Apple’s new AirPods have been generally well received since their release, but some users have been complaining of one major issue — they tend to fall out and when that happens it would be very easy for them to get lost. The solution? Well, according to new Apple patent uncovered by Patently Apple, it’s a magnetic mechanism that wraps around the user’s ear.
The magnets attract each other through the ear tissue, keeping the AirPods in place and ensuring that they don’t get lost. Of course, it’s not certain if Apple filed this patent with AirPods in mind — one of the images clearly shows a wired pair of headphones, and the patent was filed in June. The concept, however, would help keep both wired and wireless earbuds in place.
The issue of keeping AirPods in the ear has been arguably the biggest issue related to the AirPods, and for good reason — they’re pretty expensive little devices, so losing them is definitely not something you want to do.
It’s possible that Apple decided against using the ear hooks for aesthetic reasons — Apple is known for its excellent design and the ear hooks in the patent don’t exactly look great. Not only that but the design of the charging case would have to change with the ear hooks.
Some reports indicate that the patent could be implemented with future versions and given the hullaballoo surrounding keeping AirPods in, we wouldn’t be totally surprised. It’s also possible, however, that Apple patented the design but ultimately ended up nixing it.
Apple isn’t totally new to the concept of ear hooks — the Apple-owned Beats uses ear hooks for its Powerbeats line, but those earbuds are a little more sports-focused than the AirPods, which are more aimed at day-to-day use.
It will be interesting to see if Apple does end up implementing the concept of ear hooks. One thing, however, is for sure — users will seriously appreciate a way to keep those pricey earbuds in their ear.