WO1999039544A1 - Audio device - Google Patents

Audio device Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1999039544A1
WO1999039544A1 PCT/GB1999/000339 GB9900339W WO9939544A1 WO 1999039544 A1 WO1999039544 A1 WO 1999039544A1 GB 9900339 W GB9900339 W GB 9900339W WO 9939544 A1 WO9939544 A1 WO 9939544A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
die
member
audio device
according
earpiece
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB1999/000339
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Ian Edmund Munro
Original Assignee
Audio Medical Devices Limited
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to GB9802220.5 priority Critical
Priority to GBGB9802220.5A priority patent/GB9802220D0/en
Application filed by Audio Medical Devices Limited filed Critical Audio Medical Devices Limited
Publication of WO1999039544A1 publication Critical patent/WO1999039544A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04RLOUDSPEAKERS, MICROPHONES, GRAMOPHONE PICK-UPS OR LIKE ACOUSTIC ELECTROMECHANICAL TRANSDUCERS; DEAF-AID SETS; PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEMS
    • H04R1/00Details of transducers, loudspeakers or microphones
    • H04R1/10Earpieces; Attachments therefor ; Earphones; Monophonic headphones
    • H04R1/1016Earpieces of the intra-aural type
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04RLOUDSPEAKERS, MICROPHONES, GRAMOPHONE PICK-UPS OR LIKE ACOUSTIC ELECTROMECHANICAL TRANSDUCERS; DEAF-AID SETS; PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEMS
    • H04R1/00Details of transducers, loudspeakers or microphones
    • H04R1/08Mouthpieces; Microphones; Attachments therefor
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04RLOUDSPEAKERS, MICROPHONES, GRAMOPHONE PICK-UPS OR LIKE ACOUSTIC ELECTROMECHANICAL TRANSDUCERS; DEAF-AID SETS; PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEMS
    • H04R2201/00Details of transducers, loudspeakers or microphones covered by H04R1/00 but not provided for in any of its subgroups
    • H04R2201/10Details of earpieces, attachments therefor, earphones or monophonic headphones covered by H04R1/10 but not provided for in any of its subgroups
    • H04R2201/107Monophonic and stereophonic headphones with microphone for two-way hands free communication

Abstract

An audio device (10, 110) comprising an earpiece member (30, 130) and a boom microphone (16, 25) is supported solely by an earmould portion (13, 113) secured in the wearer's ear. The earpiece member (130) incorporates an earphone device (127) and a socket (137) for connection to a communications wire (138), a switch (12) to mute the microphone, and a sound duct (11) to admit ambient sound to the ear. The audio device can be manufactured and sold without the earmould portion (13, 113), which can be made subsequently in customised form for an individual wearer; a standard fitting (150) is used to interconnect the earmould portion to the rest of the earpiece member.

Description

ATΠDΪO DEVICE

The present invention relates to an audio communications device such as an earphone headset and microphone.

Existing communications headsets are relatively bulky and rely on headbands and or external ear mountings to remain in place.

The present invention seeks to provide an improved device which is lighter weight. The invention also seeks to provide a device which does not require engagement with, or support by, the rest of the head but uses the internal contours of the ear to retain the device in place.

According to the present invention there is provided an audio device comprising an earpiece member incorporating audio circuitry and a boom arm member attached thereto having a sound inlet arranged to be positioned adjacent to a wearer's mouth, wherein the earpiece member is shaped so as to be secured within the contours of a wearer's ear and to be capable of constituting the sole support for the audio device.

A microphone may be provided directly at the sound inlet or at the earpiece member in which case it is connected to the sound inlet via a sound channel extending through the boom arm. In either case a switch may be provided, externally or internally of the earphone member, for muting the microphone.

The boom arm is preferably flexible and may be connected to the earpiece member via a fixed or rotary mounting. 2

The earpiece may have an ambient sound duct extending from its exterior to a free air passage to the wearer's ear drum; the inlet of the ambient sound duct may coincide with the boom arm mounting.

A preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

Fig. l is a view of an audio device in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention in a position in a wearer's ear;

Fig.2 is an enlarged view of d e device of Fig 1;

Fig.3 shows an audio device in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention with the microphone detached;

Fig.4 shows a side sectional view of the device of Fig. 3: and

Fig.5 shows a part of the device of Fig. 3

Referring to Fig. l of the drawings, an audio device 10 comprises an earphone assembly 30 mounted in a wearer's ear 20. A microphone boom 16 extends to the mouth 25 of the wearer. The earphone assembly 30 is arranged to be solely supported by ear 20 in a firm and secure manner. However, a strap for retaining the earphone assembly to the wearer' s head may be provided if desired.

Referring now to Fig.2, earphone assembly 30 comprises a hollow earmould shell 13, of plastics material, having an open face which is closed by a plate member 23, also of plastics material and carrying an earphone and other audio components. Shell 13 incorporates an earphone or sound outiet element 14 in communication with the wearer's ear drum. Plate member 23 is contoured to the shape of the earmould shell 13 and is attached thereto, preferably by adhesive.

The plate member 23 is provided with means (not shown) such as a socket, for the retention of an external communications cable. It also has a flexible boom arm 16 of sufficient length to convey sound from the mouth in the form of acoustic transmission from a sound inlet 15 to a microphone (not shown) within the earmould shell 13. The microphone and the earphone are both connected to tire external communications cable. A switch 12 is provided to electrically mute the microphone when required.

Concentrically with the mounting 26 for the boom arm 16, an ambient sound duct 11 is provided which has a free air passage to the wearer's ear drum. When the wearer wishes to listen to communications arriving through the external cable, a finger may be used to close off duct 11 to attenuate ambient sound.

The device may be used in connection witii any equipment requiring an audio communications accessory, e.g. by a radio or telephone operator or by a person requiring hands-free operation such as sports coach or umpire or a member of a bomb disposal squad.

The device can be quickly inserted and removed, and can be worn in conjunction with a wide range of headwear. in particular protective headwear. It can also be worn by people with head injuries, which would prevent them from wearing conventional headphones.

The earmould shell may be custom made to an individual ear or may be a generic shape of any configuration which will be retained in place by the internal contours of die ear alone. In both cases, the opening in the earmould shell for receiving tire plate member 23 is of standard shape and size.

Various modifications can be made to die above-described device. In particular, a microphone may be provided directly at sound inlet 15 and be connected to die rest of the earphone circuitry via wires passing inside boom arm 16: such an arrangement has me advantage of being less susceptible to ambient noise.

The ambient sound duct 11 may be provided at any convenient location in the earphone, or may be omitted.

The mounting 26 for the boom arm 16 may be fixed or it may permit rotation of die arm. The muting switch 12 may be located internally or externally of me plate member 23, or it may be omitted.

The earphone assembly may incorporate a receiver for radio communications, in which case the external cable connection may be replaced b\ an aerial.

Alternatively, die earphone components may be omitted, in which case die device 10 operates as a speak-only boom microphone.

Referring now to Figs 3 to 5, an audio device 110 in accordance witii a second embodiment comprises an earpiece 130 witii a hollow member 123 which is removably attached to an earmould 113. The cavity 124 widiin member 123 houses inter alia, an earphone 127 connected to a socket 137 to which is attached external communications wire 138. A swivel bush 126 for holding boom microphones 116 is mounted in a corresponding hole in the outside wall of member 123. Microphone 116 is also connected to die communications wire 118. The bush 126 incorporates a through free- air passage 111 for die admission of ambient sound. Sound from die inner end of passage 111 and sound from earphone 127 passes tiirough cavity 124 to an oudet duct 140 located within a projecting spigot 142.

Spigot 142 is arranged to snap fit into a metal bush 150 incorporated when casting die earmould 113. Earmould 113 is shaped to fit witiiin a user's ear and has a drilled passage 151 witii an oudet 152 from which sounds pass to a user's eardrum.

As is conventional, die member 123 may have a raised formation (not shown) spaced from the spigot 142 to limit or prevent rotation of member 123 relative to die earmould 113. Bush 150 is of die type used in hearing aids witii an interior groove accommodating a circular spring 154 for securely holding spigot 142, and an external surface 155 with serrations to enable it to be secured in die moulding material during formation of die earmould 113.

The audio device 1 10 may be manufactured and sold in the form shown in the Figures. However, widiout producing a large range of sizes and shapes of earmoulds 113, the device may not hold itself very well in a user's ear.

Accordingly, die audio device is preferably sold as a kit of parts comprising boom microphone 116, communications wire 138, hollow member 123 containing the various components, and a metal bush 150.

Having purchased me kit of parts, a proposed user visits a local hearing aid specialist and requests the making up of a customised earmould 113 to include die bush 150 and with an air passageway from the location of die bush 150 to die part of d e mould designed to fit adjacent to die wearer's ear duct. This is a simple, widely available and relatively inexpensive process. Indeed, suitable metal bushes 150 are also widely available so that die kit of parts may omit this item. The resulting product is a fully- customised audio device which fits in the ear so well diat its earpiece can constitute d e sole support.

Of course, oti er interconnection arrangements can be used for member 123 and earmould 113; for example die member may have a bush arranged to receive a spigot on he earmould. It is also possible for d e entrance to the passage 151 to be located separately from me interconnection.

Aldiough two embodiments have been described, it will be appreciated that their features and modifications may be interchanged as desired.

Claims

7Claims
1. An audio device (10, 110) comprising an earpiece member (30, 130) incorporating audio circuitry, and a boom arm member (16, 116) attached diereto having a sound inlet (15) arranged to be positioned adjacent to a wearer's mouth, characterised in that the earpiece member is shaped so as to be secured within die contours of a wearer's ear, which securement is capable of constituting die sole support for die audio device.
2. An audio device (10, 110) according to claim 1 wherein die earpiece member (30, 130) comprises a first part (23, 123) carrying me boom arm member (16, 116) attached to a second part (13, 113) constituted by an earmould member (13, 113) which is configured to fit widiin the contours of die wearer's ear and which has a through passage (151) widi an exit arranged to communicate with the wearer's ear duct.
3. An audio device (10. 110) according to claim 2, wherein die earmould member (13, 113) is customised for die individual wearer.
4. An audio device (10) according to claim 2 or 3 wherein die first part (23) of the earpiece member (30) comprises a plate member carrying an earphone element and/or other audio circuitry, die plate member being arranged to snap fit into an opening in die second part (13) of the earpiece member.
5. An audio device (110) according to claim 2 or 3, wherein die first part (123) of the earpiece member (130) comprises a hollow member housing an earphone element (127) and/or otiier audio circuitry, die hollow member having a projecting spigot element (142) which is arranged to snap fit into a bush element (150) secured to the second part (1 13) of die earpiece member.
6. An audio device (110) according to claim 5 wherein die bush element (150) is located at die entrance of said passage (151) through die earmould member (113).
7. An audio device (10, 110) according to any preceding claim wherein die attachment of the boom arm member (16, 116) incorporates an ambient sound inlet passage (11, 111).
8. An audio device (10, 110) according to any preceding claim wherein the earpiece member (30, 130) has a socket (137) for die attachment of a communications wire (138).
9. An audio device (10. 110) according to any preceding claim wherein the sound inlet (15) has, or is in acoustic communication witii, a microphone, and a switch (12) is provided for selectively muting die microphone.
10. A kit of parts for making an audio device ( 10, 1 10) according to any preceding claim comprising an audio circuitry member (23, 123), a boom arm member (16, 1 16), having a sound inlet (15) and incorporating means for attachment to the audio circuitry member, and a communications wire (138) with means for connection to the audio circuitry.
1 1. A kit of parts according to claim 10 wherein me audio circuitry member has a projecting spigot (142) and die kit of parts further comprises a bush element (150) arranged to receive die spigot.
PCT/GB1999/000339 1998-02-02 1999-02-02 Audio device WO1999039544A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9802220.5 1998-02-02
GBGB9802220.5A GB9802220D0 (en) 1998-02-02 1998-02-02 Audio device

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU24332/99A AU2433299A (en) 1998-02-02 1999-02-02 Audio device

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO1999039544A1 true WO1999039544A1 (en) 1999-08-05

Family

ID=10826328

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/GB1999/000339 WO1999039544A1 (en) 1998-02-02 1999-02-02 Audio device

Country Status (3)

Country Link
AU (1) AU2433299A (en)
GB (1) GB9802220D0 (en)
WO (1) WO1999039544A1 (en)

Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6768804B1 (en) * 2001-11-15 2004-07-27 Plantronics, Inc. Adjustable microphone boom with acoustic valve
EP1495654A1 (en) * 2002-03-02 2005-01-12 Logitech Europe S.A. Antihelix-conforming ear-mount for personal audio-set
US8130942B2 (en) 2002-03-02 2012-03-06 Logitech Europe S.A. Antihelix-conforming ear-mount for personal audio-set
US8929582B2 (en) 2010-08-16 2015-01-06 Bose Corporation Earpiece positioning and retaining
US9398364B2 (en) 2011-07-28 2016-07-19 Bose Corporation Earpiece passive noise attenuating
US9462366B2 (en) 2014-03-27 2016-10-04 Bose Corporation Earpieces having flexible flaps

Families Citing this family (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN105611451A (en) * 2016-02-03 2016-05-25 郑州艾本电子科技有限公司 Head-mounted Bluetooth headset for automatically switching internal and external loudspeakers

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2904640A (en) * 1957-07-30 1959-09-15 Univ Ohio State Res Found Combination ear-mounted microphone and receiver instrument
GB2078463A (en) * 1980-06-20 1982-01-06 Sony Corp Headphones
DE3210034A1 (en) * 1981-03-23 1982-09-30 Akg Akustische Kino Geraete Ear pad for a headphone earpiece
US4878560A (en) * 1989-03-16 1989-11-07 Scott Robert T Earmold
GB2267420A (en) * 1992-05-06 1993-12-01 Krispian Paul Myers Concert-phones or reflective sound gatherers
US5581622A (en) * 1991-08-29 1996-12-03 Yashima Electric Co., Ltd. Head set

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2904640A (en) * 1957-07-30 1959-09-15 Univ Ohio State Res Found Combination ear-mounted microphone and receiver instrument
GB2078463A (en) * 1980-06-20 1982-01-06 Sony Corp Headphones
DE3210034A1 (en) * 1981-03-23 1982-09-30 Akg Akustische Kino Geraete Ear pad for a headphone earpiece
US4878560A (en) * 1989-03-16 1989-11-07 Scott Robert T Earmold
US5581622A (en) * 1991-08-29 1996-12-03 Yashima Electric Co., Ltd. Head set
GB2267420A (en) * 1992-05-06 1993-12-01 Krispian Paul Myers Concert-phones or reflective sound gatherers

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6768804B1 (en) * 2001-11-15 2004-07-27 Plantronics, Inc. Adjustable microphone boom with acoustic valve
EP1495654A1 (en) * 2002-03-02 2005-01-12 Logitech Europe S.A. Antihelix-conforming ear-mount for personal audio-set
EP1495654A4 (en) * 2002-03-02 2009-09-16 Logitech Europ Sa Antihelix-conforming ear-mount for personal audio-set
US8130942B2 (en) 2002-03-02 2012-03-06 Logitech Europe S.A. Antihelix-conforming ear-mount for personal audio-set
US8526600B2 (en) 2002-03-02 2013-09-03 Logitech Europe S.A. Antihelix-conforming ear-mount for personal audio-set
US8929582B2 (en) 2010-08-16 2015-01-06 Bose Corporation Earpiece positioning and retaining
US8989426B2 (en) 2010-08-16 2015-03-24 Bose Corporation Earpiece positioning and retaining
US9398364B2 (en) 2011-07-28 2016-07-19 Bose Corporation Earpiece passive noise attenuating
US9462366B2 (en) 2014-03-27 2016-10-04 Bose Corporation Earpieces having flexible flaps

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
AU2433299A (en) 1999-08-16
GB9802220D0 (en) 1998-04-01

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