Apple's exploring its own version of the invisible headphones we loved from CES 2022

Apple's exploring its own version of the invisible headphones we loved from CES 2022

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(Image credit: TechRadar)

The adjacent Apple AirPods mightiness not beryllium a brace of in-ear headphones astatine all.

A precocious discovered Apple patent (via Patently Apple) shows that the institution is exploring a caller class of wearable audio device, which could go portion of the AirPods household of true wireless earbuds and headphones

Like the invisible headphones we saw astatine CES earlier this year, the patent describes an audio module that tin nonstop audio waves to the ears of a user. However, dissimilar the Noveto N1, which looks similar a tiny soundbar, Apple's patented instrumentality tin beryllium worn connected the covering of the user, with an representation showing however it could beryllium attached to a collar. 

an illustration of an audio instrumentality  attached to the collar of a user

(Image credit: Patently Apple)

To forestall the user's euphony from disturbing others (and to connection a modicum of privacy), the audio waves would beryllium focused by a 'parametric array of speakers that bounds audibility to others'. 

The patent besides describes however the instrumentality could respond to the surroundings oregon properties of the user, with microphones to observe dependable and different sensors. While the patent doesn't spell into overmuch item astir the kinds of sensors this could include, we tin ideate a capacitive unit sensor being utilized to automatically play/pause euphony erstwhile it detects that the instrumentality has been removed from the user's clothing.

It's an absorbing concept, and 1 which could bring idiosyncratic euphony listening connected the spell to radical that don't similar the bulk of over-ear headphones, oregon the intrusive quality of in-ear headphones

As the patent points out, 'many audio headsets are somewhat obtrusive to deterioration and tin inhibit the user's quality to perceive ambient sounds oregon simultaneously interact with others adjacent the user'.


How apt is simply a brace of Apple invisible headphones?

the noveto n1

The Noveto N1 uses a akin conception to beam audio to a user's ears. (Image credit: Noveto)

It's hard to accidental whether Apple would really merchandise the instrumentality described successful the patent, but its important to retrieve that a patent filing ne'er guarantees that a merchandise volition spot the airy of day. 

For what it's worth, we don't deliberation its ace likely. Apple tends to fto different companies experimentation with caller technologies and signifier factors earlier launching its ain version. The tech elephantine has a estimation for making devices that 'just work', and committing to a unproven exertion could beryllium disastrous if it didn't unrecorded up to Apple's standards. 

If Apple is trying to get astir immoderate of the issues associated with wearing headphones, determination are different ways to bash it. For instance, radical who privation to beryllium capable to perceive to euphony without shutting themselves disconnected from the satellite astir could usage wireless earbuds similar the Sony LinkBuds, which diagnostic an unfastened operator plan that keeps your ears escaped to perceive your surroundings. 

In immoderate case, Apple is beauteous prolific erstwhile it comes to filing patents, peculiarly those related to idiosyncratic audio devices. We've seen tons of patents for the adjacent brace of AirPods - the rumored AirPods Pro 2 - which picture everything from buds that tin measurement your humor oxygen, to genuinely lossless audio streaming that swaps Bluetooth connectivity for optical pairing.

In different words, we'll judge it erstwhile we (don't) spot it.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia is TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based successful TechRadar's London offices, she's a fashionable euphony postgraduate who worked successful the euphony manufacture earlier uncovering her calling successful journalism. She's antecedently been interviewed connected BBC Radio 5 Live connected the taxable of multi-room audio, chaired sheet discussions connected diverseness successful euphony festival lineups, and her bylines see T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine.  In her spare clip Olivia likes gardening, painting, and hanging with her feline Ethel and aureate retriever Dora.

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