Modular headsets allowing users to customize their audio device as they see fit is not a new concept. There are multiple headsets in the market that allow you to switch components based on your needs. However, most of these audio devices only serve as headphones with microphone functionality. And if you want to shift to speakers, your options are quite limited.
What if you have speakers, microphone and headphone in the same device and you don’t have to change your audio device if you want shift from headphones to speakers and vice versa? It will be cool, right? Well according to a recently published Sony patent, a modular sound device can exist that can allow people to use the device as a neck speaker, a headset, a speaker or a standalone microphone depending on user’s preference through different configurations.
An audio device can be reconfigured to serve a multi-purpose communication experience as a neck speaker, a headset, a speaker, or standalone microphone, depending on the user’s preference. For wearable audio products, comfort is a key aspect of the listening experience. By allowing the user to adjust the wearable position of the components, the user can choose the comfort configuration that is best for him and his daily usage or switch back and forth from the configurations to match their environment. To enable others to hear what the user is listening to, the user can wear it on her neck or place it on a table, but if the user wants privacy, she can wear it around her head.
So basically, if you want to use your sound/digital communication device as a speaker, thanks to this device’s modular design, you can do do it just be disconnecting the modular components. You won’t be need an extra device to serve the purpose of a speaker. Same goes for the microphone, you can use the same module to serve the purpose of standalone microphone. So it’s Kind of a all-in-one concept.
The patent further reads:
The headphone listening experience can involve incoming, audio (music, friend’s voices, movies, etc….) a person is listening to and outgoing audio (the person’s
voice) that the person want to transmit to others. As understood herein, a difficulty arises when the person wishes to bridge the gap and communicate with someone digitally and in-person Existing audio equipment makes the person select only one mode, wither to be immersed in the digital world through headphones that nobody else in the room can interact with, or to output the audio through speakers, disconnecting the person from digital friends.
In particular, conventional headphones are locked in a singular position and offer the user little to no flexibility in how a user can experience and share the audio. Many users must switch between two devices—a speaker/sound-bar or headphones to get the experiences they desire.
So while the concept is not entirely new, a multi-purpose modular headset from a brand as big as Sony would definitely be a good addition to its already diverse collection of headphones.
Sony recently launched its INZONE brand to make gaming headphones and monitors. They want to make more gaming accessories and a gaming modular headset like this could be intriguing for the gaming community.