US 3833939 A
An improved circum-aural headset in which a headband is movably attached to an ear enclosure housing. The ear enclosure is adapted to be in substantially air-tight resilient contact with the region of the head about the ear. A shaft is attached to and projects axially of the ear enclosure housing and one end of the headband having an elongated over-sized complementary slot is engaged to the shaft. A pair of resilient members are each mounted on the shaft on either side of the headband. The enclosure housing is provided with adequate access to the shaft for engaging the headband and the resilient members to the shaft. A threaded member is provided for securing the headband and the resilient members to the shaft and for applying a predetermined compressive force to the resilient members. The combined action of the over-sized headband slot and the resiliently applied force permits limited universal motion between the headband and the ear enclosure housing.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
. nited States Patent [191 Dostourian [451 Sept. 10, 1974 HEARING PROTECTOR HEADSET  Inventor:
 Assignee: American Optical Corporation,
 Filed: Nov. 3, 1972  Appl. No.2 303,452
Harry Dostourian, Worcester, Mass.
 US. Cl. 2/209, 179/182R  Int. Cl H041 1/10  Field of Search 2/209; 179/156 R, 182 R;
Beguin et a1 2/209 Primary Examiner-Jordan Franklin Assistant Examiner-Peter Nerbun Attorney, Agent, or Firm-l-loward R. Berkenstock, Jr.; William C. Nealon  ABSTRACT An improved circum-aural headset in which a headband is movably attached to an ear enclosure housing. The ear enclosure is adapted to be in substantially airtight resilient contact with the region of the head about the ear. A shaft is attached to and projects axially of the ear enclosure housing and one end of the headband having an elongated over-sized complementary slot is engaged to the shaft. A pair of resilient members are each mounted on the shaft on either side of the headband. The enclosure housing is provided with adequate access to the shaft for engaging the headband and the resilient members to the shaft. A threaded member is provided for securing the headband and the resilient members to the shaft and for applying a predetermined compressive force to the resilient members. The combined action of the oversized headband slot and the resiliently applied force permits limited universal motion between the headband and the ear enclosure housing.
9 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures HEARING PROTECTOR HEADSET BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Hearing protector ear enclosures are currently being provided with elongated or elliptically-shaped openings into which the ear auricle is inserted for providing a seal closely around the region of the ear. This arrangement requires the ear enclosure to be rotationally oriented according to the configuration of the wearers head for proper fitting. Further, in order to achieve comfortable fitting, and optimum acoustical sealing it is necessary to provide for tilting of the ear enclosures relative to the headbandstructure. The tilting motion permits adaptation of the ear enclosures to the individuals head and a comfortable degree of motion of the head while wearing the headset.
Heretofore, in order to permit pivotal and rotational movement of the headband with respect to the circumaural enclosure, it was found necessary to attach separate pivoting and rotating devices between the ear enclosure and the headband. US. Pat. Nos. 3,579,640 and 3,505,684 herein incorporated by reference disclose and describe prior art devices for accomplishing this purpose. While these devices have been found functionally adequate and suitable to the purpose intended, they both involve the assembly of many individual pieces with concomitant cost and difficulties in manufacture. The present invention provides a headset which can be worn in any position while excluding the heretofore required pivoting and tilting mechanisms.
It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide an improved circum-aural headset.
It is another object of this invention to provide an improved circum-aural headset hearing protector.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a circum-aural headset hearing protector having limited universal motion between the headband and the ear enclosure housing.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In furtherance of the foregoing objects and in accordance with the present invention, there is provided an improved circum-aural headset. The headset has a headband which is movably attached to an ear enclosure housing,,the housing being adapted to be in substantially air-tight resilient contact with the region of the head about the ear. The improvement in the headset is directed to a shaft which is attached to an projects axially of the ear enclosure housing. The headband has an elongated over-sized complementary slot located at one end which is used to engage the shaft.-
In addition to engaging the shaft with the headband, there is provided a pair of resilient members each mounted on the shaft on either side of the headband. The ear enclosure housing is structured so as to permit adequate access to the shaft so that the headband and resilient members may be engaged and mounted thereon respectively. Means for securing the headband and resilient members to the shaft and for applying a predetermined compressive force to the resilient memhers is suitably affixed to the housingThis attachment structure permits a'limited universal motion between the headband and the ear enclosure, thus maintaining an efficient acoustical seal with respect to the wearers head.
For a better understanding of the present invention together with other and further objects thereof, refer ence is had to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings. Its scope will be pointed out in the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view 'of an improved hearing protector having a fragmentary cross-sectional portion to better show details of construction;
FIG. 2 is a sectional exploded view showing parts of the attachment structure between the headband and the ear enclosure housing;
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view having a fragmentary cross-sectional portion of an alternative embodiment of the invention.
The drawings are intended to be illustrative of the applicants invention and not delimiting of its scope. Similar parts have like numbers in the different views and standard symbology is used throughout.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS.
Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings, the improved hearing protector headset, only one side of which is shown, includes a flexible yieldable headband 21 attached to an ear enclosure housing .10 adapted for sound-attenuation purposes. The headband is preferably of spring steel or other yieldable material capable of exerting a desired inward pressure on the earenclosures when being worn. Headband 21 is extensible in its intermediate portion so as to adapt to the head of the wearer. The details of this construction are not shown as they are known to those ordinarily skilled in the art.
An end portion 14 of headband 21 is shown as ex tending through apertures in the ear enclosure housing 10 and engaging a shaft or stud l3 integrally formed internally of housing 10. The stud member 13 is centrally axially projecting inwardly toward the ear of the wearer and engages end portion 14 through a complementary slot 14a. Slot 14a is somewhat over-sized and elongated to permit both vertical and horizontal translation.
movement between'stud l3 and end portion 14. Of course, the vertical elongation of slot 14a is of significant extent in order to permit vertical adjustment between headband 21 and ear enclosure housing 10 for adapting to the varying dimensions of wearers heads.
The housing includes a substantially conical intermediate wall portion 11 extending toward a dome portion 22 integrally formed and extending from the outermost central area of housing wall 11. Apertures l2 and 12a are provided in the walls of dome 22 to permit access of end portion 14 to stud 13 thereby permitting engagement of these members. The lower aperture 120 is necessary to allow for extensive adjustment in the vertical direction between end portion 14 and housing 10. A sound-attenuating polymeric material 19 is disposed internally of wall portion 11 and an annular seal 20 is provided about its outer periphery to permit substantially air-tight resilient contact with the region of the head about the ear. Ear enclosure housing 10 which may be adequately described as a cup-shaped member having a dome portion 22 protruding from the bottom is preferably of an integrally molded design fabricated from an injection-moldable material. It may, however, be fabricated from separate component parts; for example, dome 22 might constitute a separate member which is attached to the housing wall 11 by appropriate means.
To better appreciate and understand the present invention, reference will now be had to FIG. 2 which is an exploded view of the details comprising the novel attachment between the headband 21 and housing 10. This discussion involves not only the structural features of the members but the means and method of assembly whereby a clear picture of the improved pivoting and tilting function are made evident. Dome 22 has an integrally molded stud l3 projecting centrally and axially inward of the housing 10. An internal bore of stud 13 is appropriately threaded for engagement with securing means 18 when the assembly is completed. A first resilient member 15 fabricated from rubber or other polymeric material having the desired elasticity and coefficient of friction is axially mounted on stud 13 and is essentially cylindrical in geometry. End portion 14 is then inserted through aperture 12 of dome 22 in a canted manner so that slot 14a may be slipped over and engage stud 13. After engagement of slot 14a and stud 13, end portion 14 may then be moved vertically through the diametrically opposed aperture 12a of dome 22. Upon engagement of end portion 14 to stud 13, the second resilient member 16 of the same material and geometry as resilient member 15 is placed on stud l3 protruding above it to allow for the desired amount of compression to be applied by disk member 17.
After engagement of slot 14a and resilient members 15 and 16 with stud 13, the disk member 17 is axially applied by means of bolt 18 which extends through a central aperture in disk 17 to threadably engage the inner threaded bore of stud 13. As bolt 18 is extended into the bore of stud l3, disc 17 progressively applies a compressive force to the combination of resilient members 15 and 16 and end portion 14. In the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1, this compressive force is limited by the engagement of the outer periphery of disk 17, with shoulders formed on that inner portion of housing wall 11 adjacent to the dome 22. It must, of course, be realized that other securing means and force-limiting devices might be utilized within the context of this invention. It is now evident that end portion 14 of headband 21 may be moved in a vertical direction upon application of an appropriate force dependent upon the coefficient of friction between the resilient members 15 and 16 and end portion 14 and the compressive force applied to these members. Further, it can be appreciated that due to the placement of resilient members 15 and 16 on either side of end portion 14, it may be tilted about a fulcrum located on the axis of stud or shaft 13. Rotational movement of headband 21 about shaft 13 is also permitted dependent upon the extent of the arcuate sector apertures 12 and 12a formed in the wall of dome 22. In this regard, it is noted that if the protector is to be used in a back-band position, i.e., behind the head, the wearer merely lifts the earcups a slight distance from his head and rotates the entire unit by hand until the desired position is obtained. After this, the earcups are released and the annular inner member 20 conforms to the wearer's head in the new position. In this application, it is not necessary that the ear enclosures be round as long as the length of the housing equals the width for non-circular ear enclosures.
Briefly, to reiterate the operational advantages of the present invention, since the headband end portion 14 is now sandwiched between two flexible resilient members 15 and 16, the housing 10 is allowed to take any desired position automatically to conform to any variant head contour and also provides vibration isolation between headband 21 and housing 10. This ease of pivoting and tilting of the housing 10 with respect to the headband 21 allows the maintenance of a tight acoustical seal to the head with a minimum of discomfort to the wearer. It further comprises an economical and reliable ear enclosure attachment assembly providing distinct advantages over the prior art.
In FIG. 3, there is shown an alternative embodiment of the applicants invention. Referring to FIG. 1, it will be noted that when bolt 18 is secured to shaft or stud 13, it is necessary that the resilient acousticalattenuation material 19 be absent from the internal surface of the housing 10. This necessitates a last, final assembly step in the completion of the headset and, to that extend, introduces an additional manual or machine-operated step. If the structural design of the embodiment of FIG. 3 is followed, this last step may be eliminated. In FIG. 3, the housing 30 has a wall portion 31 of generally cup-shaped or geometry. Contrary to the design of the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1, the dome portion 37 is not now an integral structure but rather comprises a final cap member 39 which is secured to a stud 33 extending outwardly and axially of housing wall 31. Simply stated, the device of FIG. 1 is re-designed so that the stud member now extends outwardly from the housing 31 instead of inwardly from the dome 22 of FIG. 1.
The design of FIG. 3 permits the assembly of end portion 34 and resilient member 35 and 36 to stud 33 completely externally of the ear enclosure housing 30; thus, the acoustical-attenuating polymeric substance 40 may be applied to the internal surface of housing 30 prior to attachment of end portion 34. This may be appreciated by the following review of assembly procedure. A first resilient member 36 is mounted to stud 33 projecting axially of housing wall 31. A slot 340 in end portion 34 is then engaged to the stud 33 and, finally, second resilient member 35 is also mounted thereon. End portion 34 and resilient members 35 and 36 are secured to stud 33 and the required compressive force is applied by the securing of cap member 39 to stud 33 by means of bolt 38. As bolt 38 is drawn down by threadably engaging an internal bore of stud 33, the internal surface of cap 39 engages the upper annular surface of resilient member thereby producing the desired degree of freedom of the headband 21 with respect to the ear enclosure housing 30. Cap member 39 is driven by bolt 38 through engagement of the under-shoulder of bolt 38 head. Upon completion of the assembly, apertures 32 and 32a formed in walls extending from housing wall 31 to and engaging cap member 39 provide for limited rotational movement of end portion 34 with respect to the housing 30.
Thus, the present invention has provided an improved circum-aural headset of economic and reliable design wherein limited universal motion is permitted between the headband and the ear enclosure housing. While there has been described what are at present considered to be the preferred embodiments of the invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art thatvarious changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention and it is therefore intended that the appended claims cover all such changes and modifications that fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
1. An improved circum-aural headset comprising a generally flexible headband with at least one generally C-shaped sound attenuating ear enclosure housing attached to the headset and adapted so as to be in substantially air tight resilient contact with the region of the head about the ear when said headset is in position on a wearers head, said headband having a generally straight end portion and a generally elongated slot disposed in at least one of said end portions,
said earcup being provided with a dome portion generally centrally thereof and projecting outwardly of said cup said dome portion further having a pair of oppositely disposed apertures formed therein permitting said end portions of said headband to project therethrough, said dome portion further including shaft means projecting axially of said dome portion inwardly toward said cup portion, said shaft means being slideably received by said slot of said headband,-
a pair of generally cylindrical resilient members having a bore axially disposed therein, said bore having a diameter at least as large as said shaft means, said members being disposed upon said shaft on opposite sides of said headband when said shaft means is disposed therein.
means securing said'resilient members on said headband and said shaft under compression to permit rotational, tilting and pivoting motion of said headband with respect to said housing.
2. The headset of claim 1 wherein said shaft is a cylindrically-shaped member having an internally threaded bore, said resilient members have predetermined uncompressed lengths, and said securing means includes a bolt threadably engaged to the inner bore of said shaft and a disk member mounted thereon for applying said predetermined compressive force to said resilient members.
3. The headset of claim 2 wherein said disk member is mounted to said bolt through a centrally located aperture and engages said bolt head, and the movement of said disk axially of said shaft is limited by engagement of the periphery of said disk with an internal surface of said housing.
4. The headset of claim 1 wherein said housing and said dome are of one piece integrally molded plastic.
5. The invention of claim 1 wherein said housing is substantially cup-shaped and said shaft extends centrally axially outwards therefrom, said shaft has an internally threaded bore for engagement with said securing means, and said securing means includes a disk member for applying said compressive force which is connected to said shaft externally of said housing.
6. The invention of claim 5 wherein an annular wall member disposed about said shaft extends outwardly from said cup-shaped housing forming a dome-shaped structure when in engagement with said disk member, and wherein said wall contains an arcuate sector aperture therein for engagement of said headband on said shaft and permitting rotational, tipping and pivoting motion of said headband with respect to said housing.
7. The headset of claim 5 wherein said disk member has inwardly projecting wall portions for engagement with said housing when connected to said shaft, and wherein said wall portions contain an aperture to permit engagement of said headband on said shaft and said rotational, tilting and pivoting motion of said headband with respect to said housing.
8. The headset of claim 4 wherein said resilient members are made of resilient polymeric materials.
9. The headset of claim 8 wherein said resilient members are made of rubber.