(Pocket-lint) - There's long been talk that Apple is planning on expanding its AirPods family to move into high-end over-ear headphones. New information suggests that these headphones will be modular in nature, potentially with a customisable design.

The information comes from Bloomberg, reporting conversations with sources familiar with Apple's plans. There are thought to be two versions of the headphones, one a premium version and the other aimed at sport.

It's said that the prototype has a retro look, with oval cups that swivel and thin metal arms that connect them. This is where the modularity comes in, as it is thought that the cup and headband pads can be removed and replaced by the owner.

It's suggested that you'll be able to swap elements around, a little like you can to customise the look of the Apple Watch.

Beyond that modularity, it's thought that Apple will be using the AirPods Pro active noise cancelling technology to compete with the likes of the Bose Headphones 700 or the Sony WH-1000XM3.

It's thought that Apple it looking to the end of the year for the launch of these headphones, which will reportedly sit above Beats in terms of their positioning.

It's fully expected that the new Apple headphones - which could be called AirPods X - will feature Apple's H1 chip for instant pairing with Apple devices and supporting Siri voice controls.

There's even been some reference to headphones hidden in iOS 14 code, leading some to believe that these headphones will be launched sooner rather than later.

Writing by Chris Hall.