US 11,056,095 B2
Active noise reduction earphones
Markus E. Christoph, Straubing (DE)
Assigned to Harman Becker Automotive Systems GmbH, Karlsbad (DE)
Filed by Harman Becker Automotive Systems GmbH, Karlsbad (DE)
Filed on Oct. 30, 2019, as Appl. No. 16/668,924.
Application 16/668,924 is a continuation of application No. 15/861,339, filed on Jan. 3, 2018, granted, now 10,497,357, issued on Dec. 3, 2019.
Claims priority of application No. 17150349 (EP), filed on Jan. 5, 2017.
Prior Publication US 2020/0066249 A1, Feb. 27, 2020
This patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer.
Int. Cl. G10K 11/16 (2006.01); G10K 11/178 (2006.01); H04R 1/10 (2006.01)
CPC G10K 11/17854 (2018.01) [H04R 1/1083 (2013.01); G10K 2210/111 (2013.01); G10K 2210/3028 (2013.01); G10K 2210/3215 (2013.01); H04R 2410/01 (2013.01); H04R 2410/05 (2013.01); H04R 2460/01 (2013.01)] 14 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. An active noise reducing earphone comprising:
a rigid cup shell having an inner surface and an outer surface, the inner surface encompassing a cavity;
a microphone arrangement configured to pick up a sound with at least one steerable beam directivity characteristic, and to provide a first electrical signal that represents the picked-up sound;
an active noise control filter configured to provide, based on the first electrical signal, a second electrical signal; and
a speaker disposed in the cavity and configured to generate a sound from the second electrical signal; where
the active noise control filter has a transfer characteristic that is configured so that a noise that travels through the rigid cup shell from beyond the outer surface to beyond the inner surface is reduced by the sound generated by the speaker,
wherein the microphone arrangement comprises:
an array of multiple microphones, the multiple microphones being distributed over the outer surface of the rigid cup shell;
a beamformer block electrically connected to the array of multiple microphones and configured to provide in connection with the array of multiple microphones, a directivity characteristic of the array of multiple microphones that includes at least one beam, and
wherein:
the microphone arrangement is configured to provide an awareness mode of operation in which each of the at least one beams are steered in different directions and to evaluate a signal-to-noise ratio of each steered beam;
the direction in which one steered beam thereof having a highest signal-to-noise ratio is selected as the direction of a desired-sound source, and
the active noise control filter is either activated or deactivated in the awareness mode while the one steered beam with the highest signal-to-noise ratio is selected as the direction of the desired-sound source.