APPLE INC. (Cupertino, CA)

An earphone is a housing having a wall comprising (1) a front side which joins (2) an end portion with the primary sound output opening is formed, which is joined by (3) a face portion in which a secondary output opening is formed and connects (4) a back side that joins the front side and encloses drivers, and the primary output opening is sized to emit sound produced by a diaphragm driver contained within the earphone housing into the ear . Likewise, the second output opening is dimensioned to vent the ear to an outside environment, the primary output opening and the secondary output opening are facing opposite directions.

Consumers are choosing intra-canal and intra-concha headphones to enhance listening pleasure when they’re listening music while on the move, or at home. The housings of both electro-acoustic transducerdevices are relatively slim in appearance and contain a driver or receiver (an earpiece speaker). The housing is extremely convenient for the wearer and provides high-quality sound.

Earphones with an intra-canal design are designed to fit into the ear canal and create an ear canal seal. Intra-canal earphones therefore have an acoustic output tube part that extends from the housing. The acoustic tube portion can be inserted into the ear canal of the wearer through the open side. The flexible, resilient tip or cap of the acoustic tube is generally made of silicone or rubber. The tip may be custom molded for the discerningaudiophile, or it may be a high volume manufactured piece. When the tip part is placed into the user’s ear, the tip compresses against the ear canal wall and creates the appearance of a sealed (essentially airtight) space inside the canal. The sealedcavity permits maximum power for sound to be output into the ear canal, it can amplify external sound, thereby decreasing the overall quality of sound.

The intra-concha earphones are inserted into the outer ear and sit above the inner ear canal. Intra-concha earphones do not typically seal within the ear canal and therefore do not suffer from the same issues as intra-canalearphones. Sound quality, however, may not be optimal to the person using them because sound may escape from the earphone, and not reach the ear canal. Additionally because of the variations in ear dimensions and shapes, different amounts of sound may be lost, which can result in inconsistency in sound quality among users.

The invention comprises an earphone housing that has the tip portion that is able to be inserted into the ear canal of the wearer. It also has the body portion extends outward from the tip. A tube section extends out from the body part. A primary output opening for sending sound produced by a driver in the body portion to the ear canal is made in the tip area. An additional outlet opening to vent air to the external environment is created in the part of the body that faces. When the tip portion of the body is placed into an ear canal, the body’s front is positioned in the region of the pinna. The primary output opening and the secondary output opening can be horizontally aligned with one another and facedifferent directions such that they create an acute angle to each other.

The second output port could serve as a leak control port, exposing an acoustic pressure inside the earphone to the external, surrounding environment. In this way the secondary output port could be calibrated to alter an acousticresponse of the earphone. For instance, the secondary output openings could be adjusted to lower the sound pressure at an average of 6 kHz and tune a frequency response of the earphone in order to enhance the overall performance of the earphone.

This summary is not exhaustive and does not encompass every aspect of the invention. It is envisioned that the invention includes every system and method that are practicable from any of the various aspectssummarized above and also those described in the Detailed Description below and particularly pointed out in the claims that accompany the application. Such combinations have particular advantages that are not explicitly mentioned in the previous summary.

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