A patent filed by Apple seems to suggest that the company is working on a type of invertible ear tip for its headphones that is part of a plan designed to improve the user's comfort.

The patent seems to suggest that a user could be given various accessories with their Apple headphones that they can chose to use to produce a pair of headphones that they find most comfortable. 

The patent, available to read here, mentions suggests that: "To improve a user's comfort, a headset or headphone may include one or more elements operative to provide a pleasant interface between the audio components of the headset (e.g., the ear piece) and the user's ears." 

The patent mentions various types of earpieces, including over-the-ear and in-the-ear earpiece. All these earpieces are designed to "provide a compliant fit against the user’s ear".

"To provide a comfortable fit for the user, the ear piece may include a compliant outer portion operative to adjust to the shape of the user’s ear, thus providing a firm and secure fit that remains comfortable. For example, the compliant outer portion may include a tubular structure coupled to the ear piece and forming a flexible structure surrounding the ear piece," according to the patent.

"The ear piece may be operative to be placed in the user's ear. To improve the fit of the ear piece within the user's ear, the ear piece may be substantially surrounded by a compliant element. The compliant element may include a curved portion extending away from the ear piece such that the curved portion is placed in contact with the user's ear when the ear piece is inserted. In some embodiments, the compliant element may be larger than the user's ear such that the compliant element may elastically deform, creating an interference fit between the user's ear and the ear piece," writes Apple. 

Apple has already launched it's EarPod headphones, which the company claimed were designed for a better more comfortable fit, and the patent could have been filed in relation to these headphones. However, the reference to in-ear and over-ear solutions may suggest that Apple has more designs up its sleeve. 

The patent was filed in October 19, 2007.

Via Apple Daily Report

Follow Karen Haslam on Twitter / Follow MacworldUK on Twitter  


Apple launches shorter Lightning to USB cable, tweaks In-Ear Headphones

The best headphones: Macworld Buying Guide 2012

Apple launches £25 EarPod headphones with iPhone 5