Apple Patents New Headphones With Built-In Loudspeakers

Apple Patents New Headphones With Built-In Loudspeakers

How awesome would these be?

Apple may have just launched the EarPods, undoubtedly the Cupertino company’s best earphones yet, but it’s already hard at working on something better. In a new patent filing, Apple demonstrates its work towards a new set of headphones that would have built-in loudspeakers. The design allows you to quickly switch between headphones for personal use, and a set of speakers for sharing your favorite tracks with your friends.

Apple’s design looks a lot like a traditional pair of headphones, but their cans rotate to transform into speakers. While facing inwards, towards your ears, they’re headphones. But give them a twist and they’ll blast out your music like a normal set of speakers.

A built-in amplifier would allow the headphones to output sound loud enough that they can become speakers when necessary, and it would simply be deactivated in “headphone mode,” conserving power. And to prevent them from transforming into speakers while they’re on your head and making you deaf, there would be a sensor that detects contact between the headphones and the user’s ears.

Apple describes other methods for switching between each function, including manual switches, ambient light sensors, a resistive sensor, and many more.

Unfortunately, Apple’s patents are never a guarantee of features or products to come. But they do give us a good idea of the things the company is working on inside its highly secretive Cupertino campus. I for one will be hoping that Apple takes advantage of this particular patent, because I can’t think of a better way to revolutionize the traditional headphone. Can you?

  • wesleyvercammen

    I want these really bad.

  • Conor Conay Jackson

    No thanks. I don’t want 12-13 year olds blasting out the s*** they have on their iPods.

  • extra_medium

    What they need to to is patent the oval-shaped ear covers and their signature over-the-head plastic strip holding them together. Samsung is totally gonna steal that design.

  • DS_Champion

    I have never once thought to myself “Gee, I wish I could turn my headphones into a pair of speakers.” There are so many other things Apple has patented that would push tech forward better than this. Let’s focus on those ones.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address) | Read more posts by .

Posted in News | Tagged: , , , , , , |