According to a new patent application published today by the US Patent & Trademark Office, Apple has invented a hybrid over-the-ear adaptive headphone, featuring active as well as passive noise control capabilities, PatentlyApple reports. The filing also suggests that Apple has been working on over-the-ear headphones, well before it acquired Beats Electronics.
Apple’s filing notes that the invention is a hybrid adaptive noise-cancelling headphone which boasts advantages of both closed-back ear cup and open-back ear cup designs. The headphone may include an earcup housing having a driver positioned therein for outputting sound to a user’s ear. The active noise control assembly may include an ambient microphone capable of detecting an ambient noise outside of the housing.
“Based on the detected ambient noise and the earcup noise, active noise cancellation within the headphone is either enabled or disabled. The passive noise control assembly may include an acoustic valve associated with an acoustic vent formed within the earcup housing. The acoustic valve is capable of being modified between an open configuration to decrease sound attenuation and a closed configuration to increase sound attenuation in response to the detected ambient noise so as to improve an acoustic performance of the earcup.”
The patent application was originally filed in Q4 2012 and credits Yacine Azmi as its sole inventor.