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Publication numberUS3169600 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 16, 1965
Filing dateJan 31, 1964
Priority dateJan 31, 1964
Publication numberUS 3169600 A, US 3169600A, US-A-3169600, US3169600 A, US3169600A
InventorsJames E Thomas
Original AssigneeJames E Thomas
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sound head set
US 3169600 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 16, 1965 J. E. THOMAS 3,169,600

souuu HEAD SET Filed Jan. 31, 1964 I NVENTOR.

g amea 7720271 9 W4! jli iy.

United States PatentOi 3,169,600 SOUND HEAD SET James E. Thomas, 16W067 Timber View Drive,

Elmhurst, Ill. 7 Filed Jan. 31, 1964, Ser. No. 341,551 4 Claims. (Cl. 181-24) This invention relates to sound head sets, and more particularly to a headset for use in transmitting sound mechanically from a sound transmitting pipe uniformly to both ears of an operator or listener.

The invention comprehends an improvement in the connection between a single tube and a pair of tubes in a stethoscope type sound head set which will insure the uniform distribution of sound between both ears of the listener.

An important use of sound head sets of the type with which the present invention is concerned is on public carriers, such as buses, trains or airplanes where it is desired to provide the passengers, who desire to listen, with music, radio programs, or the audio portion of television programs in such a manner that other passengers will not be disturbed.

For example, certain interstate bus lines equip their buses with a sound transmitting pipe at each seat to which a sound head set or listeningdevice can be readily attached for use by an individual passenger. Additionally sound head sets are provided for those passengers desiring to avail themselves of the music or other sounds available to them.

The primary advantage of a purely mechanical sound head set over an electrical receiving set is obviously one of economy. A purely mechanical sound head set is far less expensive to produce andmaintain than an electrical receiving set. Also, because of its lower cost, a sound head set may even be expendable or have expendable portions for sanitary reasons.

It is, therefore, a primary purpose of this invention to provide an economical sound head set of relatively simple design and construction adapted to transmit sound mechanically from a sound transmitting pipe to the ears of a listener.

A further object of the invention is the provision, in a sound head set of the type described, of a stethoscope type arrangement having a single tube connected to a sound transmitting pipe and a pair of tubes having corresponding ends connected to the single tube and having ear pieces at opposite ends thereof.

A still further object of the invention is theprovision, in a device of the type described, of readily detachable ear pieces for sanitary purposes.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide, in a device of the type described, an improved means for effecting a connection between adjacent ends of the pair of tubes and the single tube, so that the maximum volume of sound is transmitted with a minimum of distortion'and with a uniform distribution of sound between both ears of the operator or listener.

A more'specific object of the invention is the provision, in a device of the type described, of a hollow connecting memberhaving on one side a nipple for connection to the single tube and having on the other side a contoured opening adapted to snugly receive the related ends of the pair of tubes.

These and other objects of the invention will be apparent from an examination of the following description and drawing wherein:

FIGUREl is a front, perspective view of a sound transmitting console and sound head set embodying features of the invention; p 7

FIGURE 2 is a view, partly in vertical section, of the ear piece and a portion of a tube of the sound head set illustrated in FIGURE 1; 1

3,1695% Patented Feb. 16, 1965.

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FIGURE 3. is an end elevational view of a portion of the structure illustrated in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a view, partly in vertical section, of the connecting member and portions of the tubes of the sound head set illustrated in FIGURE 1; and

FIGURE 5 is a. transverse, vertical section taken on line 5-5 of FIGURE 4.

it will be understood that, for purposes of clarity, cer tain elements have been intentionally omitted from certain views where they are illustrated to better advantage in other views.

Referring now to the drawing for a better understanding of the invention, and particularl to FIGURE 1, it will be seen that a sound head set embodying features of the present invention, indicated generally at 10, is shown as attached to a radio control panel or console, indicated generally at 12, of the type adapted to be placed adjacent the seat of a passenger on a bus, train or airplane.

It will be understood that console 12 forms no part of the present invention, but is merely shown to help illustrate one environment in which the sound head set of the present invention may be employed.

Console 12 may include a station or channel selector 14, if a choice of programs is available to the listener, and if no choice is available, then an off-on switch may be substituted for the selector 14. Also, console 14 may be provided with a volume control 16.

The actual sound to be received by the listener is transmitted mechanically from a nipple or sound pipe 18, one end of which is connected to some type of manifold or master sound pipe (not shown) and the other or free end of which projects outwardly from the console.

The sound head set itself includes a single, hollow, preferably flexible, thin-wall tube 20, which may be formed of an extruded thermoplastic material. Tube 20 has one free end 22 adapted to be snugly, but detachably, telescoped over the end of console sound pipe 18 and has its other end 24 permanently and rigidly connected, in a manner hereinafter described, to apair of similar, but semi-rigid tubes 30 in a Y-shaped, or stethoscope type, arrangement.

Each of the pairs of tubes 30 has connected to its free or upper end 32 an ear piece indicated generally at 40.

As best seen in FIGUREZ, each ear piece 40 includes a hollow central coreor ear plug 42 which is preferably rigid, or semi-rigid and which is generally cylindrical in shape with an opening'or bore 43 extending axially therethrough. At one endithereof ear plug 42 is adapted to telescopically receive, within bore 43, a related upper end 32 of one of the pair of tubes 30. The end of the tube is snugly disposed within the bore of the ear plug and is "preferably secured in place by means of an adhesive.

.Itwill be understood that the use of an adhesive of the type applied in liquid form is of great advantage in securing the connection of the tube, as well as other connections hereinafter described, because the adhesive, while in liquid form, serves as.a lubricant for the mating parts as they are telescopically joined to each other;

As best seen in FIGURE 2, ear plug 42 isprovided at its rearward end with an annular, outwardlyprojecting, peripheral, retaining flange 44, the purpose of which is hereinafter described.

It will also be noted the opposite or forward end of ear plug 42 may be rounded slightly to prevent the possibility of a sharp edge injuring the ear of a person using the device.

Each ear piece 40 also includes a hollow, cylindrically shaped, resilient ear cushion 46, preferably formed of a soft, foamed material such as rubber or a plastic such as polyurethane,whaving an opening or bore 47 extending axially therethrough for detachably receiving the forward end of the ear plug 42 which is telescopically received 3 within bore 47 of the ear cushion. As shown in FIGURE 2, flange 44 of the ear plug serves to prevent the ear piece cushion from slipping olf the rear end of the ear plug.

The function of the cushion is two-fold. First,- it serves to cushion or protect theear of the user; and, second, it serves'to insulate the ear of the user from all outside sound except that which is transmitted through the related tube 30.

An advantage of having a detachable connection between the plug and cushion portions ofthe ear piece is that the cushions can be replaced by each new user of the device for sanitaryreasons. The cushions are extremely inexpensive to produce and therefore are readily expend able.

It will be understood, of course, that the entire sound head set of the inventionis extremely economical and, if desired, the entire unit canbe considered as an expendable or one-use type of item; a It is, in fact, contemplated that, in certain applications, the sound head set will be packaged as a unit in a plastic bag on which are printed directions for its use, so that every customer or passenger may have available to him a sterile package containingthe entire unit.

Again referring to FIGURE 1, it will be seen that the corresponding opposite or lower ends 34 of the tubes 39 are secured together in juxtaposition by a band or clamp member 50 which encompasses -the tubes 3tl-at alocation spaced inwardly a relatively short distance from their lower extremities.

The lower ends of the-tubes from the band 50 may be maintained in rigid, parallel, tangent, side-by-side relation by the application of an adhesive, or by a heat treatment, so as to'be capable of being bent, as an integral unit, at approximately a 90 degree angle to the axis of clamp member 50. The purpose of the 90 degree bend is to improve the convenience of the device, asthe sound transmitting pipe 18 to which tubeZti is connected would normally be at the side ofthe user or listener.

As best seen in FIGURE 4, the lower extremities of tubes 30 are tapered was to present flat outeredge surfaces which diverge outwardly from each other from a point oftangency between the tubes. The angle of-taperof each tube is preferably approximately; 45 degrees, so that the total angle between the end surfaces of the respective tubes is preferably approximately 90 degrees. The purpose of this ta'peredari'angement will be explained more fully in connection'withthe description of the connection between the tubes 30 and the-single tube 20, which follows hereinafter.

Still referring to FIGURE 4, it will be seen that the con= nection between the tubes '30 and the tube 20 is accomplished by means of a novel connecting member, indicated generally at'60, which forms an essential feature of this invention.

Connecting member 60 is a relatively rigid, or semirigid, hollow, tubular element, which'is also preferably formed of a plastic material, and which has' anopening or bore 62 extending axially therethrough. Still referring to FIGURE 4, it will be seen that connecting member 69 includes a main portion or body 6'4'having projecting from one end thereof a smaller cylindrical portion or nipple 66 which is adapted to be telescopically received within lower end 22 of tube 20.

It'will be noted that the section'of connecting member bore 62 which is within the body portion 64 is approximately twice as greatin cross-sectional area as'the section of the bore in the nipple portion do, in order that it will accommodate the telescopic receipt of the parallel tangentially arranged lower end portions 34 of tubes 30.

As best seen in FIGURE the internal channel or opening 62 of the body portion 64 is preferably contoured in the shape of a figure 8 so that there is a snug fit between the inside surface of body portion 64 and the outside surface of the tubes 30 to insure airtight connection therebetween. The end portions of tube 26 and tubes 30 may both be adhesively secured as at 21 and 31, re-- spectiv'ely to the connecting member in the same manner in which the upper ends of tubes 3% are secured to ear plugs 42. Here, again, a liquid adhesive serves as a lubricant to facilitate the application of tube 20 onto nipple 6-5 and the insertion of tubes 30 into opening 62- off the body portion 64 of the connecting member.

Again referring toFIGURE 4 of the drawing, it will.' be seen that the lower ends 34 of tubes 30 are taperedto-present outwardly facing, flat edgesurfaces 36 which slope away from each other at an angle of preferably ap-- proximatelyv degrees from each other from thepoint of tangency between the adjacent portions of 30.

The great advantage of this construction is that it af-' fords a much larger opening, in cross-sectional. area; for" each tube 30 than wouldv be afforded by a cut" straight across the tube at rightv angles to the axis of the: tube, thus permitting maximum volume and capacity of sound to flow or pass into the tubes 30 from the common or single tube 2t).

By providing the ends of tubes 30 withv the taper, so that the end surfaces of the tubes diverge at an angle of approximately 90 degrees with each other, it ispossible to obtain the absolute optimum condition with respect to the equal and uniform distribution of sound between the tubes'3, as well as a gradual flow of sound from tube 20 to the tubes 39, with an absolute minimum of distortion.

Connecting member 60 provides a simple funnel-like juncture for tube 29 and tubes 39, wherein the interior as of the member 60 serves as a sound mixing chamber, so that the flow of sound from tube Ztito tubes 30 will be regular and even to obtain the best results in sound transmission.

I claim:

1. A stethoscope type sound head set for transmitting sound mechanically from a sound transmitting pipeuniformly to both ears of an operator, comprising:

(a) a single, hollow, tube having one end connected to said sound transmitting pipe;

([2) a pair of hollow tubes having corresponding ends connected to ear piece members;

(c) each of said earpiece members including:

(i) a relatively rigid, hollow, cylindrically shaped ear plug having an opening extending axially therethroughreceiving the free end of a related tube of saidpair; and

(ii) a soft, flexible, generally cylindrically shaped cushion having an axial-bore receiving saidear P (d) a clamp member encompassing said pair of tubes 7 and holdingthem snugly-together at a location spaced inwardly a relative short distance from their corresponding opposite ends;

(e). said pair of tubes having portions which lie outwardly of said clamp member bent at right angles to the axis of said clamp member and secured to each other in rigid, parallel, tangent side-by-side relation;

(1) said corresponding opposite ends of said pair of tubes being tapered to present adjacent, flat, end sur-- faces on each tube which diverge outwardly at an angle of approximately 90 degrees from'ea'chotherfrom a point of tangency between said pair of tubes;

(g) a relatively rigid, hollow, connecting member hav-- ing a cylindrical nipple on one side telescopically connected to the other end of said one tube, and hav-- ing on the other side a generally figure-eight shaped opening telescopically receiving said corresponding,

opposite ends of said pair of tubes.

2. A stethoscope type sound head set for transmitting, sound mechanically from a soundtransmitting pipe uniformly to both ears of an operator, comprising:

(a) a single, hollow, tube having one end connected to.

said sound transmitting pipe;

(b) a pair of hollow tubes having corresponding ends connected to ear piece members; (0) each of said ear piece members including:

(i) a relatively rigid, hollow, cylindrically shaped ear plug having an opening extending axially therethrough receiving the free end of a relate tube of said pair; and (ii) a soft, flexible, generally cylindrically shaped cushion having an axial bore receivingsaid ear (d) said pair of tubes having corresponding opposite end portions secured to each other in rigid, parallel, tangent side-by-side relation;

(e) said corresponding opposite ends of said pair of tubes being tapered to present adjacent, flat, end sur-' faces on each tube which diverge outwardly at an angle of approximately 90 degrees from each other from a point of tangency between said pair of tubes; (f) a relatively rigid, hollow, connecting member having a cylindrical nipple onone side telescopically re ceived within the other end of said one tube, and

having on the other side a generally figure-eight shaped opening telescopically receiving said corresponding opposite ends of saidpair of tubes. 3. A stethoscope type sound head set for transmitting sound mechanically from a sound transmitting pipe uni- (d) said pair of tubes having portions which lie 'Qstwardly of said clamp member bent at right angles to the axis of said clamp member and secured to each other in rigid, parallel, tangent side-by-side relation;

(e). said corresponding opposite ends 'of said pair of tubes being tapered to present adjacent, flat, end surfaces on each tube which diverge outwardly at an angle of approximately degrees from each other from a point of tangency between said pair of tubes;

(7) a relatively rigid, hollow, connecting member having a cylindrical nipple on one side telescopically con nected to the other end of said one tube, and having on the other side a contoured opening telescopically receiving said corresponding opposite ends" of said pair-of tubes.

4. A stethoscope type sound head set for transmitting sound mechanically from a sound transmitting pipe uniformly to both ears of an operator, comprising:

(a) a single, hollow, tube having one end connected to said sound transmitting pipe; (b) a pair of hollow tubes having corresponding end connected to ear piece members; (c) said pair of tubes having corresponding opposite l end portions secured to each other in rigid, parallel,

' tangent side-by-side relation;

(d) said corresponding opposite ends of said pair of p f tubes being tapered to present adjacent, flat, end surfaces on each tube which diverge outwardly at, an angle of approximately 90 degrees from each other from a point of tangency between said pair ofitubes;

(e) a relatively rigid, hollow, connecting member having a cylindrical nipple on one side telescopically connected to the other end of said one tube, and having on the other side a generally figure-eight shaped open ing telescopically receiving said corresponding opposite ends of said pair of tubes. 7

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 652,442 6/00 Outten 1s1 24 2,209,164' 7/40 Kerr 1s1- 24 2,803,308 8 /57. Mattia 1s1- -.23 3,000,463 9/01' Collins 1s1 24 3,130,810 4/64 Werner 1s1 24 j FOREIGN'PATENTS .z 7s ,s1s 10/27 Great Britain.

- LEO SMILOW, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US652442 *Mar 6, 1899Jun 26, 1900Warren B OuttenAuscultator.
US2209164 *Apr 25, 1939Jul 23, 1940 Stethoscope
US2803308 *Aug 11, 1955Aug 20, 1957Dictaphone CorpEar-tip for stethoscope type headset
US3000463 *Apr 14, 1958Sep 19, 1961 Detachable ear plugs for stethoscopes
US3130810 *Jun 27, 1961Apr 28, 1964 M werner
GB278513A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3493075 *Dec 26, 1967Feb 3, 1970Us NavySingle tubing stethoscope
US3630308 *May 28, 1969Dec 28, 1971Ravin AbeStethoscope
US4633971 *Nov 6, 1985Jan 6, 1987Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyStethoscope with high frequency filter
US4679650 *Mar 28, 1985Jul 14, 1987Westra Electronic GmbhHearing aid ear mold end piece for the auditory canal and hearing aid ear mold
US4724922 *Jul 24, 1986Feb 16, 1988Kalayjian Robert WAcoustic earpiece
US4864610 *Feb 27, 1987Sep 5, 1989Acs Communications, Inc.Earpiece for a telephone headset
US4880076 *Dec 5, 1986Nov 14, 1989Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyHearing aid ear piece having disposable compressible polymeric foam sleeve
US5002151 *Oct 4, 1989Mar 26, 1991Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyEar piece having disposable, compressible polymeric foam sleeve
US6411722May 11, 2000Jun 25, 2002Dan WolfEarphone for an RF transmitting device
US7837005 *Mar 21, 2007Nov 23, 2010Etymotic Research, Inc.Mushroom-shaped push-in foam eartip for use with high-fidelity insert earphones
US8243973Sep 9, 2008Aug 14, 2012Rickards Thomas MCommunication eyewear assembly
US8588448Aug 14, 2012Nov 19, 2013Energy Telecom, Inc.Communication eyewear assembly
US8744113Dec 13, 2012Jun 3, 2014Energy Telecom, Inc.Communication eyewear assembly with zone of safety capability
US20140016808 *Jul 13, 2012Jan 16, 2014Sreekant CherukuriUser adjustable open-fit tubing system for a hearing aid and method for its use
EP0159571A1 *Mar 28, 1985Oct 30, 1985Westra Electronic GmbHEar tip for a hearing aid ear mould, and a hearing aid ear mould
WO1985004779A1 *Mar 28, 1985Oct 24, 1985Westra Electronic GmbhHearing aid otoplasty arranged on the auditory meatus side and hearing aid otoplasty
Classifications
U.S. Classification181/135
International ClassificationH04R1/10, A61B7/00, A61B7/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61B7/02, H04R1/1075, H04R1/345, H04R1/1016
European ClassificationA61B7/02, H04R1/10B, H04R1/34C