Oct. 1, 1946. s. S.__,,STEVENS 2,408,490; EARPHONE SOCKET - Filed April 18, 1944 2 Sheets-S?eet 1 INVENTOR [filo/wef Oct- 1, 1946- I s. s. STEVENS EARPHONE SOCKET ‘ I _ Filed'April 18, 1944 1 > 4 i , Fig.4. . , V 2 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 > _ 3 > 4° 7 , q 'I 2,403,490 ' l _ ' 8 S |o 4a 4 IYINVENTOR STANLEY SMITH STEVENS ,f/farrragl. . . Patented Oct. 1, 71946 2,408,490 a UNITED-1 's'rATEs Y'PATE'NT ' OFFICE-‘I'd - 2,408,490 EARPHONE ‘SOCKET , 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. (Cl.179-156) 1. 2 and the like. _ ' 1 ~ - . 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; 15 , - Fig. 5 is‘ an elevational view of the outerside of the socket; 1 I 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 ation. 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). This 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 2,408,490 a O intended to be illustrative of various other forms of earphones which may be desired to be em 4 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 ployed. 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 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 maintainr'itsspacingi‘functionso 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 E *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 ‘material. ‘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;.-tends..to: :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 a 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 2,408,490 6 5 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 able. ‘ ' 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 helmet, hole cutthe intoflap the IIhelmet is stitched to permit at thethe border earphone 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 . v 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. I STANLEY SMITH STEVENS.