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Apple Patents to Transforming Headphones Into Speakers

By - Source: Patently Apple | B 46 comments

Circuitry will detect the headphone's position.

In a new patent filing, Apple has confirmed the firm is looking to create headphones that can double as external speakers.

The patent, which was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, describes a "dual-mode headphone" that delivers sound whether it's worn around a user's ears or placing them on a surface.

The headphones itself would feature circuitry in order to detect their position. They would sense when the headphones are situated around or near your ears so it doesn't deliver an excessive amount of sound.

A built-in amplifier would increase the audio to offer higher output when the headphones are acting as external speakers. When it's in that mode, audio ports would be able to transmit sound away from the surface in order for it to fill up the room better.

The patent, which was originally filed last year by inventor Edward Hyatt, suggests the user would be able to manually change the headphones between the two aforementioned modes.

 

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Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    themissingpiece , November 9, 2012 3:20 AM
    So they patented turning the volume up?
  • 26 Hide
    ttg_Avenged , November 9, 2012 3:31 AM
    Recent news: Apple patents both innovation and talking. Rumors have it that they are going to patent texting and typing shortly.

    Why are you Apple's bitch, tom?
  • 24 Hide
    wilem_WAR246810 , November 9, 2012 3:31 AM
    I wonder if lying down wearing this would suddenly make it loud
Other Comments
    Display all 46 comments.
  • 32 Hide
    themissingpiece , November 9, 2012 3:20 AM
    So they patented turning the volume up?
  • 24 Hide
    wilem_WAR246810 , November 9, 2012 3:31 AM
    I wonder if lying down wearing this would suddenly make it loud
  • 26 Hide
    ttg_Avenged , November 9, 2012 3:31 AM
    Recent news: Apple patents both innovation and talking. Rumors have it that they are going to patent texting and typing shortly.

    Why are you Apple's bitch, tom?
  • 23 Hide
    joytech22 , November 9, 2012 3:34 AM
    Wait.. I do this all the time with my G930's.
    Does this mean Logitech is now infringing upon Apple's brand new patent as the headphones can be used as speakers and have been able to be used as such for 2 years?
  • -5 Hide
    freggo , November 9, 2012 3:37 AM
    Nothing to patent here. That's been know for ages that a speaker can act as a microphone.
    Been even used in old spy movies.
  • 22 Hide
    frombehind , November 9, 2012 3:52 AM
    themissingpieceSo they patented turning the volume up?

    wow fking priceless... Apple never fails to amaze us by sinking to new levels of fail
  • 19 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , November 9, 2012 3:56 AM
    Erm... So they stupid earphones suddenly detect it must go to speaker mode while you have them on - Bye-Bye ears :/  This is asking for it.
  • 13 Hide
    InvalidError , November 9, 2012 3:56 AM
    I wouldn't want to have a pair of those on my head when whatever detection circuitry glitches and suddenly decides to start the amplifier.

    Another problem is that higher output means larger speakers and larger speakers are usually less linear at low output so sound quality could be a problem.
  • 10 Hide
    thecolorblue , November 9, 2012 3:57 AM
    The_TrutherizerErm... So they stupid earphones suddenly detect it must go to speaker mode while you have them on - Bye-Bye ears This is asking for it.

    exactly...
    i can see someone writing a virus for this just for the hell of it too...

    no thanks
  • 10 Hide
    madjimms , November 9, 2012 4:17 AM
    Yo dawg, I hear you like speakers. So we put a speaker in your speaker so you can listen while you listen.
  • 4 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , November 9, 2012 4:41 AM
    Why hasn't Apple patented 'using your fingers to type on a keyboard?'
  • 0 Hide
    spectrewind , November 9, 2012 4:41 AM
    Easy prior art on this one: Studio monitor headphones and volume control.
    Patent overturned, right?
  • 3 Hide
    spectrewind , November 9, 2012 4:48 AM
    With all the Apple patent crap going on, I'm sarcastically waiting to see a lawsuit against the modern day descendants of Sir Isaac Newton, for having the audacity to cite a falling apple and deriving the theory of gravity from it, or however it happened.

    Although, if a black berry had been seen falling from a vine, then RIM would be suing I guess. Oh, well... ;o)
  • 1 Hide
    assasin32 , November 9, 2012 5:45 AM
    Will somebody please patent pink laptops with apples on it, so when Apple finally does make one they can sue them. Don't forget a blue one, green one, etc. That teach them their still on black, white, and grey.
  • 2 Hide
    digiex , November 9, 2012 5:49 AM
    iPods and MP3 players 'linked to teenage deafness'

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7950020/iPods-and-MP3-players-linked-to-teenage-deafness.html
  • 7 Hide
    serendipiti , November 9, 2012 6:35 AM
    Customer: My iUsedToListen went into speaker mode and got me deaf
    Apple: Your ears are holding the headphones bad. Well, that won't pose a problem once you get your RFID implant,
    Customer: I already had my RFID implant, and my immune system is holding it bad...
  • 6 Hide
    trustme58 , November 9, 2012 6:38 AM
    now every time you pull earphones off your head you are violating icrap's patent :( 
  • 5 Hide
    hehee , November 9, 2012 7:34 AM
    This is becoming absurd!!! I have personally done this countless times in the past. Am I in violation of the patent now? Or should Apple's patent be in violation of my practices? You simply should not be able to patent everything that crosses your mind! Or I will patent walking on 2 feet tomorrow!
  • 1 Hide
    Onihikage , November 9, 2012 9:22 AM
    If patents were limited to 6 years like they were at the inception of patent law, I'd be okay with this (not pleased, just "okay"), but with the broken patent system, this is ridiculous.
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