Apple has applied for a patent (number 20220386009) for “headphones with anti-buckling assembly.” The goal is to make future AirPods Max models even more comfortable.
About the patent filing
The features described in the patent filing are designed to help improve the overall user experience by incorporating an array of sensors and new mechanical features into the headphones. In the patent filing, Apple says that headphones have now been in use for over 100 years, but the design of the mechanical frames used to hold the earpieces against the ears of a user have remained somewhat static.
For this reason, some over-head headphones are difficult to easily transport without the use of a bulky case or by wearing them conspicuously about the neck when not in use. Conventional interconnects between the earpieces and band often use a yoke that surrounds the periphery of each earpiece, which adds to the overall bulk of each earpiece.
What’s more, headphones users are required to manually verify that the correct earpieces are aligned with the ears of a user any time the user wishes to use the headphones. Apple wants to address such “deficiencies” on the AirPods Max.
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “This disclosure includes several different features suitable for use in circumaural and supra-aural headphones designs. Designs that include earpad assemblies that improve acoustic isolation are discussed. User convenience features that include automatically detecting the orientation of the headphones on a user’s head are also discussed. Various power-saving features, design features, sensor configurations and user comfort features are also discussed.”