KEY POINTS

  • Apple is working on a premium pair of over-ear headphones called "AirPods Studio"
  • The new device could feature revolutionary headband technology different from other headphones
  • This is shown in three patent applications

For years, over-ear headphones have been using the same design to hold earpieces together: a headband that goes above the user's head and presses the two earpieces to the user's ear. Apple is looking to change that.

Apple noted in three new patent applications that this design has been in use for a long time now and needs to be updated or changed for better user experience.

The three patent applications, titled “headphones with increased back volume,” “headphones with magnetic sensor” and “headphones with removable earpieces,” all say the same thing:

“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.”

Apple is proposing a new headphone design that will do away with the bulk that users bear with every time they use an over-ear headphone.

A new headphone design

The proposed headphone design shown in the three patent applications indicates Apple's plans to put special components such as arches and a “spring band” in a future headphone's headband so that it can be flattened.

Special hinges will be attached to the ends of the headband, allowing the earpieces to be folded flat against the headband itself.

Apple headphone headband Patent illustrations showing Apple's plans for its future headphones. Photo: Apple/USPTO

This headphone design will also allow Apple's future headphones to conform to the shape of the user's head so that it will fit the user's ears or neck (if they aren't using it) comfortably and without putting too much pressure. This is seen to result in increased comfort over a long period of time.

Though the patent applications do not mention AirPods or “AirPods Studio,” the descriptions seem to be in line with leaks regarding the premium headphones.

Apple's proposed design will usher in a new era for wired and wireless headphones which, for a long time, took a lot of space when carried, have been hung on user's necks or other things such as a headphone stand and applied too much pressure on a user's ears and neck.

That said, these are still patent applications at the moment. Its introduction to the market remains unknown at the moment.