Kudos to AppleInsider which found a patent filed for by Apple, that Apple is working on ways to make hybrid headphones that work via both Bluetooth and a wired connection, and can switch seamlessly between the two.
Bluetooth earphones aren’t exactly new, Apple’s patent describes a pair of earphones which can not only transmit wirelessly, but can also be attached to a wire when needed. This is a feature normally found in higher-end headphones/earphones (Bose QC15 and Shure SE535) where their cables can be detached, allowing them to be stowed away properly or to prevent damage when accidentally tugging on the cables.
It is likely the earphones and its cable can be attached via magnets which is similar to that of the MagSafe adapters used to charge MacBooks. If users want to charge their earphones, all they’d have to do is connect them to the cable which will then tap into the power supply of their media player to charge.
Upon being disconnected from an attached device physically, these headphones would stop drawing power and instantly power on a wireless radio to broadcast to the host device, over Bluetooth or some other type of connection.
It’s a neat trick, and one that would definitely help Apple gain even more cred when it comes to its headphone offerings. The new Apple EarPods were a good start, but something like this could actually elevate their headphones to something more than just an adequate sound delivery device that comes in the same box as iPhones and iPods – it could make headphones an actual selling point.
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