// Apple readying Bluetooth version of Beats Solo2 headphones ~ EDUCATION & TECHNOLOGY

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Apple readying Bluetooth version of Beats Solo2 headphones

Beats released a pair of headphones, named Beats Solo2, just as Apple was buying the company earlier this year, and now a follow-up appears to be in the works.

But while there's been a lot of speculation over the various ways Apple might change what Beats is about, a just-uncovered FCC filing suggests the iPhone 6 maker actually won't change much at all.

The FCC documents show a Bluetooth-enabled version of the Beats Solo2 released earlier this year.

But other than the addition of wireless capabilities, these headphones don't seem much altered from the earlier, wired Solo2.

Lightning doesn't strike
There's also been some speculation on whether future Beats headphones will adopt Apple's Lightning tech, but for now these appear to be sticking with microUSB so they can remain open-platform.

That may still change in the future, or Apple might even come out with iOS-exclusive variants on otherwise multi-platform headphones, thereby trying to please everyone.

Either way, while this new headset may carry Apple's branding, it appears the new Beats Solo2 will still definitely have the Beats DNA.

There's no clue as to when these will come out, so keep an eye out for announcements from Apple while we do the same.

Beats has earned some strong praise for its Solo2 headphones, so it shouldn't come as any surprise that a wireless set is in the works. Unfortunately for Beats and Apple, the FCC has spoiled the surprise ahead of any announcement. New documents spotted by 9to5Mac confirm that "solo2 wireless" headphones have passed through the FCC's testing labs. The documents only contain basic schematics, but we wouldn't expect the wireless Solo2s to deviate much from the wired models released earlier this year.

9to5Mac says the new model is "Apple-branded," though all we can say for sure is that Apple appears in the fine print on the packaging. We're not so convinced that the famed Beats logo will be sharing space with Apple on the actual Solo2 Wireless headphones. If nothing else, this is likely to be the first Beats hardware with Apple's name on it — even if just a tiny font on the box. Seeing the usual legal rundowns for Android and Microsoft on an Apple product is also a bit strange, but that's the world we're in now that Beats and Apple are one company.

beats solo2 wireless
As for other critical details on the Solo2 Wireless headphones (i.e. price), we'll just have to wait for the official word. The wired version retails for $199.99, but Bluetooth and the freedom of going wireless will probably demand a higher premium.

According to an FCC filing, Beats will soon release its first pair of headphones since the company was acquired by Apple for $3 billion. This version of Beats' Solo2 headphones will include Bluetooth LE connectivity. That is the same technology employed on Beats' high-end Studio Wireless headphones.

Based on the FCC documentation, it would appear that the headphones will look exactly like the current wired version of the Solo2 with the only difference being the wireless technology used inside. The phones have yet to be announced, so pricing and availability are unknown at this point. Looking at the pricing for the current Beats Solo2 headphones and the high-end Studio Wireless unit, this new model should be priced somewhere between $199 and $379.

When the tech titan made its purchase of Beats earlier this year, the largest acquisition in the history of the company, it was thought that Apple had made the purchase to gain control of Beats Music. The company is said to be in the midst of negotiating with the record labels and artists in the hope of cutting the price of the service by as much as 50% a month.

Apple and its Beats by Dre group seem to be close to announcing a new pair of headphones: a Bluetooth version of their popular Solo2 headphones. Earlier this year, Beats launched the Solo2 wired earphones as a cheaper alternative to the Studio cans. Today, a wireless version has been revealed thanks to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) testing department.

As can be seen in the image above from today’s FCC filing, the design of the wireless model is akin to the wired model. The only difference appears to be the Bluetooth connectivity. The documents specify that Bluetooth 4.0 Low-Energy technology is utilized.

Interestingly, these documents indicate that these headphones are Apple-branded:
Apple is specifically listed as the creator and tester of the new product, and the Apple brand is even stamped on the packaging of the product. The documents also reveal Apple’s request for confidentially for the testing.

While the new headphones have hit the FCC today, there is no indication for when an actual/official launch is planned. We also don’t yet know colors or pricing, but given the substantial markup on the existing wireless Beats headphones, they will be pricey.


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