Future Apple and Beats headphones such as the airPods Max (pictured) may have enhanced magnetic sensors as evidenced by a newly granted Apple patent (number 11,134,328). (Beats Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple.)
About the patent
In the patent data, Apple says that headphones have now been in use for over 100 years, “but the design of the mechanical frames used to hold the earpieces against the ears of a user have remained somewhat static.” For this reason, some over-head headphones are difficult to easily transport without the use of a bulky case or by wearing them conspicuously about the neck when not in use, the tech giant adds. Conventional interconnects between the earpieces and band often use a yoke that surrounds the periphery of each earpiece, which adds to the overall bulk of each earpiece.
What’s more, headphones users are required to manually verify that the correct earpieces are aligned with the ears of a user any time the user wishes to use the headphones. Apple says “improvements to the aforementioned deficiencies are desirable.”
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “This disclosure includes several different features suitable for use in circumaural and supra-aural headphones designs. Designs that include earpad assemblies that improve acoustic isolation are discussed. User convenience features that include automatically detecting the orientation of the headphones on a user’s head are also discussed. Various power-saving features, design features, sensor configurations and user comfort features are also discussed.”