Apple granted patent for convertible headphone earcups

Today Apple has been granted a patent that would allow it to manufacture headphones with circumaural to supra-aural convertible earcups.

According to the patent application named “Circumaural to supra-aural convertible headphone earcups¬†“, Apple’s latest invention improves on conventional headphones by providing headphone earcups that can be converted between over the ear (e.g., supra-aural) and around the ear (e.g., circumaural) configurations, and any size in between. For example, the earcup may have an expandable cushion or telescoping ring connected to a frame system similar to a Hoberman Sphere.


“Supra-aural headphones have earpads that are smaller than those of circumaural headphones and press on the user’s ears, instead of the head. Supra-aural headphones are therefore typically smaller than circumaural headphones and may be more suitable for daily use and travel. Because the earpads of supra-aural headphones can rest on the user’s ears, however, they can become uncomfortable after a period of time and achieve less sound attenuation than circumaural headphones,” reads the document published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday.




Patents don’t always turn into products and it’s unclear if Apple plans to implement the new headphone design into upcoming devices.

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