In a recent earnings call, Cirrus Logic, Apple’s long-time audio chip partner, indicated that noise-cancelling technology may soon make its way to Apple’s products. Apple wasn’t named directly, but Cirrus has shown a solution for noise-cancelling headphones to a number of its partners, and there are “several new products” coming to market in the second half of 2016 which might include the technology. This may even include a new set of EarPods to be packaged, or at least launched alongside, the iPhone 7.
From Seeking Alpha‘s transcript of Cirrus Logic’s earnings call:
I’m excited and I think everybody we’ve shown the noise canceling headset solution to is excited about the possibilities. There are definitely people considering putting that in box, but as I said in response to one of the earlier questions, anytime you’re considering a new form factor, there’s lots and lots of people that get involved that pretty much any customer and things move around a fair amount.
It should be noted that Cirrus’ predicted growth for the second half of this year coincides with the usual launch window for flagship iPhone models.
Apple is reported to account for 76% of Cirrus Logic’s business, and it would make sense for Apple’s potential needs to drive development of new solutions at Cirrus.
Recent reports suggest that Apple may abandon the 3.5mm headphone jack with the iPhone 7, with wired headphones needing to connect with the Lightning port, which could also provide power to features like active noise cancellation. If Apple releases a set of active noise-cancelling EarPods, it’s likely that this feature would be powered by the Lightning port.