Apple could be working on a new kind of earbud that will adjust sound depending on the size of the user’s ear, Apple Insider reports.
The company has made changes to a patent originally granted in 2011 which promised to deliver better sound quality by building pressure sensors into earbuds.
Apple’s patent says that most ordinary in-ear headphones don’t create an air-tight seal. That means that the sound quality they deliver can depend on the size and shape of the user’s ear, and the space that creates.
To help increase the quality of sound, Apple’s patent proposes adding pressure sensors to earbuds and headphones.
These pressure sensors would then establish whether or not parts of the earbud were sitting close or flush to the user’s skin, providing a rough estimation of ear size. That data would be matched with an index of aural profiles to determine the earbud’s volume output and the frequency and tone of sound it releases. Those profiles could be generic, like small, medium and large, or could be tweaked depending on the user’s preference.
Apple Insider points out that the updated patent now also protects over-the-ear headphones following Apple’s acquisition of Beats. As with all of Apple’s patents, though, there’s no way to tell if this product will be released.
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