The assignee for this patent application is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Headsets are commonly used with portable electronic devices such as portable music players and mobile phones. Headsets can include non-cable components such as a jack, headphones, and/or a microphone and one or more cables that interconnect the non-cable components. Other headsets can be wireless. The headphones--the components that generate sound--can exist in many different form factors, such as over-the-ear headphones or as in-the-ear or in-the-canal earbuds. In-the-ear earbuds are sometimes referred to as non-occluding earbuds as they generally do not form an airtight seal with the user's ear. Ear buds can also be open or closed to the ambient environment. Open-air earbuds generally have better acoustic performance than closed-air earbuds. However, debris can enter open-air earbuds and damage the earbud components. Accordingly, what is needed is an earbud that is open to the ambient environment while protecting the interior of the earbud."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Open-air earbuds and methods for making the same are disclosed. The earbud can include a housing with an internal volume and a hollow neck member, which are open to the ambient environment to improve acoustic performance. A filter may be incorporated into the hollow neck member and can include a number of through holes that are designed to prevent debris from entering the interior of the earbud while maintaining the open-air connection between the internal volume of the housing and the ambient environment. The filter may be part of a neck subassembly, which can also include inner and outer sleeve members that define an internal sleeve volume that is open to the ambient environment. In some embodiments, the filter is formed from a stainless steel disk that is chemically etched to have a number of through holes of a predetermined size. In other embodiments, an acoustic mesh filter can be incorporated into the neck of the earbud.
"According to some embodiments, the filter can be incorporated into the hollow neck member by press fitting. In those embodiments, the neck subassembly can then be coupled to the neck member in any suitable fashion, including press fitting or using an adhesive. In other embodiments, the neck subassembly can be capped with the filter and then the entire filter-subassembly member can be coupled to the neck member. In embodiments in which the filter is an acoustic mesh, the filter can be insert molded into a plastic sleeve prior to being incorporated into the hollow neck member.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The above and other aspects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
"FIG. 1 shows an illustrative view of an earbud in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
"FIG. 2 shows an illustrative cross-sectional view of the neck of the earbud of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
"FIG. 3 shows an illustrative cross-sectional view of the neck of an earbud in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
"FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of a filter in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
"FIGS. 5 and 6 show illustrative views of earbud neck subassemblies in accordance with embodiments of the invention;
"FIG. 7 shows an illustrative view of a wired headset in accordance with embodiments of the invention; and
"FIGS. 8 and 9 show illustrative processes for assembling earbuds in accordance with embodiments of the invention."
For more information, see this patent application: Hayashida, Jeffrey Y. Open-Air Earbuds and Methods for Making the Same. Filed
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