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Apple continues to invest in headphones: two innovative patents

Apple continues to invest in headphones: two innovative patents

Apple has shown in recent years that it wants to do very seriously in the sector of headphones and earphones. Not only has he bought Beats, one of the most successful brands in recent years, but he has brought important innovations to the market with AirPods, which over the course of two generations have established themselves as the wearable sales champion – although prices are not own contents. The innovations introduced with the AirPods, such as the W1 and H1 chips and additional sensors that involve much more comfort in everyday use, have also benefited Beats (for example the PowerBeats Pro we reviewed in recent days), and in a some sense the whole sector. But Apple does not intend to stop here.

Two recently published patents illustrate rather original ideas: the first thinks of how to reduce a rather common and physiological phenomenon of closed-over-ear over-ear headphones, that is that some frequencies, especially those between 7 and 9 kHz, resound potentially annoying . The closed pavilions isolate from the outside, but they also "trap" the sounds inside. Apple has decided to remedy the inconvenience by installing what are essentially gods sound-absorbing panels, of optimal materials for those specific frequencies, inside the pavilion. In other variants it is assumed that the insulating material is applied directly to the supports on which the loudspeakers are applied.

A second patent instead thinks of use headphones also as portable speakers, changing orientation to the auricles. Sensors able to understand this parameter could activate dedicated circuits – for example, in loudspeaker mode it is easy to assume the presence of a amplifier, to increase the overall volume. Of course the sensors would be able to distinguish between the "real" speaker mode and the simple gesture of bringing a pavilion close to the ear, in order to avoid bad surprises to the users' ears. It is not the first time that Apple explores this idea, indeed: today's patent processes a similar one in 2017.

As we know, high-tech giants register dozens and dozens of new patents every week, and it's always difficult to establish their future. Only a small part of these, in fact, becomes reality. For some time there has been talk of possible Apple-branded headphones (the opening photo shows a rather recent concept), but the project seems to have encountered some difficulties and seems to be late.