One of the most curious hardware trends in recent years has been big tech companies releasing earbuds and headphones. No longer the preserve of electronics companies, tech giants are in the audio game. Let's be clear, this remains a niche hardware market with not much growth, but Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung have released devices. Now, OnePlus wants to join the party.
It seems the Chinese smartphone manufacturer is preparing to launch its first true wireless earbuds. On its Twitter page, OnePlus showed an image of all its previous earphones. Under the photo, the company captioned the text “What's next in line?”.
Of course, there's no real mention of wireless earbuds, but there have been recent reports OnePlus is preparing to launch such a product. Last month, MSPowerUser reported on mention of the earbuds appearing on the Android 11 build for the OnePlus 8.
Other rumors have pointed to a July launch for the product, and that makes sense. OnePlus will launch its new Nord flagship smartphone on July 21. It would be a nice addition to debut new wireless earbuds alongside the handset.
What's next in line? pic.twitter.com/emwmhr9A0H
— OnePlus (@oneplus) July 10, 2020
We would expect the buds to follow the company's tradition of positioning its hardware against the likes of Apple in terms of quality, but at a fraction of the price.
OnePlus will be entering a market growing with competition. Apple's AirPods remain the gold standard for many people, especially for recreational audio. This year, Microsoft has made a pitch for both consumers and enterprise users with its Surface Earbuds
The Surface Earbuds are a follow up to Microsoft's surprisingly successful over-ear headphones. They feature a fully wireless design and a strange circular pad sticking out of your ear which can be used to touch gestures.
There are promises of all-day battery life, an ‘ultra-comfortable' design, and the ability to control and type in Office 365 with your voice. As for audio, Microsoft is billing a 13.6mm driver with support for SBC and aptX for reduced Bluetooth latency. This is combined with an ‘Omnisonic' sound experience and two microphones per bud.