US 3830334 A
An attachment is provided to form a vibrating air column coupling between the speaker of a radio or the like and the ear of a listener. The device is particularly useful for auto radios and comprises a pickup cup adapted to be attached to the face of the speaker and provided with an elongated flexible tube connected at one end to the cup and at the opposite end to one or a pair of ear pieces worn by the listener. Means are provided for detachably connecting the cup to the speaker grill.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Costa 1 Aug. 20, 1974 1 SPEAKER ATTACHMENT FOR AUTOMOBILE RADIOS AND THE LIKE  Inventor: Pasquale V. Costa, 6/35 Baron Park Ln., Birlington, Mass. 01803  Filed: Feb. 5, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 329,403
 US. Cl. 181/31 8,181/24, 18'1/31 A, 179/182 A, 325/310  Int. Cl. A6lb 7/02, GlOk 13/00, l-l04r-1/28  Field Of Search 181/18, 24, 25, 31 R, 31 B, 181/31 A; 325/310; 179/1 C, 2 C, 182 A [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 735,670 8/1903 Jones 181/24 1,492,296 4/1924 Hipwell et a1 179/182 A 2,288,668 7/1942 Atkinson 181/24 Scanlon Littmann Primary ExaminerStephen J. Tomsky Attorney, Agent, or FirmMOrse, Altman, Oates & Bello 5 7 ABSTRACT An attachment is provided to form a vibrating air column coupling between the speaker Of a radio or the like and the ear of a listener. The device is particularly useful for auto radios and comprises a pickup cup adapted to be attached to the face of the speaker and provided with an elongated flexible tube connected at one end to the cup and at the Opposite end to one or a pair of ear pieces worn by the listener. Means are provided for detachably connecting the cup to the speaker grill.
4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures SPEAKER ATTACHMENT FOR AUTOMOBILE RADIOS AND THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to accessories for radios, record players and other audio equipment, and more particularly is directed towards an ear phone attachment for coupling to the speaker of a radio or the like to reduce or eliminate background noise.
2. Description of the Prior Art Under many conditions a radio or phonograph listener may have difficulty in hearing the speaker output of .his radio, tape player or the like. This problem is most common with automobile radios, tape players, etc., which are difficult to hear particularly if the car windows are opened. While the volume may be turned up on the set, this does not eliminate extraneous noises. Also, it is possible to use head phones connected electrically to the set by means of a jack, but this is not entirely satisfactory from several standpoints. First of all, conventional electrically operated head phones are quite expensive, relatively heavy and require a modification of the equipment so that the set will accommodate a jack. Furthermore, conventional headphones are somewhat bulky and uncomfortable to wear for an extended period of time.
. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a simple low cost accessory for use with radios and the like to provide a direct coupling between the speaker and the ears of the listener. Another object of this invention is to provide a listening attachment for radios which may be quickly and easily coupled to the speaker without modification of the existing equipment.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention features an accessory for radios and the like, comprising a cup having a mouth portion mountable directly over the speaker grill of the radio, an elongated flexible tube attached to the cup and communicating with the interior thereof and at least one ear plug connected to the opposite end of the tube to be worn by the listener. The rim of the cup may be provided with magnets for detachably connecting it to the grill.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a radio accessory made according to the invention,
FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the cup portion of the accessory, and,
FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view showing a modification of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, the reference character generally indicates an accessory for use with radio sets and the like comprised of a cup portion 12 and an elongated, flexible tube 14 connected at one end to the cup 12 and at the opposite end to a head set 16 worn by the listener. The cup 12 may be any of a variety of materials but preferably is of a rigid or semirigid molded plastic material in the shape of a cone, hemisphere or the like. The mouth of the cup may be circular or other configuration dimensioned to cover a substantial portion of a grill 18 normally mounted over the speaker of a radio 20, tape recorder or the like. It is not necessary that the mouth of the cup cover the entire grill in order to operate but only to cover a substantial portion thereof in a position opposite the speaker mounted behind the grill.
The cup 12 may be mounted to the grill 18 by several means. A large number of grills 18 are fabricated from a mesh or perforate steel and for such cases a magnetic mounting arrangement is preferred. As best shown in FIG. 2, the mouth of the cup 12 is provided with a pair of magnets 22 and 24 attached to the mouth rim for holding the cup in position over the grill when mounted thereon as suggested in FIG. 1. In order to cushion the cup to prevent scratching and to seal the cup to the grill, a rib 26 of resilient material such as foam rubber, foam plastic or the like is mounted about the rim of the cup between the magnets. This cushioning material also prevents normal vehicle vibrating from being transmitted to the cup. The rib 26 preferably is the same thickness as the magnets or slightly greater in order to provide a snug seal with the grill. The magnets 22 and 24 may be conventional rigid metal magnets or may be in the form of flexible magnetic strips which may extend entirely about the mouth of the cup. Such flexible magnetic strips are commercially available in various sizes and cross-sections and have the outward appearance of rubber.
If the grill I8 is not of a magnetically attractive material other mounting means may include the use of pressure-sensitive adhesive applied to the rim of the cup or a release medium such as Velcro components premounted both to the grill and to the cup may be used to advantage.
The cup 12 is formed with one or more tubular outlet necks 28 to which the flexible tube 14 is attached. The opposite end of the tube 14 is attached to the head piece 16 which, in the illustrated preferred embodiment, is a yoke type fitting having a pair of tubular arms 30 and 32 extending from a common leg 34 which connects to the tube 14. The head piece 16 preferably is of a light weight semi-stiff plastic material terminating at each free end with an ear plug 36 which is worn in the ears of the listener in the manner of a stethescope. The ear pieces 35 may be of a hard plastic material contoured to fit comfortably in the ear of the wearer or they may be provided with a soft rubber or plastic annular cushion if desired. The arms of the yoke fitting may be easily spread to adjust automatically to the wearers head size.
Referring now to FIG. 3 of the drawings there is an illustrated modification of the invention and in this embodiment a cup 12 is provided with a pair of outlet necks 28' to permit attachment of two head sets 16, one for the driver and one for a passenger. In the FIG. 3 embodiment the cup is also provided with a pair of holders 38 and 40 for temporarily storing the head sets 16 when not in use. The holders in the illustrated embodiment include integral V-shaped resilient clamps 42 adapted to engage the legs 34' of each head set as suggested in FIG. 3.
The unit operates on the basis of a vibrating air column in the tube which provides a very efficient means for transmitting the sound from the speaker to the ears the entire car and therefore do not block out all of the environmental noise. Thus a driver will still be able to hear horns, sirens and other road noises sufficiently so that he can respond to emergency noises and otherwise drive in a normal fashion.
Having thus described the invention what I claim and desire to obtain by Letters Patent of the United States 1. An attachment for radiosand the like having at least one speaker and a magnetically attractive grill disposed across the front of said speaker, comprising a. a cup formed with a relatively large open mouth dimensioned to cover a substantial portion of said grill when mounted thereon,
b. magnet means disposed on the rim of the cup mouth for mounting said cup to said grill,
c. an elongated flexible tube connected at one end to said cup and communicating with the interior thereof,
(1. at least one ear piece connected to the opposite end of said tube for wear by a listener, and,
e. a layer of cushioning material mounted to said rim.
holding means includes an integral C-shaped clamp.