The patent has been awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent reportedly “shares design similarities with regular earbuds. Both appear, according to the Apple Insider report, “sport a main audio cord branching off into two leads — one each for right and left earbuds. In practice, however, the invention relies on two separate cables; one connecting the stereo headphones together to form a listening subsystem, and another tethering that subsystem to a host device.”
Apple’s hybrid earbud concept first came to light as a patent application in the year 2012. This was just days after the company launched EarPods with iPhone 5.
There have also been reports that the company plans to ditch the headphone jack to make way for a stereo speaker in iPhone 7.