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Oct. 1, 1946.
s. S.__,,STEVENS
- Filed April 18, 1944
2 Sheets-S?eet 1
Oct- 1, 1946-
Filed'April 18, 1944
4 i
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
,f/farrragl. .
Patented Oct. 1, 71946
2,408,490 a
- 2,408,490
, Stanley Smith Stevens, Cambridge, Mass., assign
or to the United States of America, represented
by the Executive Secretary of the Oi?ce of
Scienti?c Research and Development
Application April 18, 1944, Serial No. 531,684
‘ I 3 Claims.
and the like.
lowing description of the drawings and discussion
This invention relates to sound control devices
and more particularly toan earphone and socket
assembly for use with aviation helmets, headsets
’ relating thereto.
,In the accompanying drawings:
- .
Fig. 1 is a view in elevation illustrating the
socket of ‘the invention mounted at the inner side
of an aviation helmet which has been diagram
A customary practice‘has been to mount ear
phones in an aviation helmet and to utilize chin
straps to press the earphones?rmlyagainst the
. matically indicated;
ears in an effort to exclude ambient noise from
Fig. 2 is a view in side elevation of the socket;
passing around the earphone into the‘ ear canal.
Fig. 3 is a cross sectional view taken on the line
This arrangement has’ not been satisfactory. 10 3?—-3 of Fig.1;
Continuous pressure of the earphones against'the
ears'may give rise to considerable discomfort and
in addition the earphone is never completely
sealed around the outer ear. Intense noise such
as is developed in the operation of modern air
craft may enter the ear canal and become pain
- fulv and may render substantially ‘unintelligible
signals received from’ a radio or interphone.
Fig.’ 4 is a horizontal cross section diagram
‘ matically illustrating a skull and ear, with the
dsocket‘ of the invention being indicated'in an t
operative position at the side of the skull;
, - Fig. 5 is‘ an elevational view of the outerside
of the socket; 1
Fig. 6 is an elevational view illustrating a mod
i?cation of socket;
To surmount these di?iculties, it has been pro
Fig. '7 is a detail view diagrammatically illus
posed to surround the earphone, at the inner 20. trating a skull and indicating the position as
. side of thehelmet, with a, member which is com
sumed by the sealing member of the invention
monly referred to, in the'art, as a “doughnut.”
. as it contacts the side of'the skull; and
This member essentially consists of a sealing
Fig. 8 is, a detail view diagrammaticaly illus
member of annular cross section, formed of a
trating a skull and indicating the position as
relatively soft yieldable material whose function 25 sumed by the sealing member at another point
in part is to serve as a spacing member for sup
porting the earphone immediately adjacent to
' the outer ear without compacting the ear against '
of contact with the skull.
The invention in general provides for a holder
or socketin which both an earphone and a seal
the skull. The sealing member comprises an
ing member, of the “doughnut” type, may be
acoustic sealing means which may. be firmly 30 mounted. The socket is made of sound insulat
pressed against the skull by the chin straps with
out discomfort, thus tending to exclude sound
from passing between the sealing member and
the skull. The sealing member andearphone
assembly has been successful in providing greater
comfort and some improvement in sound attenu
There remains the objection, ‘however,
. that ambient noise may'pass betweenithe ear
ing material, and designed to extend between the
earphone'and the sealing member and to overlie
a substantial part of the sealing member itself.
The socket is ‘also formed so as to provide for a
rearrangement of the sealing member and the
earphone, relative to the skull and ear respec
tively, thereby further increasing the e?'lciency
_ of the earphone and sealing member.
phone and the sealing member as well as through
Referring more in detail to the drawings, nu
the sealing member itself,‘ in either case leaving 40 meral i denotes a sealing member or “doughnut”
the ear canal relatively unprotected.
It is an object of the invention therefore‘ to
' provide an improved sound control device for
earphones, and to devise an'earphone support
or socket in which are incorporated sound at
tenuating means directed to overcoming the dif
?culties above noted, and to providing a com
bined sound insulating and sealing effect, It is
' also an object of 'the'invention to provide a
of the type already referred to (Fig. 1).
member consists of a continuous ring of annular
cross section which -may,- for example, comprise
a casing of chamois, stuffed with a soft yieldable
material such as kapok. Sponge rubber and
> ?brous materials are also used in making the seal
ing member.
By reason of its yieldable char
1 acter, the sealing member is particularly adapted
tobepressed ?rmly against the skull, thus provid
simple, cheap and efficient device3of the char 50 ing an acoustical seal around the outer ear. The
acter referred to, which is conveniently attached
sealing member I, when used with the socket of
to an aviation helmet and which avoids inter
the invention, also includes improved features
ference with the normal use of the helmet.
which will be later described.
' The nature of the invention and its objects
’ will be more'readil'y understood from-the 'pfolé'
Numeral 2 refers to an earphone of conven
’ tionaltype employed in aviation helmets, and‘is
intended to be illustrative of various other forms
of earphones which may be desired to be em
in Fig. 4.' There is thus provided a thickness of
material, directly over the sealing member I,
which is substantially uniform throughout both
the front half and rear half of the socket.
which supports the earphone and sealing member
The rim 8, in relation to the reference plane
I in spaced apart relation. The socket is formed 5
Numeral 3 denotes a holder or socket
of a sound-insulating material such as rubber, and
preferably consists of a cuplike member some
what oval‘ in outline (Fig. 1). ‘rWhen-‘mounted-in
of the face 4a, also changes in height and as it
extends around the front half of the socket grad
?sua-l-ly‘ ‘decreases-mo a .lowmpoint sicorrefsponding to
' the point of‘gre'atest depth‘ of‘the' groove 9.
an aviation helmet "B; the so‘cket“3‘pr‘esents an
The irregularityin depth of the groove 9 pro
. inner side against which the sealing member I .10
is secured as shown in Fig. l, and an outer side
"=‘vides for an offset arrangement of the sealing
from which the earphone 2 projects, as?m’aye-be
-~ member I in relation to the reference plane
passing through the face 4a. By supporting the
wsealingivmember'i more deeply throughout the
central body portion 6 whichtis'rlalativelylthioker; 15 ~front~l<ialf ‘of'the socket, than throughout the rear
“half,’the-‘corresponding front half of the ear
than other portions of the‘ socket ‘and which ‘pre
‘phone'2‘ is‘ brought substantially nearer to the
sents a flat surface 13a. Numeral S‘den'otes an
earphone opening extending'through :"thewbody ' 1* :conta'cting surface of the sealing member than
the rear half of the earphone. When the socket
portion 4. The edge of the opening imay ifde
more readily seen in Fig. 4.
At its inner side, the socketis‘iformediiwitlra
sired be beveled as shown in Fig. 2, to ‘facilitate 20 “assembly is placed over an ear E, as diagrammat
ically illustrated in Fig. ‘ll, the earphone in rela
engagement of the socket with the earphone 2.
intiontoathe ‘skull; S-will be ‘spaced- away“ a‘. greater
'i The earphone 2 occurs --in-a somewhat recessed
position relative to those peripheral-“portions vof
the sealing member I which are to engage against
» theiskull. > At-‘lpoints betweenthe inner and outer
l" sides 'ofthe' socket 3‘ and adjacent to the opening
5,‘-the' body portion‘ 4 has-been formed with-a
channel 6, which is adapted'r-to'rec'eive a rib ‘I
\ ‘idistance'iatiitsi érearf-ha'lf than'i'at vits front - half.
.-;An*~iimmediate'result of ‘this asymmetrical ar
rangement of the earphone with respect'vtothe
sealingimember is to allowlthe inner‘ surface of
*ithe earphone 2: to be placed in a position in which
1: it closelyiconformssto the natural-angle of ‘(pro
11 ljiecti'on'frof ;the‘.- outer "ear: and reduces the space
= on the outer peripheryof the earphone 2.
’ The central-body portion'4 occupies the» space 30.‘ between theearphone and'the‘ ear canal.
between the outer periphery of the-earphone 2
and. the inner w‘pe'riphery'of the sealing member
I; as may be-seen from an inspection of Figs. 1
.JIt ris'a'ofr'importanceinlthe acoustic performance
i'of “this1 device "that theivolume. of ' airv between the
41' earphone and theiear canal beireduced to a mini
and 3, and by reason of its ‘thickness,v thebody i'Lmum. JiA relatively smallfi'volume'of lair-between
portion-provides a relatively heavy mass of sound 5::Ethe :earphonez'and the eari-‘canal tendsto render
'- insulation‘which is effective in‘ attenuating the
passage of sound between the earphone and the
e-"yav'rsignalz ireceived'lfr'omf the earphone 1 more ‘in
~-:tense"; since. for.‘ the: available ‘ sound energy in the
.iisign'alithere is less lairv to be-activated. @The oil'
set relation/‘of! the'rearphone ‘with respect :to 'the
40* .sealing:membenaccomplishes a ‘desirable reduc
are curved around the sealing >member l *to pro
:::tion iniithe vo'lumerof ‘air. :The offset relation
vide a lip or rim 8"which, at its inner side, con
--:further.1allows thevface 'of the earphone to ‘come
‘ forms to ‘the contour of the sealing member and
“.intm’thenclosest possible‘ contact with the outer
presents‘ a‘ groove ‘9 surroundingthe ‘body por
:still: allowing 'Ithef ' sealing ‘ member to
"tion 4. "The groove 9 provides a‘seating in which K: :ear;1>while
that the outer
the sealing member may be’ conveniently secured
'aYTBaI‘JiS rrot'icompa'cted'v against ‘the skull," and‘ ‘so
"by the use ‘ofan adhesive material. "By allow
-> ‘that vthe: discomfort: :consequent upon ‘ such com
ing the socket to extend across the overlie the
T. xpaction. islavoided.
‘ sealing member inthe' manner'described, a‘ sec
"1 The'ivariation : in"- ‘the‘ depth; of "groove -9 i‘ and
~ ond important-sound insulating effect isiobt’ained,
~rim'8“furnishes still other bene?cial re
"namely'ins'ulation of ‘the sealing member itself. ‘’r(1)1-heightbf
i-‘sults by reshaping-‘the contactinglsurface. of the
Since the *sealing member represents a ‘certain use'alingimember l. As may be more ‘clearly seen
' amount of ~mass,the irelatively'thin tapering rim
'Ir.."inI‘FigI;.2,?the‘isocketimparts to the contacting
" sealing member.
The outer peripheral portions-of the socket 3
*8'-is~su?ic-ient to provide'the required’ insulating
.i-JsUrface‘iOfSEtheJsealingLmember I ‘throughout its
_:1fr.ont half; a slight/concavity. :When the socket
“Relative to‘ a ‘plane passing through the’flat 95. v‘is’.-in":use',3this concavity allows the sealing vmem
‘ face 4a Of‘the vbody portion 4; the groove 9 ex
-'ber; tooverlieiandi' conform to‘ the raised part‘ of
“tends more deeply throughout the‘ front half of
i'zthei'skull. Socourringidirectly infront of the outer
the socket than throughoutits rear half. 'The aear sat; thec-cheek bone; and provide. an. improved
term “front half” refers to that'eportionof the :; :sealnas is}, diagrammatically ‘shown. inv ‘Fig. '5. ‘‘ At
‘socket-which ‘inv use 'occurs substantially in front ‘ 60' rthesame; time ‘the :lower partof. the sealing. mem
"of ‘the ear, and correspondingly the term “rear
ber, due to:thef:concavity; :conform to
A half” refers to'the socket portion occurring sub
stantially in back of the'iear. As viewed in*Fi'gs.
' and fill .inithe ‘space: immediately below the ‘outer
irrearsatithenmastoid?process,'~as't has been dia
'1, 3 and 4,-the‘socket' member has its front half
grammatically illustrated in Fig; 8.
‘occurring at the "left-hand side of the ?gures. In 65 > By:thus.--rearranging 'the;.sha-pe 10f the-seal
addition, the groove 9; with respect to the-refer
~."i‘mg-member;v a more: complete; acoustical sealing is
"ence'pl'ane‘ not'edfbegins to change in1 depth‘ ‘as
"it-extends around the‘ front half‘ of the socket
and gradually :cleepens' until ' it reachesits ‘great
Y achieved. at the ‘hollow ‘above the cheek bone and
~= the hollow at=the mastoid» process, sothat' with a
:1. given; pressure; a ~-substantially ." uniform ~ sealing
est ‘depth at a point approximately halfway i'?weffectais obtained-all thezway around the skull,
>.<and.'any_ rpossibler sourceiofisoundi penetration at
.around the front half.
. :these;€-points-t-is largely: eliminated. 'It ' should
‘.Asa result of .the variationin‘the groove 9,‘the
also bee-noted-that the decreased-edge‘of the rim
outer side of socketpresentsa slightly convex
»8. at Y. the front. edge .of the: socket r'permits the
surface at its front half. and‘ aslightly concaved
I-surface throughoutits rear half .as illustrated 75 : doughnutsto be. morecloselyspressed against ‘ the
bined sound insulating and sealing effects noted
in connection with the description of the socket
remove all disadvantages of the earphone and
doughnut type of assembly without in any way
skull in the offset relation described without
there occurring any tendency for the rim 8 to’
bear against the skull and cause discomfort.
l0 denotes a protecting lining which may, for»:
example, consist of chamois, disposed over the in-;
ner side of the socket ‘and is particularly adapted
to cover the body portion 4 to prevent this mate-H
rial from coming into direct contact with the
causing discomfort or interfering with the use of
goggles and other equipment over the helmet.
The socket is a simple e?icient unitary member
capable of being easily and cheaply molded on a
outer car. In this connection, it is pointed out
quantity basis.
thateither from the point of view of protecting 10
the outer ear from contacting a cold rubber sur-'
While I have shown a preferred embodiment
of the invention, it should be understood that
face during low-temperature ?ying conditions, or»
various changes and modi?cations may be re
sorted to, in keeping with the spirit of the inven
from the point of view of toxicity from the con?
tion as outlined by the appended claims.
'tact of the outer ear with the insulating mate-j
Having thus described the invention, what I
rial, the protecting lining is particularly desir 15
claim is:
The invention also includes a stitching ?ap
1. As an article of manufacture a sound con
ll formed of some suitable material such as va
trol device comprising an earphone, a socket
rubberized fabric, which is preferably molded in
member having the earphone centrally support
the socket. This member is adapted to be stitched 20 ed therein, a sealing ring of yieldable material
mounted in a groove in the inner side of the sock
to the inner surface of a helmet for attaching
et in spaced relation to the earphone, said socket
the socket member therein. Such a mode of at-,
including a relatively thick body portion of sound
tachment is adapted for use with most forms of
insulating material occupying the space between
helmets and is intended to be illustrative of var
the earphone and the sealing ring and adapted
ious other fastening means.
In assembling the earphone assembly in “a. to provide sound insulation therein, said socket
having outer peripheral portions overlying and
hole cutthe
the IIhelmet
is stitched
to permit
at thethe
of I
extending around the sealing ring to form a rim,
to project outwardly therefrom (Fig. 1). Thef? the outer peripheral portions of the socket adapt
ed to provide a sound insulating material for the
socket member is positioned so as to naturally‘
sealing ring, said groove extending more deeply
surround the outer ear with the front edge ‘of
the socket occurring substantially vertical. It.
into the socket at the front half thereof than at
should be noted that the socket may be used
its rear half to arrange'the sealing ring in offset
either for a left or a rig-ht ear by simply turning
relation with respect to the earphone, a stitch
it end for end, thus effecting substantial saving 35 ing flap secured to socket adjacent the outside of
in manufacture. In operation, the helmet is ad
said rim, said ?ap adapted to be stitched to the
justed over the head in the usual manner with .,
inside of a helmet for the purpose of installing
the sealing members at either side fitting over
the socket assembly therein.
the outer ears and engaging against the sides or
2. As an article of manufacture a socket for an
the head. Thereafter the chin straps of the hel 40 earphone and sealing ring assembly, said socket
met are fastened togetherwith a light pressure:
consisting of a cup-like member of sound atten-'
uating material in which is centrally formed an
being exerted on the sealing members, enabling
these members to provide a seal against the head
opening for ‘receiving and supporting an ear
' phone, said socket being formed at its inner side
at all points around the cars.
In Fig. 6 I have shown a modi?cation of the inwith a groove extending around the said open
vention for use with a headband in which?the
ing in spaced relation thereto, a sealing member
outer side of the socket 3 is formed with slot'slZ ." of soft yieldable material mounted in the groove,
and I 3. The slots, l2 and I3 are cut into the" said socket presenting a relatively, thick body
socket to provide a means of engaging the ex;
portion which occupies the space between the
tremities of a headband yoke where it‘ maybe 50 opening and the said groove, said body portion
desired to use the socket with this type of equip
adapted to provide a sound insulating medium,
ment. The slot I4 is provided to admit electrical
said socket having outer peripheral portions ex
connections. It may also be desired to employ
tending across and overlapping the sealing mem
the socket with other types of equipment.
ber to further provide a rim, said outer periph
The socket may be modi?ed in various ways.’
eral portions and rim constituting sound insula
For example, it may be-constructed in two or
tion for the sealing member.
more pieces ‘and may be formed of two ormore .
3. As an‘ article of manufacture a sound con
trol device comprising an earphone, a socket
types of insulating material. Various ‘other
changes in the shape and design of the socket
may also be desired to be carried out.
(ii) ed therein, a sealing ring mounted at the inner
Considering the various advantages derived
from the structure-of the invention, it will be
seen that the socket constitutes a convenient
member for supporting both the earphone and
the sealing member. The opening and chan
nelled edge furnish a simple and e?icient means
of releasably holding the earphone.
The com
member having the earphone centrally support
side of the socket in spaced relation to the ear
phone, said socket consisting of a cup-like mem
ber of insulating material extending across and
overlying the sealing ring, said sealing ring be
65 ing embedded more deeply at one side of the
socket than the other.
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