Apple wins patent for magnetically detachable wireless earbuds

Apple Magnetic Earbuds

What Apple is doing with its in-ear earbuds, or EarPods, remains a mystery, but the general consensus at this point is that the company is, at the very least, ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack in the upcoming “iPhone 7.”

What that means for the next pair of headphones that Apple includes with the next phone remains a constant back-and-forth, though. While some believe it’s essentially been confirmed that Apple will be dropping the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of the Lightning port, which unsurprisingly saw a major response from people who don’t want to see that happen, Apple has obviously not announced anything just yet.

In January it was reported that Apple is working on truly wireless Beats in-ear headphones, utilizing a wireless technology and not wires to let owners listen to their music. Now, based on a newly-granted patent, Apple could be going another route.

As revealed by AppleInsider, Apple has been granted a patent for “magnetically detachable wireless earbuds,” which, as the graphic above indicates, looks to be a combination of a wired and wireless experience. It starts with a wired one, with the headphones plugged into the iPhone (presumably through the Lightning connector), and then the user can simply detach the cord and put it away. It would detach right around the neck area, and there would still be a wire connecting the earbuds themselves.

In the original patent, it does point to connecting to the iPhone through a standard headphone jack, like the 3.5mm headphone jack, but the patent dates back to 2012, so that’s not all that surprising. With the amount of rumors swirling regarding the future of the 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7, it seems like a foregone conclusion at this point that Apple is indeed nixing it from the next iPhone’s design.

What do you think of these magnetically detachable earbuds?

[via AppleInsider]