There are rumors that Apple will release Apple-branded over-the-ear headphones this year along with its AirPods and Beats-branded product. And the tech giant has been granted a patent (number 10,178,463) for such a product.
The patent involves a pair of headphones including an adjustable headphone band. The headphone band can include an inner member and an outer member. The headphones can further include a braking mechanism disposed between the inner member and the outer member, and an earcup attachment feature. In some embodiments, the braking mechanism can include a brake pad and a brake pad cover.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that, in many over-the-ear headphones, the headphone band is adjustable allowing the headphones to securely fit heads of various shapes and sizes. Some adjustable headphone bands include a ratcheting mechanism with discrete locking positions.
When a listener wears the headphone on their head and adjusts the length, extra pressure on the headphone band can cause the headphone to `bind` the ratcheting system thereby making adjustment difficult. Apple thinks it can do better.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.