Apple Patents Headphones That Recognize When You’re Speaking And Tune For Better Audio Quality

This development could be helpful for people who are hard of hearing.


Apple has a new patent application for a tech that could improve the design of its pre-packaged iOS device headphones, AppleInsider has found. The new patent describes earbuds with a built-in mic that could automatically detect user voice activity, and then tune a series of built-in mics to optimally pick up their speech and cancel out any background noise.

The advanced design would use so-called “beamforming” mics that can redirect themselves towards the source of a users voice, i.e., their head, upon detection of vocal activity. To detect when a person starts talking, the design would use a built-in accelerometer that could pick up the vibrations created when a user starts talking, as generated by their vocal chords. Mics built-into the chord are either set to a general pattern to be able to best pick-up speech, or can include an active element to have them direct their orientation based on…

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