Patent published on November 7, 2023

Apple's New Patent Could Make AirPods Pro Block Noise Better

The future of headphones and earbuds stands on the edge of a remarkable breakthrough, according to a patent granted recently by the US Patent Office. Apple has procured the rights for patent number US11810588B2, titled "Audio Source Separation for Audio Devices", promising a significant stride in audio technology.

The crux of the issue that Apple aims to solve is simplification of excessive noise we encounter in discordant environments. This chaotic sound often places a burden on our small audio devices like earbuds or headphones, which struggle to refine the noise and curate a pleasant audio experience. This difficulty presents itself as a wall of sound that muddles distinct voices or music, often leading to frustrating user experiences. Furthermore, these limited resource devices also face challenges due to insufficient processing power and memory to handle complex operations, creating an echo of issues for users and manufacturers alike.

Apple's patent, however, brings with it a promise of noise separation and reduction by employing a clever solution. The patent revolves around the concept of leaning on larger, more powerful companion devices like smartphones. These devices are equipped with better processing power and memory, allowing them to comprehend and dissect the noise at an improved rate and communicate this knowledge to their smaller audio counterparts. By employing this communication system, small devices can achieve better noise separation without needing to be heavily reliant on energy or complex systems.

Moving forward, this innovation will undoubtedly reform the way we consume audio in our everyday lives. The noisy train station will no longer be an impediment to our favorite podcast, and the traffic rush will not interrupt important business calls. For instance, in the realm of products where this technology seems highly suitable - Apple's AirPods Pro - listening to music in a packed city park could become an entirely isolated and immersive experience. Voices will stand out in crowded places, letting you take a phone call without escaping to a quiet corner. All the while, it may not even put much strain on the AirPods Pro's battery life.

However, it is worth noting in the end that the utility of this patent relies on its successful application in the market - a journey from patent paper to practical product use, and as we all know, this route is often fraught with unforeseen hurdles and modifications. As of now, the world waits to enjoy this promising advancement in audio technology.

P.S: This article refers to a patent, which does not necessarily guarantee the availability of the technology in the market. Patents often represent a company's intent to develop technology, which could then take years to become commercially available, if at all.

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