Apple Patents to Transforming Headphones Into Speakers

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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  • themissingpiece
    So they patented turning the volume up?
  • wilem_WAR246810
    I wonder if lying down wearing this would suddenly make it loud
  • alxianthelast
    any play lossless audio... maybe
  • ttg_Avenged
    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?
  • joytech22
    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?
  • freggo
    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.
  • frombehind
    themissingpieceSo they patented turning the volume up?wow fking priceless... Apple never fails to amaze us by sinking to new levels of fail
  • The_Trutherizer
    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.
  • InvalidError
    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.
  • thecolorblue
    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