Apple has been rumored to work on a pair of own earphones for a while now, but details of the reputed product have been quite narrow beyond the basic concept. However, a recently granted patent entitled “System and Method for Automatic Right-Left Ear Detection for Earphones” may indicate what Apple is planning. It describes a pair of headphones that would be reversible, which automatically adjusts which ears right or left based on how to put them on, via 9to5Mac .
The claims describe a system in which each ear cup would have five microphones on it to determine which eclipse is which through a series of complicated methods involving comparing relative microphone songs.
Once the headphones have determined their location, the patent also describes how the headphones can use these micro regions to pull off a similar beam shape like HomePod, with a microphone to capture your voice and a second to interrupt background noise so you can be clearly heard.
The patent focuses only on the technique used to determine which ear cups are present on your right ear for voice detection. But probably Apple can apply the reversible nature to play right / left stereo signals to the right ear when it’s already set up which ear.
However, as is always the case with Apple patents, there is no indication that the company will actually use this technology in a product. We do not even know if Apple’s headphones over the ear are true. But if they appear, they may have some nice tricks.