Apple eyes ways to improve speakers on portable devices
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple eyes ways to improve speakers on portable devices

Apple is working on ways to improve its speakers, especially on its small, mobile devices such as the iPhone. An Apple patent (number 20120128190) for a gas filled speaker volume has appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Per the patent, a speaker enclosure includes a gas cavity and an air cavity separated by a flexible membrane. A diaphragm is located roughly in an opening of the enclosure surrounding the gas cavity and attached to the enclosure by an outer suspension member. The enclosure, the flexible membrane, the diaphragm, and the outer suspension member are gas and air impermeable. The enclosure surrounding the air cavity has a vent hole to allow air to travel into and out of the air cavity for barometric pressure equalization of the gas cavity.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "n most speaker systems, a vibrating diaphragm is mounted at an opening of a speaker enclosure. A common type of speaker enclosure is a sealed enclosure. In a sealed speaker enclosure, the diaphragm compresses air in the enclosure when it moves in and rarefies air when it moves out. In smaller speaker and enclosure designs, substantial back pressures are exerted against the vibrating diaphragm by the air within the enclosure.

"This back pressure retards the movement of the diaphragm and degrades the quality of the sound being reproduced. To effectively enlarge the volume of the speaker enclosure, the air within the enclosure can be replaced with a gas that is less dense than air.

"However, with mobile devices, the barometric air pressure surrounding the speaker enclosure can decrease or increase abruptly, for example when the user is riding in an elevator. This will result in a net force being exerted on the diaphragm of the sealed speaker system, causing it to "stick" and therefore stop producing sound until the pressure inside the speaker has equalized with the barometer pressure (due to leakage).

"In air speaker systems, such barometric equalization is achieved relatively quickly (in order to prevent noticeable sticking of the diaphragm), by adding a small vent hole to the enclosure (at the expense of a small amount of sound quality degradation). This solution however will not work for an enclosure that is filled with gas and no air.

"A speaker system for enlarging the effective volume of a speaker enclosure is described. The speaker system includes a speaker enclosure having an interior partition to separate a gas cavity and an air cavity. A diaphragm is located at an opening of the enclosure surrounding the gas cavity. The gas cavity is filled with a gas that is less dense than air (e.g., helium or hydrogen) to effectively enlarge the volume of the gas cavity.

"The interior partition separating the gas cavity and the air cavity has an opening that is sealed by a flexible membrane. The enclosure surrounding the air cavity has a vent hole to allow the surrounding air to travel into and out of the air cavity.

"As the air pressure surrounding the speaker enclosure decreases, the gas inside the enclosure will be allowed to expand. The flexible membrane between the gas cavity and the air cavity may allow the gas to expand without significantly increasing the net force on the diaphragm as the vent hole will allow air to travel out of the air cavity. Similarly, when the air pressure surrounding the speaker enclosure increases, the gas within the enclosure will be allowed to contract.

"The vent hole will allow the air to travel into the air cavity, and the flexible membrane will allow the gas to contract without creating a vacuum on the diaphragm. Therefore, there is very little pressure change on the diaphragm when the barometric pressure changes."

Ching Yu John Tam is the inventor.

Along the same line is patent number 20120128189, which involves an integrated speaker assembly for a personal media device. Systems and methods are provided for media devices including a housing, a frame disposed adjacent to the housing, and an acoustic source that is integrated with the frame for emitting sound from the media device.

Here's Apple's summary of the invention: "The invention, in various embodiments, addresses deficiencies in the prior art by providing systems, methods and devices that enhance the ability of the acoustic source to withstand physical stresses and enhance sound quality while respecting the need for a compact and portable form factor for such devices.

"In various aspects, the invention employs an acoustic source, e.g., a speaker assembly, in a media device. The acoustic source is integrated with at least a portion of the frame of the media device. Because a frame provides structural support for the media device, the frame generally has greater structural strength than, for example, a housing or internal circuit board of the media device.

"By integrating the acoustic source with a frame having greater structural strength and integrity, the ability of the acoustic source to withstand physical stresses or vibrations is enhanced. The term 'integrated with' may include integrally formed with, unitarily formed with, attached to, detachably connected to, mounted on, or any like permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary configuration whereby the acoustic assembly, or a portion thereof, is in physical communication or contact with the frame of the media device.

"In one aspect, a media device includes a housing, a frame disposed adjacent to the housing, and an acoustic source that is integrated with the frame for emitting sound from the media device. The frame may be disposed substantially within the housing. The frame may include a sidewall or plurality of sidewalls. At least one sidewall may include an aperture in acoustic communication with the acoustic source.

"The frame may include a backplane. A portion of the acoustic source may be positioned substantially on a top surface of the backplane. A portion of the acoustic source may be enclosed within an upper casing where the upper casing is attached to the frame. Also, a portion of the acoustic source may be positioned substantially on a bottom surface of the backplane. A portion of the acoustic source may be enclosed within a lower casing where the lower casing is attached to the frame. The frame may be connected to the housing using at least one gasket.

"Another aspect of the invention includes a method for manufacturing a media device. The method includes providing a housing, attaching a frame to the housing, and integrating an acoustic source with the frame. The integration may include inserting an acoustic source within a recess of the frame. In one feature, an upper casing is mounted to the frame proximate to the acoustic. In another feature, a lower casing is mounted to the frame proximate to the acoustic source."

The inventors are Richard Hung Minh Dinh, Tang Yew Tan and Derek Boyd Barrentine.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

What is PokéVision -- and why doesn...
The biggest thing that Pokemon GO players want to know is where to find the Pokemon they don't already have. The crux of the game is catching 'em all, so tracking down elusive pocket monsters is generally task number one any time someone fires up... | Read more »
Win every gym battle in Pokemon GO
Let me know if this scenario sounds familiar. You've got a Pokemon GO gym battle within easy walking distance, and you've visited it many times. Maybe you've even dropped one of your Pokemon there to help defend the place and reap the benefits. [... | Read more »
Can PokeMatch help you find love with Po...
The unofficial Pokemon GO companion app space has exploded almost as fast as the game itself over the last few weeks. Aspiring app developers, many of them working solo, have given us apps that locate Pokemon, keep track of the server status, and... | Read more »
How to get started with Prisma
If there's one thing people like to do more than taking pictures with their smartphones, it's tinkering with those photos in some way. Numerous apps have sprung up over the last several years that allow you to use filters and special effects to... | Read more »
6 Pokemon GO updates you can expect, acc...
Pokemon GO had a scheduled appearance at this year's San Diego Comic-Con for a while, but it was only relatively close to the show that it was upgraded to a spot in Hall H. That's the biggest venue at SDCC, one usually reserved for the largest... | Read more »
How to evolve Eevee in Pokemon GO
By now, almost everyone should be hip to how to evolve Pokemon in Pokemon GO (and if not, there's a guide for that). Just gather enough candy of the appropriate type, feed them all to the Pokemon, and evolution happens. It's a miracle that would... | Read more »
CSR Racing 2: Guide to all game modes
It might not seem like there are all that many ways to go fast in a straight line, but CSR Racing 2 begs to differ. [Read more] | Read more »
Bulb Boy (Games)
Bulb Boy 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Multi-award winning 2D point & click horror adventure about a boy with a glowing head. | Read more »
5 top free emoji keyboard apps
If we're not at peak emoji yet as a society, it feels like we definitely should be. The emoji concept has gone far beyond what anyone in Japan could have envisioned when the people there unleashed it on an unsuspecting world, but the West has... | Read more »
How to unlock more characters in Disney...
One of the big charms of Disney Emoji Blitz is seeing a wide variety of beloved Disney and Pixar characters transformed into smiling emojis. Even someone like the sneaky Randall from Monsters Inc., who probably never cracked a smile on film, is... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Bare Bones Software Releases Free TextWrangle...
Bare Bones Software has announced the release and immediate availability of TextWrangler 5.5, a significant update to its powerful, free, general purpose text editor for Mac OS X. TextWrangler is a... Read more
Apple’s 2016 Back to School promotion: Free B...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2: $499 - 64GB Wi-Fi iPad... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $964...
Overstock has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $964.21 including free shipping. Their price is $135 off MSRP. Read more
External Keyboard Innovations For iPad Pro (1...
I’m an input device aficionado. With non-touchscreen computers, which includes all Macs, the keyboard and mouse or trackpad are the tactile points of interface between user and machine, and the... Read more
GSK Rheumatoid Arthritis Study Leverages iPho...
Global healthcare products company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) says that since 2014 they have begun transforming the way they conduct research, by leveraging state-of-the-art digital technologies — a... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks available starting at $929. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1199 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 2.7GHz/... Read more
13-inch 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for...
Amazon has the 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $200 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $799.99 $200 off MSRP Their price is the... Read more
13-inch 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air on sale for...
Amazon has the 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air on sale for $200 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (sku MMGG2LL/A): $999.99 $200 off MSRP Their price is the... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Willow...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Evangelist - JAMF Software (United S...
The Apple Evangelist is responsible for building and cultivating strategic relationships with Apple 's small and mid-market business development field teams. This Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Professional Learning Specialist - A...
Job Summary The Apple Professional Learning Specialist is a full-time position for one year with Apple in the Phoenix, AZ area. This position requires a high Read more
*Apple* Picker - Apple Hill Orchard (United...
Apple Hill Orchard, Co. Rte. 21,Whitehall, NY 9/7/16-10/228/16. Pick fresh market or processing apples Productivity of 60 boxes and 80 boxes processing fruit per Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.