's development told Bloomberg that the new earphones could arrive by the end of the year, though that is not set in stone. Apple intends to launch the new headphones in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season although development challenges could toss a wrench into those plans.

Apple's success with AirPods has given the Cupertino tech giant confidence to begin expanding its headphone product line.

According to Bloomberg, work on the new headset has been on-and-off over the past year. The possibility that Apple might redesign the headphones again before launch hasn't been ruled out. In the first seven months of 2017, the wireless headphone market sales increased by 22 percent compared to a year ago and Apple AirPods accounted for 85 percent of all wireless headphone dollar sales in the United States, according to research firm NPD Group. But, like in previous years, Apple might miss the deadline.

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When the company acquired Beats Music and Beats Electronics in the 2014 deal, Apple executives said the successful Beats by Dre headphones business was one of the drivers.

Apple previously discarded the Beats Music streaming name when it launched Apple Music in 2015.

Apple selling high-end headphones, however, could be another story. Beats and Bose both charge $350 for their high-end wireless headphones, while Sennheiser prices range from $100 all the way to $500. The report doesn't offer any details on pricing for the headphones, but it's likely they'll be far more expensive than the $159 AirPods. Those headphones should sound better than tiny AirPods, but they should also be more expensive - AirPods now cost $159.

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