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Apple Patent Turns Headphones Into Speakers

The tech company has devised a dual mode audio device that could amplify music when placed on any surface.

Emma Hutchings
Emma Hutchings on November 9, 2012.

Instead of headphones only being for your personal enjoyment, a new patent from Apple could turn them inside out so they function as speakers when placed on a surface. These dual mode headphones can be connected to an electronic device like a mobile phone to provide an audio output.

Apple Patent Turns Headphones Into Speakers

According to Patently Apple, they can be moved between an in-ear position and a speaker position, with sensors that detect which position the headphones are currently in and adjust the sound levels accordingly. When in speaker mode, they would activate a powered amplifier for louder audio. These modes could also be manually selected, and there would be sensors for preventing speaker mode when the headphones are positioned near a user’s ears.

Patent application

Photo by Pete O’Shea

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