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Publication numberUS3311713 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 28, 1967
Filing dateJul 3, 1963
Priority dateJul 3, 1963
Publication numberUS 3311713 A, US 3311713A, US-A-3311713, US3311713 A, US3311713A
InventorsKnuebel Ronald A
Original AssigneeAstatic Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Headband and cord sets for earphones
US 3311713 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 28, 1967 R. A. KNUEBEL 3,311,713



March 28, 1967 R. A. KNUEBEL HEADBAND AND CORD SETS FOR EARPHONES 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed July 5 1963 INVENTOR. RONALD A. K NUEBEL fTTORNEY United States Patent 3,311,713 HEADBAND AND CORD SETS FOR EARPHONES Ronald A. Knuebel, Ashtahula, Ohio, assignor to The Astatic Corporation, Conrreaut, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed July 3, 1963, Ser. No. 292,565 10 Claims. (Cl. 179-156) This invention has to do with the reproduction of audio signals in general and more particularly with improvement in the mechanical structure of headbands and cord sets for use with earphones.

Earphones have been known and used almost since the inception of telephonic communication. The need for continued, long-time, use of telephonic or radio equipment by professional telephone or radio operators has indicated the wide use of telephone receivers or earphones which are supported on the head of the user. Before the advent of modern electronic amplifiers, headphones were commonly used by radio listeners for general entertainment, but this need has been supplanted by todays high fidelity audio equipment.

There are two new market areas where earphones are currently enjoying a return to popularity. The first of these is in the audio-visual and language laboratory divisions of our educational systems, the second is in the home entertainment field where the reproduction of stereophonic program material, either from stereo phonograph recordings or from FM multiplex broadcasts, is proving to be quite enjoyable.

It is toward providing new and improved earphones for use in these two new fields particularly, that the present invention is directed. The precise requirements of the two uses are considerably different but both can be met by the device of the present invention.

In the language laboratory it is essential that the earphones supplied to each student shall be rugged and as nearly indestructible as possible. They shall not be subject to damage through unauthorized tampering by inquisitive juveniles. They must be comfortable since they are likely to be used for protracted periods. They must be adaptable to service either with or without accessory microphones for the students use in asking or answering questions and in the recording of spoken lessons. They must be as nearly sanitary as possible and/ or must be capable of easy disinfecting since they are used successively by different groups of students. Since a complement of sets of earphones for several classrooms represents a sizeable investment, they must be readily adaptable to disassembly, repair and servicing by authorized school personnel. Further, they should be capable of alteration from time-totime if it is found desirable to add microphones to sets of plain earphones, for example. This further increases the utility and adaptability of the headphones.

For use in home service by the audiophile, the requirements are somewhat difierent. The use of earphones for listening to stereo music programs necessitates the independent feeding of separate signals to each ear piece.

The use of a microphone is not indicated. The radio amateur, on the other hand, will prefer to use a microphone on his earphones and will probably not be interested in stereo feed to his receivers since his incoming signal is usually on a single channel.

It is a prime object of the present invention to provide a new and improved assembly of headband and cord sets for earphones which permits wide adaptation to meet varying needs in different areas of use.

It is a further object to provide a headband and cord assembly which will be substantially tamper-proof.

3,311,113 Patented Mar. 28, 1967 A still further object is the provision of a headband and cord assembly for earphones which may be altered simply and without the use of special soldering and connecting techniques.

Yet another object is the provision of means for improving the utility of headband and cord set assemblies by means of readily adaptable accessory additions which are to be added to a basic assembly as desired.

It is obviously possible to provide a headset having only one earphone instead of two, where economy is governing.

These and other objects and advantages will be apparent upon consideration of the following specification and drawing wherein there are disclosed certain preferred embodiments of the present invention.

In the drawing:

FIGURE 1 is an elevation of the basic headband and of one genus of the cord set of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary elevation of the headband of FIGURE 1 with a microphone added and with a second genus of cord set installed;

FIGURE 3 is an elevation, partly broken away, of the headband of the invention;

FIGURE 4 is a top elevation of the headband of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a side elevation, partly in section, of the headband of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 6 is a composite sectional view taken at the line VI--VI of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 7 is an exploded fragmentary view of the cord set of FIGURE 1; and

FIGURE 8 is an exploded fragmentary view of the cord set of FIGURE 2.

Referring to the drawing more in detail, and initially to FIGURES 1 and 2, the reference numeral 10 is used to indicate in general the headband of the invention. As shown, the headband 10 is generally U-sha ed and carries a cushion assembly 3% at its mid-portion. A cord set 50 is attached to cushion assembly '30 and a pair of earphones 70 and 79 are supported on the headband 10 near the opposite lower ends thereof. When arranged in this manner the complete assembly is adapt-able to being put over the head of a user, with the cushion assembly 30 bearing on top of the head, the earphones 7t} and 70' resting against the respective right and left ear, and the depending part of cord set 5i lying down over the left shoulder of the user.

The modification of the headset of the invention illustrated in FIGURE 2 is substantially like that of FIGURE 1 except that a boom-type microphone 9% is attached to the earphone 70' and the cord set 60 has been substituted in place of cord set 50 of FIGURE 1.

When the assembly of FIGURE 2 is fitted ona user in the manner described above, the microphone will extend forwardly to a position near the users mouth. Whether either assembly is worn as described or in an opposite-handed fashion obviously is a matter of personal choice.

The basic headband and cushion assembly of the invention is used in the complete headphones of both FIG- URES 1 and 2. The details of its structure are best illustrated in FIGURES 3 thru 6, to which attention is now directed.

The headband 16 of the assembly is made up of two identical die-formed metal arms 11 and 12, the former of which is shown complete. Arm 11 is fabricated ideally from a length of flattened metal band. It is bent into a generally U-shaped form as shown in FIGURE 5 with two straight reaches 11 and 11" lying parallel to each other and separated by a straight reach 13. The formed arm 11 is next curved in the direction of its wider dimension, into a Cshaped form as shown in FIGURE 3.

Near the upper ends of both reaches 11' and 11", edge notches 14 are pierced out of the outer edge of the metal band from which the arm 11 is formed. Arm 12, as noted above, is identical to arm 11 and in the complete headphone assembly is positioned with its open ends confronting and aligned with those of arm 11 as best seen 'in FIGURE 4.

The cushion assembly 3%) comprises three parts, the main band 31, the cover 32 and the cushion 33. Main hand 31 is a gently curved molding of any suitable medium-hard plastic material, such as polypropylene or polyethylene, for example. Band 31 has a generally flat web 34 bordered along its two major edges by upstanding flanges 35. An outwardly extending tapered tongue 36 is formed at each end of web 34 as an extension thereof. A raised anchor block 37 is formed at the center of web 34 and standing up from the fiat top surface thereof. The two outer sides of anchor block 37 have longitudinal grooves 38 formed therein and vertical grooves 39 extend vertically and intersect grooves 38. A central channel 49 extends longitudinally completely across the top of block 37. A pair of upstanding cylindrical pins 41 are provided near both ends of web 34 at a point about opposite the ends of flanges 35 and near the base of tongue 36.

The cover 32 of cushion assembly is a smoothly curving inverted channel of molded plastic material, preferably of about the same hardness and strength as main band 31. The depending flanges 42 of cover 32 each have a groove 43 formed at their lower edges to accommodate the flanges of main band 31. An inturned lip 44 borders each lower edge of flange 42 and, at assembly, this serves to keep cover 32 secured to main band 31, due to the inherent resilience of the material from which both are made.

The cushion 33 is a smoothly finished rectangular pad of foamed elastomeric material. All of its exposed lower corners are generously radiused as at 33. For sanitary reasons, cushion 33 is desirably covered with a selfskin, i.e., an impervious outer layer; which admits of ready cleaning or disinfecting. Cushion 33 is adhered to the smooth underside of main band 31.

An anchor clip 45 is provided to frictionally snap down over anchor block 37 and its depending legs 45 of which there are four, are received in vertical grooves 39 where they secure the end notches 14 of arms 11 and 12 respectively.

Attention is now directed to FIGURES 7 and 8 for consideration of alternative cord set arrangements, both to be used with the headband assembly described above. In FIGURE 7, the cord set assembly is provided for use in headsets without microphones. The cord set 50 is fabricated or made-up from two-wire, two-shield cable which is made with a single webbed jacket extruded over the conductors. The web between the conductors can be ripped apart, separating the two conductors but leaving the insulation and shielding of each intact as at 50'.

The lower ends of the separated condutcors 51 and 52 are each serviced by cutting back the outer insulation 53. The shielding braid 54 is next frayed out and twisted together to one side at 55. The inner insulation 56 continues to separate the shield 54 from the inner wire 57. The twisted shield end and the inner wire 57 comprise points for making electrical contact to these elements of conductor 51 and the points 55' and 57 comprise similar points in the conductor 52.

The main portion of conductors 51 and 52 are left webbed together and are extended a suitable length to the headset. Near the pins 41, the conductors 51 and 52 are again ripped apart and the latter (conductor 52) is looped around both of the pins 41 and returned to lay parallel to the original pair 51-52. A suitable thinwalled plastic sleeve 58 is slipped over the original conductors 51 and 52 and the returned conductor 52, and is there adhered by heat shrinking, for example. Sleeve 4 58 is made long enough to reach to a point opposite the earphone 70 of FIGURE 1 and the returned conductor 52 is allowed to extend a suitable distance beyond the lower end of sleeve 58. The extreme end of returned conductor 52 is serviced as above described, and the shield 55' and the inner wire 57' are used to connect to the terminals of earphone 70'.

The upper end of conductor 51 is trained between the pins 41, through the central channel 40 of anchor block 37, between the pins 41 at the opposite end of the headband and, thence to the earphone 70. At this point the shield 55 of conductor 51 becomes one terminal for earphone 70 and inner wire 57 becomes the other.

The cord set 66 of FIGURES 2 and 8 is rovided for use with headphones equipped with an attached microphone. The fabrication and use of the cord set 60 observes the same general concepts set forth above with certain obvious exceptions. Cord set 60 comprises three conductors and three shields in a common rip-cord cable. The conductors are 61 for the earphone of FIGURE 8, 62 for the earphone 70' and 63 for the microphone 99. All three conductors are serviced at their lower ends for connection to ancillary sound equipment, not shown. The shield and the inner wire of each conductor afford the two points for making contact to the respective conductors as described above.

Conductor 61 extends from its lower end to the right end of the headband, between pins 41, through the central channel 40 of anchor block 37, between the pins 41 at the left end of the headband, and thence to the ear phone 70.

Conductor 62 extends from its lower end to the right end of the headband, around the outside of the lowermost of the pins 41, thence back along to lay parallel with the main portion of cord 60. Conductor 63, after reaching the uppermost pin 41, is returned around pin 41 and back to lay parallel along the main portion of cord 60. A thinwalled plastic sleeve 68 is shrunk over the original conductors 61, 62 and 63 and the returned conductors 62 and 63 to hold them all secured together. Sleeve 68 is made long enough to reach to a point about opposite the earphone 70' of FIGURE 2 and the returned conductors 62 and 63 are allowed to extend a distance beyond the lower end of sleeve 68 as shown. The conductor 62 is attached to the earphone 70' while the conductor 63 is fed down thru the tubular boom 90 of the microphone 90 where it is connected to the latter. The microphone boom 96' is attached to the outer back surface of earphone 70 by an adaptor clip 91 which is held in place with locking screws to prevent unauthorized removal.

After threading either of the cord sets 50 or 60 into the headband of the invention as described above, the cover 32 of the headband assembly is snapped in place over the main band 31. Thereupon, it will be found that the respective cord sets are securely anchored and held in place. The underside of the cover 32 will bear downwardly against the tops of pins 41 and prevent the cords from disengaging therefrom. The loops formed in conductors 52 or in 62 and 63 prevent end pull on the cord set from dislodging the same endwise and the sleeve 58 or 68 serves to secure the several conductors in a single protected cable. The outwardly extending tongue 36 closes the open underside of cover 32 by resiliently hinging upwardly toward the sleeve 58 or 68.

In order to realize certain other of the advantages of the present invention it is preferred that the termination of the conductors 51 and 52 of FIGURE 7; and the conductors 61 and 62 of FIGURE 8; be made to the respective earphones 70 and 70, by means of disengageable plug connectors such as those shown at of FIGURES 1 and 2. It is also contemplated that the earphones 70 and 70' be securely threaded onto the metal arms 11 and 12 of the headband, by passing the straight reaches 11' and 11" thereof upwardly through a pair of spaced closed tunnels 71 formed in the back portions of the earphones 70 and 70'. Limited hinging motion of the earphones 79 and 70 on the arms 11 and 12 may be afforded by shaping the tunnels 71 as shown in FIGURE 3, and frictional positioning of the earphones 70 and 70' may be afforded by inserting a fiat leaf spring 72 in each of the tunnels 71 where it can bear against the smooth face of arms 11 and 12.

While the lower ends of the cord sets 50 of FIGURE 7 and 60 of FIGURE 8, are shown as having loose serviced conductors, it will be found convenient to terminate these conductors by attaching jack plugs in the following manner. When the earphones 70 and 70' of either genus are to be used for receiving only monaural intelligence, then the inner wires of both earphone conductors (51 and 52 or 61 and 62) are connected together to a common terminal and the shields of both conductors (51 and 52 or 61 and 62) are connected together to a second terminal of the plug. When either set of phones are to be used for listening to stereophonic intelligence, where there is to be found a diiferent and separate signal in each channel, then the shield and the inner wire of each conductor will be attached to a separate jack plug. In either case the microphone conductor 63 is always kept separate from either earphone conductor or plug. Where considerations of economy are important, it will be evident that one of the earphones may be eliminated from the headset of the invention and replaced by a suitable pad for wearer comfort. In this case a simpler cable can also be used.

There has thus been disclosed an improved and novel assembly of headband and cord sets for headphone use, which achieves the objects initially set forth. The headband and cushion assembly is arranged from a single group of parts, i.e., a pair of identical metal arms 11 and 12, a main band 31, a cover 32, a cushion 33 and an anchor clip 45. When assembled as contemplated the headband can accommodate interchangeably a monaural cord set or a stereo cord set both, either with or Without a microphone conductor. This flexibility permits use in language laboratories, in amateur radio or in home listening. The substantially enclosed condition of the cord set when it is locked into the band 31 and cover 32 when they are snapped together, and the locked-on condition of earphones 70 and 76 when the metal arms 11 and 12 are locked together by the anchor clip 45, precludes any likelihood of unauthorized tampering with the several parts of the assembly. Band 31 and cover 32 snap together quite tightly and cannot normally be taken apart except by someone who is instructed in such methods of service assembly and disassembly.

The headset of FIGURE 1, may be readily altered by dismantling the headband, unplugging and removing the cord set 50, replacing it with the cord set 60 including its microphone 90, reconnecting the earphone plugs 75, and by reassembling the headband. Conversion of conductor connections from monaural to stereo may be made by simply reconnecting the lower ends of cord sets 50 or 6'0. In this manner microphones may be added to headsets which were initially installed without them or headsets of any style can be repaired by service people by the replacement of one or several damaged components each as earphones 76 or 70, cord sets 50 or 60, or microphone 90. No soldering or splicing operations are required in any of these assembly or replacement operations outside of the original manufacturing. It is contemplated that the manufacturer will supply separate earphones for use in replacing those damaged in service. Likewise complete cord sets will be factory assembled, either as a completely fabricated and serviced cord set 50 for phone use only; or, as a complete cord set 60, including the attached microphone 96 for use in converting existing phone sets.

Having thus described the invention, what I claim is:

1. In a headband assembly for headphones, a pair of curved U-shaped side bands disposed With their closed ends spaced from each other and their open ends in confronting relation, an earphone captively and slidably engaged on each of said bands, a curved cushion assembly underlying the juncture of said bands, a grooved boss on the upper side of said cushion assembly for receiving and disengageably locking said bands to each other and to said boss, a metal clip anchoring said bands on said boss,

lural conductor means anchored adjacent said boss and extending to said earphones, and a cover over the outer surface of said cushion assembly, said cover including means to maintain said bands locked, to maintain anchorage of said conductors and to securely attach to said cushion assembly.

2. In a headband assembly for headphones, a pair of curved U-shaped side bands disposed with their closed ends spaced from each other and their open ends in endto-end confronting relation, a head cushion assembly receiving said open ends and holding them releasably se cured, an earphone slidably received over each of said bands, conductor anchoring pins on said cushion assembly, conductors anchored to said pins and connected to said earphones, and a cover releasably snapped over said cushion assembly to retain said bands and said con ductors.

3. A cushion and cover for headphones comprising a curved plastic main band having a raised locking boss and a plurality of conductor locking pins formed on its upper surface, a foamed elastomer cushion attached to the underside of said main band, a plastic outer cover disengageably snapped over said main band, a U-shaped earphone support band locked to said boss and conductor wires anchored to said pins, said wires extending outwardly from said pins along said support band.

4. A tamper-proof headband assembly for headphones comprising in combination, a pair of opposite earphone retaining U-shaped bands having their open ends facing each other, a plastic head strip underlying said ends and holding them in aligned position, a locking clip securing the ends of said bands to each other and to said strip, pin means on said strip to engage and secure a bight in an electric conductor, a cover snapped over said strip to secure said clip to said strip and said bight to said pin means to prevent the disassembly of said bands or said conductor from said strip.

5. A convertible headband assembly for headphones comprising a plastic head strip having a raised boss and raised pins formed thereon, open ended U-shaped side Wire loops having their open ends secured in slots within said boss, a metal clip anchoring said open ends to each other and to said boss, earphones slideably secured on said loops, a snap-on cover overlying said head strip and securing a conductor over said pins, and means for removing said cover to disengage said conductor from said pins for replacement of said conductor and for the replacement of said earphones.

6. In a carrier assembly for audio members such as headphones, microphones and the like, a headband, a pair of flexible side bands, at least one of which supports an audio member, said side bands having ends in opposed adjoining relationship overlaying an intermediate portion of said headband, and a removable locking device engaging said intermediate portion and holding said ends assembled with said headband and against relative movement.

7. The construction of claim 6 wherein a boss is formed on said headband at said intermediate portion and said locking device frictionally engages said boss.

8. The construction of claim 7 wherein said boss has slots respectively receiving said side band ends, the latter having grooves in their edge margins, and wherein said locking device is a clip which fits over said boss and has portions seating within said band grooves.

9. In a carrier assembly for audio members such as headphones, microphones and the like, an elongated headband, flexible side bands carried by and extending from opposite ends of said headband, an audio member supported on one of said side bands and having at least one conductor extending therefrom, said headband having anchoring means adjacent to that end from which said one side band extends, and means anchoring said conductor to said anchoring means.

10. The construction of claim 9 wherein said anchoring means comprises a pin carried by and extending laterally from said headband, and said conductor has a looped portion through which said pin extends.

Referenees Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS KATHLEEN H. CLAFFY, Primary Examiner. WILLIAM C. COOPER, Examiner.

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Referenced by
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U.S. Classification381/375, 379/430, 381/379
International ClassificationH04M1/04, H04M1/05
Cooperative ClassificationH04M1/05
European ClassificationH04M1/05