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.
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If you caught our canalphone roundup a few weeks back, you’ve by now come to the accurate realization that there’s no shortage of real alternatives to those awful white buds bundled with each iPhone. But these two are a little different.
Like the five we reviewed that week, these two pairs of IEMs — the MEElectronics CC51 ($90) and the Thinksound ts02+mic ($110)— are higher-end, designed with superior sound quality in mind and cost around $100. But unlike the others, these two are from small, boutique manufacturers; they also both have housings made from exotic materials (the CC51’s is ceramic, while the ts02’s is wood), and eschew the inline volume controls of the pairs of reviewed in the $100 IEM week, instead making do with a single control button on their inline microphones.