Patent published on November 7, 2023

New Patent Could Make Cirrus Logic's Smart Codec Headsets 'Ear-Aware'

When it comes to rocking out to our favorite tunes or catching up on a podcast episode, proper positioning of headphones can make a world of difference in audio quality. However, up until now, we've relied on our personal sense of comfort or a mirror to verify if our headphones are anything but lopsided. This drawback will soon be history if a recently published patent by Cirrus Logic, titled "Systems and methods for on-ear detection of headsets," and numbered US11810544B2, gains real-world traction.

Previously, an incorrect earphone position posed a double-edged problem. On one hand, users would miss out on the full spectrum of sound, wasting the potential of high-quality audio gadgets. On the other hand, headphones sometimes misread the ear's location, leading to incorrect functioning. A user's own voice vibrations, for instance, could create a false impression that the headphone was dislodged. This issue often left users in the lurch, grappling with inconsistent audio delivery while speaking or humming along.

Promising a solution, Cirrus Logic's innovation pinpointed the underlying problem and ventured to solve it. The patented system essentially arms headsets with a 'subtle sound' sense. Equipped with two microphones, one in and one out, its applications extend to the company's Smart Codec technology.

Explaining the mechanics, when worn, the headset picks up the subtlest of sounds from the surroundings and from inside the ear. sounds that seem extraneous are filtered out. The system then uses the soundscape data to register whether the headset is rightly positioned. Unlike previous technology, the 'bone-conducted' voice phenomenon will no longer interfere, rendering accurate readings regardless of user activities.

If this patent actualizes into everyday gadgets, the headset world might experience a seismic shift. Imagine your headset cautioning you when it is skewed. Podcast hosts could ensure enhanced consistency in sound quality, leading to more enjoyable episodes for listeners. Noise-canceling properties could maximize efficiency, heightening the listening pleasure of users in crowded public transports or busy homes.

But it's vitally important to remember, patents are no guarantee of products making it to market. A patent simply protects an innovative idea; however, it in no way assures its materialization into a tangible product. The fate of this 'ear-aware' technology lies in the future. For now, we could only daydream of a world where our headsets check their position themselves, without us having to wonder or adjust manually.

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